Research Vessels

The Marine Biological Association has operated research vessels since 1895. Our vessels have been integral to supporting our science at sea, in particular the long-term investigations carried out in the Western English Channel.

The MBA research vessels are available for charter and can support a range of teaching and research activities. We offer bespoke packages for commercial and academic customers, for further information please contact the Research Vessel Team mbasepia@mba.ac.uk


Sepia pirate weekend

RV MBA Sepia

A custom built 15.45 m Category 2 Coded Workboat, is a versatile research platform for exploring the river, estuarine and coastal environments, up to 60 miles off shore.

Technical specifications:

  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Category 2 workboat, able to operate up to 60 miles from a safe haven
  • Length: 15.45 m
  • Draft: 1.4 m
  • Beam: 5 m
  • Gross tonnage: 34.2
  • Accommodating up to 12 passengers
  • Service speed: 9 knots
Rib

MBA Laminaria

Laminaria is a 5.8 m rigid inflatable boat (RIB) Category 4coded workboat. Its deep ‘V’ hull design provides a stable work platform for inshore surveys and is used as a rapid response craft, supporting research activities of our larger vessel MBA Sepia.

Technical specifications:

  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Category 4 workboat, able to operate up to 20 miles from a safe haven in favourable weather and daylight
  • Length: 5.8 m
  • Draft: 0.8 m
  • Beam: 2.2 m
  • Carries up to 6 persons
  • 115 hp Suzuki outboard engine.
Sepia from above

Long-term monitoring in the Western English Channel

Since the late 19th century, we have undertaken long-term research in the Western English Channel recording natural changes in the physical marine environment, as well as abundance, distributions and population biology of marine organisms. This has resulted in important discoveries and links between climate and biological changes in the sea and has laid the foundations for many subsequent international studies.

The Research Vessels team continue to monitor MBA’s long-term stations off the coast of Plymouth and sampling focuses on inshore demersal fish communities, fish eggs and larvae and zooplankton. It is a unique monitoring programme with highly temporal sampling over a fine spatial scale. We have some of the earliest fisheries independent surveys in European waters.

Our data contributes to the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN), the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and the Western Channel Observatory (WCO) a partnership between the Marine Biological Association and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

Mitchell Brennen

Mitchell Brenen

RV MBA Sepia Crew Member

Mitchell Brenen

RV MBA Sepia Crew Member

Mitchell Brennen

Email: mitbre@mba.ac.uk

Rachel Brittain

Rachel Brittain

Research Vessel Manager

Rachel Brittain

Research Vessel Manager

Rachel Brittain

Email: racbri@mba.ac.uk

michaela-buchbauer

Michaela Buchbauer

Sea-Going Research Technician

Michaela Buchbauer

Sea-Going Research Technician

michaela-buchbauer

Email: micbuc@mba.ac.uk

Sean McTierney

Sean McTierney

Skipper RV MBA Sepia

Sean McTierney

Skipper RV MBA Sepia

Sean McTierney

Email: seamct@mba.ac.uk

Franki Perry

Dr Franki Perry

Sea-going Research Technician

Dr Franki Perry

Sea-going Research Technician

Franki Perry

frpe@mba.ac.uk

I am the Seagoing Research Technician on the RV MBA Sepia and I work with other members of the boat team to deliver research vessel services. These services range from undertaking time-series surveys, to carrying out week long educational programs for universities. I have expertise in the deployment of scientific equipment from marine platforms to gain high quality biological, ecological and oceanographic data for research purposes. Prior joining the Marine Biological Association I worked at the British Antarctic Survey as a post-doctoral research assistant looking at fisheries time-series data. I have a PhD from the University of Southampton investigating long-term trends in Antarctic krill recruitment dynamics. In addition to this I have worked as a scientific diver and ecological consultant for both private businesses and government agencies. As such I have a broad understanding of marine survey techniques and equipment.


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We look forward to hearing from you.


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