Welcome to the first issue of The Marine Biologist, a new magazine for the marine biological community, provided free to Marine Biological Association (MBA) members.
When we gaze out to sea, it’s hard not to wonder what’s going on under the surface: where are all the fish? How close am I to a shark or an enormous fan mussel? How do the different parts of the marine environment interact? These questions spur us to dive, catch fish or study marine biology. They also add to our internal lives; who amongst us doesn’t imagine their own, personal “Google ocean”? For all the passion people have for the sea and its inhabitants, and the fact that marine biological research is providing insights into how a substantial portion of our planet works, it appears that no English language magazine exists purely for the broad interest of marine biologists. What an opportunity!
So, by way of an introduction I’d like to offer a whistle-stop tour of The Marine Biologist. We dive first into the ‘Science letters’ section which contains a view of the marine biological research scene from a top researcher and articles on current research. In this issue Professor Colin Brownlee, Director of the MBA, looks at the challenges and opportunities ahead.
‘Environment & conservation’ looks at ongoing issues such as climate change, ocean acidification, noise, fish stocks, marine planning/management, new legislation and conservation success stories. Fittingly in this first issue I am delighted to present an article on our changing seas by the thoughtful and erudite Callum Roberts. When the MBA was established in 1884 it was to provide policy advice and the cross-over between research and policy remains all-important. The section opens with a policy overview which in this issue highlights the need to provide decision makers with the context that turns information into ‘evidence’. I hope this section will prove to be useful and influential to policy advisers, NGOs and scientists, and I welcome discussion or opinion articles.
Articles on all aspects of sharing knowledge and resources appear in the section entitled ‘Sharing marine science’. The US has its Science Educator Associations, and the EU now has EMSEA (the European Marine Science Educators’ Association). Find out how this new initiative is pushing for ocean literacy in school curricula across the EU, and sign up for the EMSEA conference in September.
My aim is to source material from the widest constituency, from the research community to consultants, fishers, amateur naturalists, or anyone who has something current and interesting to say about life in the sea. Please take that as an invitation to comment and contribute to future issues of the magazine.
I hope you enjoy this first edition of The Marine Biologist, please contact me through the website www.mba.ac.uk/marinebiologist where you can also leave comments about this issue and make suggestions for the next, which is due for publication in spring 2014.


Guy Baker