"Without data you're just another person with an opinion" - W. Edwards Deming

The MBA Data and Information programmes explore innovative and informative approaches to sharing knowledge, data and information on all aspects of the marine environment.

Pioneering the management and provision of data and information through flagship projects such as the Marine Life Information Network (MarLIN), the UK Archive for Marine Species and Habitats Data (DASSH) alongside the digital elements of the National Marine Biological Library has established the MBA as a centre of excellence for the delivery of marine biological data and information.

Recognising this and the expertise of MBA staff resulted in the MBA being accredited as a MEDIN Data Archive Centre and the UK Node for the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), the global data and information clearing-house for marine biodiversity data in recognition of their experience and expertise.

MBA Research Data and the CPR Survey

The MBA has a rich data portfolio with time series data running from 1903-present including phytoplankton, zooplankton, rocky shore species and larval and adult demersal fish.  The time-series data from the MBA contributes to the Western Channel Observatory and more details of the MBA’s data holdings are available on request from data@mba.ac.uk

We provide access to CPR Survey data through an open, online portal for visualisation and download of the data and allows everyone to view and access this unique source of data on marine plankton, the foundation of life in the sea.


MarLIN provides information to support marine conservation, management and planning. Our resources are based on available scientific evidence and designed for all stakeholders, from government agencies and industry to naturalists and the public. MarLIN hosts the largest review of the effects of human activities and natural events on marine species and habitats yet undertaken.

The National Marine Biological Library

The NMBL is increasingly moving to the digital domain, with online journal provision and an active process of curation and digitisation of key archive elements.  This work presents additional opportunities, including the ability to link between raw data, interpreted information and the contextual content the library specialises in.

The Data Team

The Data Team of the MBA provides expertise in the archiving, management, visualization and dissemination of quality-assured marine biodiversity datasets and metadata.  The team operates the national biodiversity Data Archive Centre, DASSH, which is accredited through the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN).  The Data Team supplies advice, tools and resources enabling maximum value to be gained from biological datasets and additionally provides guidance on compliance with UK and International legislation relating to data governance.  Data are published to a range of portals and aggregators including the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas and the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS).

The Data Team lead the MBA's contribution to EMODnet Biology and are a founding partner of iNaturalist UK alongside the National Biodiversity Network and the UK UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH).




The MBA Data Team utilises Liquid Studio in its teaching and training of XML based tools and services.  The licenses are provided for free as part of their Educational Sponsorship Programme.  For more details about Liquid Studio including their free Community Edition please go to https://www.liquid-technologies.com/xml-studio

Life On The Yealm

Life on the Yealm 

The MBA is working with people living in the River Yealm Catchment (Devon) to develop citizen science surveys and events around the Yealm Estuary. We have worked with local schools


DASSH - The UK Archive for Marine Species and Habitats Data

Accredited through the MEDIN partnership, and core-funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Scottish Government, DASSH provides tools and services for the long-term curation, management and publication of marine...

MarLIN - The Marine Life Information Network

MarLIN provides information to support marine conservation, management and planning. Our resources are based on available scientific evidence and designed for all stakeholders, from government agencies and industry to naturalists and the public. MarLIN hosts the largest review of the effects of...

ENVRI Plus Logo


ENVRIplus is a Horizon 2020 project bringing together Environmental and Earth System Research Infrastructures, projects and networks together with technical specialist partners to create a more coherent, interdisciplinary and interoperable...
Mitten crab recording

Mitten Crab Watch

Chinese mitten crabs are officially listed as one of the World's 100 worst invasive species. They can cause damage to fishing gear and river banks, block intake screens, modify natural habitats and compete with native species. It is this economic and ecological damage that makes this crab such...

EMODNet Logo

EMODNet Biology

The Data Team have been active in the provision of UK data to the European Marine Observation and Data Network. By the development of ‘crosswalks’ between UK data standards developed by DASSH within MEDIN and the GBIF global biodiversity standards we have been able to demonstrate how data can flow...

Staff List

Dan Lear
Dan Lear
Head of Data, Information and Technology

Dan leads the MBA IT and Data Teams and is project co-ordinator for DASSH; the MEDIN accredited Data Archive Centre (DAC) for biodiversity data.

Email: Telephone Number:
+44(0)1752 426362
Kevin Paxman
Data Engineer
Kevin is a data engineer with a background in Remote Sensing. He works within the DASSH team developing the tools needed to make the manual archival processes as automated as possible.
Email: Telephone Number:
+44(0)1752 426237
Summer Grundy
DASSH Data Officer

Summer is one of the DASSH Data Officers. Her role mainly consists of data-based tasks such as maintaining the DASSH archive and quality assurance.

Email: Telephone Number:
+44 0(1752) 426237

For more information about the data and information activities of the MBA and the services that can be provided, contact

Dan Lear, Head of Data, Information & Technology

Tel: +44(0)1752 633334 or use the contact form below.

You can also follow DASSH on Twitter @DASSH or contact MarLIN through Facebook