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Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research Group: Marine Biology and Ecology

Currently Active: 

MBERG performs leading edge strategic and applied interdisciplinary research across a range of model organisms and ecosystems, from the coast to the deep ocean, from the tropics to the poles.

Group Overview

Understanding how processes scale from individuals to ecosystems in a changing ocean



How molecular mechanisms shape the functioning of individuals and their interaction with the environment



· What controls the assembly, function and stability of ecological communities
· How do communities respond to natural and human perturbation?



· How sensitive are complex biological systems to change?


Patterns in space and time

· At what scales of space and time do patterns hold, and how do they vary across different scales?


Society and human well-being

· Identifying the benefits that ecosystems provide people
· Improving sustainable resource use by society
· Communicating risks and values to policy makers and citizens globally

Staff Members


Amanda Bates


Jonathan Copley

Cecilia D'Angelo

Phillip Fenberg

John Gittins




Lawrence Hawkins

Cathy Lucas






Jorg Wiedenmann


Post Doctoral Research Fellows


Alastair Brown

Benjamin Ciotti

Rachel Hale

Benjamin Hume

Elizabeth Morgan



Associated research themes

Institute for Life Sciences

Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute


Facilities linked to Marine Biology and Ecology include:

Research Vessels

We have two vessels based at NOCS that are available to staff and students of Ocean and Earth Science. R.V. Callista and R.V. Bill Conway.

Research Aquarium

We have a multi-use aquarium, with a variety of tanks and facilities for keeping and handling live specimens. In the entrance, large observation tanks contain different biotopes, displaying animals from a variety of habitats, including seagrass beds and rocky shores.

Pressure Lab

The pressure lab enables us to study deep-sea organisms under pressurised conditions.

Coral Reef Laboratory

The coral reef laboratory propagates and studies more than 40 species of cnidarians in a multi-compartment aquarium system circulating more than 4200 litres of artifical seawater.

Scanning Electron Microscope Facility

This facility provides a range of services including, secondary electron and backscattered electron imaging, automated image acquisition, qualitative and quantitative elemental spot analysis and elemental mapping.

Carbonate Chemistry Facility

The NERC funded facility analyses seawater samples for carbonate variables, and has state-of-the-art instrumentation. We also undertake carbonate chemistry calculations following total alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon analysis, providing pCO2, pH and other carbonate chemistry variables.

Postgraduate opportunities

PhD Project Titles

Aerial Surveying of UK Wildlife at Inshore sites by Unmanned Systems
Prof James Scanlan (Faculty of Engineering & the Environment, UoS), Prof Kirk Martinez (Faculty of Physical Science & Engineering, UoS), Dr Russel Wyn (NOC), Dr Glen Tyler (Policy and Advice Officer - Marine Ornithology SNH Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Unit, Shetland).

Aggravated aggregation of marine snow in the biological carbon pump
Dr Adrian Martin, Adrian Burd (University of Georgia).

Analysis of body size trends of molluscs and butterflies
Dr Phillip Fenberg, Jasmin Godbold (Ocean and Earth Science and Department of Biological Sciences. UoS), Judith Lock (Biological Sciences, UoS), Steve Brooks (Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum).

Benthic Microbial Diversity in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
Dr Rob Young, Dr Henry Ruhl.

Characterizing the role of sub-aqueous vegetation in modulating flow fields and sediment dynamics in estuaries and rivers
Professor Stephen Darby (UoS, Geography & Environment), Dr Julian Leyland (UoS, Geography & Environment).

Detecting Tipping Points in Lake Ecosystems
Prof Pete Langdon (Geography & The Environment), Prof John Dearing (Geography & The Environment), Prof Patrick Doncaster (Centre for Biological Sciences), Dr James Dyke (Geography & the Environment).

Environmental DNA and the study of marine biological invasions
Dr Marc Rius, Dr Simon Creer (School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University), Dr Mark de Bruyn (School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University), Prof Gary Carvalho (School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University).

Exploring the metabolic responses of marine fishes to climate change using stable carbon isotope composition of otoliths
Dr Clive Trueman, Dr Ewan Hunter (Cefas), Dr Audrey Darnaude (University of Montpellier 2, France).

Impact of rapid climate change on Antarctic krill and the Southern Ocean food web
Angus Atkinson (Plymouth Marine Laboratories), Geraint Tarling (British Antarctic Survey), Dan Mayor (National Oceanography Centre).

Mechanisms of extreme temperature tolerance of reef corals revealed by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy
Dr Cecilia D'Angelo, Dr Joern Werner (Centre for Biological Sciences, UoS), Prof Joerg Wiedenmann (Ocean & Earth Science, UoS).

Oiling the Microbial Carbon Pump: lipids in refractory dissolved organic matter
Prof Richard Sanders, Lead Supervisor - Dr Claire Evans (National Oceanography Centre), Joost Brandsma (Medicine, UoS), Tony Postle (Medicine, UoS), John Langely (UoS Chemistry).

The effects of environmental change on species functional traits
Dr Jasmin Godbold (Ocean & Earth Science, UoS), Dr Laura Grange (Ocean & Earth Science, UoS), Dr Clement Garcia (CEFAS), Dr Stefan Bolam (CEFAS).

The influence of environmental variability on the ecological performance of native and non-native marine organisms
Dr Marc Rius, Dr Amanda Bates, Lead Supervisor - Dr Dan Smale (Marine Biological Association).

The role of zooplankton in ocean biogeochemistry
Prof Richard Lampitt, Dr Daniel Mayor, Geraint Tarling (BAS) and David Pond (SAMS).

Variation in predation by soft bodied predators from the tropics to the poles
Prof Lloyd S Peck (BAS), Dr Laura Grange (Ocean & Earth Science, UoS), Dr Elizabeth Harper (Cambridge University) Dr Simon Morley (BAS).

“Mixing it up” - the ecological and biogeochemical consequences of seabed resuspension in shallow coastal ecosystems
Dr Charlie Thompson, Lead Supervisor - Prof Steve Widdicombe (Plymouth Marine Laboratory), Dr Ana M Queirós (Plymouth Marine Laboratory).

Examining the balance between respiration and sinking in controlling the penetration depth of organic carbon into the ocean
Prof Richard Sanders, Dr Adrian Martin, Dr Stephanie A Henson.

How fast is the ocean’s biological carbon pump?
Dr Adrian Martin, Dr Sarah Lou Carolin Giering, Dr Klas Ove Möller (Hamburg).

The impact of ocean acidification and climate change on the skeletal strength of coral and coralline algae assessed using finite element analysis
Prof Gavin Foster, Prof Atul Bhaskar (Engineering), Prof Ian Sinclair (Engineering), Dr Nick Kamenos (Glasgow), Dr Seb Hennige (Heriot-Watt).

The role of zooplankton in trace metal cycling and P availability in subtropical gyres
Dr Daniel Mayor, Dr Maeve Lohan, Dr Alex J Poulton, Dr Alessandro Tagliabue (Liverpool).



Research Staff

Staff MemberPrimary Position
Fadilah AliPostgraduate research student
Maria BakerPostdoctoral Research Fellow
Amanda E BatesLecturer
Jessica BellworthyPostgraduate research student
Noelie M A BenoistPostgraduate research student
Sarah E BirchenoughPostgraduate research student (part-time)
Elena BollatiPostgraduate research student
Steven BournePostgraduate research student
Alastair BrownResearch Fellow
Colin BrownleeProfessor
Abbie Sarah Amy ChapmanPostgraduate research student (MPhil/PhD) SPITFIRE DTP
Gemma ClucasPostgraduate research student
Matthew R D CobainPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Amber C CobleyPostgraduate research student
Ken CollinsSenior Research Fellow
Jonathan CopleyAssociate Professor in Marine Ecology
Gemma CrippsPostdoctoral Research Fellow
Cecilia D'AngeloSenior Research Fellow
Stephanie RA DeanePostgraduate research student
Jennifer DurdenPostgraduate research student
Manon Tiphaine DuretPostgraduate research student
Phillip FenbergLecturer in Marine Biology
John GittinsMarine and Molecular Biology Experimental Officer
Jasmin A GodboldLecturer
Laura J GrangeLecturer in Marine Biology
Rachel HaleResearch Fellow
Graihagh Elizabeth HardingePostgraduate research student
Chris HautonAssociate Professor in Invertebrate Ecophysiology and Immune Function
Stephen J HawkinsProfessor of Natural Sciences
Lawrence HawkinsAssociate Professor in Marine Biology
Danja Persephone HoehnPostgraduate research student
Patrick HolliganEmeritus Professor
Benjamin C C HumePostdoctoral Research Fellow
Antony JensenAssociate Professor in Marine Ecology
Hyeong-Gi KimPostgraduate research student
Alastair J.M. LoughPostgraduate research student
Cathy LucasAssociate Professor in Marine Biology
Moira MacLeanSenior Research Assistant
Leigh MarshPostdoctoral Research Fellow
Elizabeth MartinPostgraduate research student
Laura McMonaglePostgraduate research student
Lucie MunnsPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Matt O'ShaughnessyBiology Technician
Davelyn PastorPostgraduate research student
Luca PeruzzaPostgraduate research student
Nicola PrattSenior Marine Biology Technician
Clare PrebblePostgraduate research student
Adam J ReedPostdoctoral Researcher
Marc RiusLecturer
Robbie RobinsonAquarium Technician
Sabrina RossetPostgraduate research student
Anna RumyantsevaPostgraduate research student
Joe Scutt PhillipsPostgraduate research student
Dawoud Ajeel SheailPostgraduate research student
Rosie ShewardPostgraduate research student
Samantha SimpsonPostgraduate research student
David SimsProfessor of Marine Ecology, MBA Senior Research Fellow
Martin SolanProfessor in Marine Ecology
Marla Kiel SpencerPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Rose E StainthorpPostgraduate research student (MPhil/PhD SPITFIRE)
Paris Vasileios StefanoudisPostgraduate research student
Katie St John GlewPostgraduate research student
Lavinia SubergPostgraduate research student
Sven ThatjeAssociate Professor in Marine Evolutionary Ecology
Matthias Schmidt ThomsenPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Paul TylerEmeritus Professor
Maria Luis ValePostgraduate research student
Conor A WaldockPostgraduate research student
Jörg WiedenmannProfessor of Biological Oceanography
Daniel WohlgemuthPostgraduate research student
Christina WoodCBESS Research Technician
Edward WortPostgraduate research student

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