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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.

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

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.

Postgraduate opportunities

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.

Research Staff

List of all staff members in Marine Biology and Ecology
Staff MemberPrimary Position
Flo AtherdenPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Maria BakerSenior Research Fellow, International Project Coordinator
Connor BamfordPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Noelie M A BenoistPostgraduate research student
Sarah E BirchenoughPostgraduate research student (part-time)
Steven BournePostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Alastair BrownVisiting Researcher
Colin BrownleeProfessor
Camilla CassidyPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Abbie Sarah Amy ChapmanPostgraduate research student (MPhil/PhD) SPITFIRE DTP
George ClarkeAquarium Research Technician
Amber C CobleyPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Ken CollinsSenior Research Fellow
Jonathan CopleyAssociate Professor in Ocean Exploration & Public Engagement
Cecilia D'AngeloSenior Research Fellow
Rebecca De LeijPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Stacey L FelgatePostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Phillip FenbergLecturer in Marine Biology
John GittinsMarine and Molecular Biology Experimental Officer
Jasmin A GodboldLecturer
Jasmin A GodboldLecturer
Laura J GrangeLecturer in Marine Biology
Rachel HaleResearch Fellow
Graihagh Elizabeth HardingePostgraduate research student
Chris HautonProfessor of Marine Ecophysiology
Lawrence HawkinsEmeritus Fellow
Stephen J HawkinsProfessor of Natural Sciences
Zoë HolbrookPostgraduate research student (LTDS, GSNOCS, FEPS)
Patrick HolliganEmeritus Professor
Anita L HollingsworthPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Luke HolmanPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Nathan HubotPostgraduate research student
Jamie HudsonPostgraduate research student
Holly Elizabeth JenkinsPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Antony JensenAssociate Professor in Marine Ecology
Joe William JonesPostgraduate research student
Alexandra LoveridgePostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Cathy LucasAssociate Professor in Marine Biology
Abigail MabeyPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Moira MacLeanResearch Technician
Leigh MarshVisiting Fellow
Ella A McKnightPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Alex Nicol-HarperPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Matt O'ShaughnessyBiology Technician
Kathryn PackPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Hannah M Parry-WilsonPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Tabitha PearmanPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Frances PerryPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Luca PeruzzaResearch Fellow
Simone PfeiferPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Nicola PrattSenior Marine Biology Technician
Clare PrebblePostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
David PricePostgraduate research student (NEXUSS)
Alice PullenPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Cathryn QuickPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Adam J ReedResearch Fellow
Marc RiusLecturer
Robbie RobinsonAquarium Technician
Saskia R‎ühlPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Erik Simon LledóPostgraduate research student
Samantha SimpsonPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
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)
Katie St John GlewPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Matthias Schmidt ThomsenPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Paul TylerEmeritus Professor
Lissette VictoreroPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Conor A WaldockPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Jörg WiedenmannProfessor of Biological Oceanography
Juliet WilsonPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Rebecca WilsonPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Christina L WoodPostgraduate research student and Mayflower scholar
Edward WortPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)

    Related Projects

    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
    Deepseascape Image LibraryActive
    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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