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The University of Southampton
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.

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

Maria Baker Ken Collins Jonathan Copley Cecilia D'Angelo Phillip Fenberg
John Gittins Jasmin Godbold Laura Grange Chris Hauton Lawrence Hawkins
Cathy Lucas Marc Rius Martin Solan Sven Thatje Clive Trueman
Jörg Wiedenmann        


Post Doctoral Research Fellows

Katrin Bohn Alastair Brown Benjamin Ciotti Rachel Hale Benjamin Hume
Elizabeth Morgan Adam Reed      

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.

PhD Project Titles

Dissecting the microbial foodweb: determining the influence of phytoplankton derived organic matter substrates on bacterial growth efficiency

A sticky situation: probing the chemistry of aggregate formation in the ocean

Assessment of temporal changes in the benthos of the Atlantic abyss

Autonomous oceanic primary production through novel chlorophyll fluorometry *

Blue Biotechnology *

Climate change impacts on ecological communities in the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans

Developing and using an isoscape for the north east Atlantic shelf

Developing oceanic biomarkers to disentangle signatures of abiotic and biotic phytoplankton stress

DigiJel - Development of an in situ optical system for assessment of jellyfish populations in the open ocean

Ecology of Antarctic Marine Benthic Communities down to 100 m depth: Disturbance, Diversity and Succession

Effects of multiple environmental stressors on reef corals

Environment, Ecology and Evolution of Plankton Communities

Functional biology and ecology of saprotrophic fungi – Revealing the mechanistic basis of the roles of saprotrophs in the aquatic carbon cycle

Global Players – learning from successful marine bacteria

Greenhouse gas – nitrous oxide (N2O)– production by marine nitrifiers

High-speed autonomous imaging system for algae and other phytoplankton using acoustic technologies

High-speed autonomous imaging system for the analysis of algae and other phytoplankton using acoustic technologies

How does a varying ocean climate drive change in seafloor ecosystems?

Physiology of polar zooplankton

Profiling Marine Phytoplankton Ecology using State of the Art Microcytometry

Temporal variability of the carbon system across the Pacific Ocean; causes and implications

The biological carbon pump: the influence of the physical environment on the formation of marine snow

The Not-So-Common Eider: applying transient analysis to seaduck conservation *

Tracking particles to understand the role of biology in ocean carbon storage

Using and improving benthic ecosystem models to understand the future of seafloor communities

Using autonomous underwater vehicles to monitor seafloor habitats and ecosystems in remote and developing regions

What drives variation in the Biological Carbon Pump?

Zooplankton, jellyfish and climate

* signifies projects with additional CASE funding.

List of related projects to Marine Biology and Ecology
Related ProjectsStatus
Biogeochemistry, macronutrient and carbon cycling in the benthic layer (BMCC)Active
Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI)Active
ECO2 Sub-seabed CO2 Storage: Impact on Marine EcosystemsActive
Environmental DNA and the study of marine biological invasionsActive
Exploring the Deep OceanActive
Galapagos Marine Invasive Species: Prevention, Detection and ManagementActive
The role of habitat gaps and oceanography on the biogeography of rocky intertidal species over historic time scalesActive
Hybridisation of marine biota on a changing planetActive
Impacts of ocean acidification on key benthic ecosystems, communities, habitats, species and life cyclesActive
The influence of environmental variability on the ecological performance of native and non-native marine organismsActive
Influence of Nutrient Starvation on Corals' Susceptibility to Thermal Bleaching (INCORALS)Active
International network for Scientific investigation of deep-sea ecosystems (INDEEP)Active
UK ocean acidification impacts on the surface ocean (UKOARP)Active
PISTON: Does Developmental Plasticity Influence Speciation?Active
Quantifying and Monitoring Potential Ecosystem Impacts of Geological Carbon Storage (QICS)Active
The genomics of adaptation and its consequences for marine biological invasionsActive
The role of climate change, species invasions and hybridisation in the redistribution of marine biodiversityActive
Understanding the exceptional heat tolerance of reef corals from the Persian/Arabian GulfActive
Biogeography of deepwater chemosynthetic ecosystems (ChEss) - DormantDormant
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