Professor Icarus Allen

Director of Science

Dr Icarus Allen

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)

Icarus Allen is the Director of Science of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory responsible for leading the development and delivery of PML Science. He is also an honorary visiting professor at the College of Life and Environmental Sciences of the University of Exeter. 

Icarus has been working as a research scientist at PML for over 25 years, during which he has acquired a broad range of experience both as a marine ecosystem modelling scientist and as a senior manager. His scientific background is multidisciplinary, specialising in the numerical modelling of marine systems from individual cells to shelf wide ecosystems. In general terms the focus of this work has been the coupled physical biogeochemical modelling of shelf seas, with a focus on the NW European Shelf. More specifically this involves; operational ecosystem forecasting to develop operational plankton/ water quality forecasts, data assimilation and merging model/EO data products to predict HABs, model skill assessment, shelf seas ecosystem response to multiple drivers, both climate and anthropogenic, development of global shelf seas ecosystem models based on NEMO_ERSEM and the process modelling of climatically active marine biogases.

Icarus has been or currently is involved in over 25 national and international scientific programmes which have led to collaborative work with scientists in 20 countries. During this time, he has published over 100 peer reviewed papers and written over 40 non-peer reviewed papers and contract reports. He regularly reviews papers for a range of journals and is a core member of the NERC peer review college. In addition he has led the Advances in Marine Ecosystem Modelling Research (AMEMR ) symposiums and workshop series for PML since its inception in 2005.

Key Projects

Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP) 

Euro-Basin – Basin Scale Analysis, Synthesis and Integration (EC FP7)

GreenSeas (EC FP7)

i-MarNet - Integrated Marine Biogeochemical Modelling Network (NERC)

INDOMARECLIM - Indo-European research facilities for studies on marine ecosystem and climate in India (EC FP7)

MEECE - Marine Ecosystem Evolution in a Changing Environment (FP7)

NCEO - Carbon Cycles (NERC)

OPEC - Operational Ecology Marine Ecosystem Forecasting (FP7)

Shelf Seas Modelling (NERC)


Other Activities

National Centre for Ocean Forecast executive committee (NCOF) (March 2004- )

SCOR/LOICZ/Chinese Academy working group (No 132) on HABS and Eutrophication (Jan 2008– )


Holt JT, Butenschon M, Wakelin SL, Artioli Y, Allen JI, (2012). Oceanic controls on the primary production of the northwest European continental shelf: model experiments under recent past conditions and a potential future scenario. Biogeosciences, 9, 97 : 117

Allen JI, (2011). Marine Environment & Human Health: An Overview; in Marine Environment and Human Health (Ed R Hester) Royal Society of Chemistry IEST Vol. 33.

Allen JI, Polimene L, (2011). Linking physiology to ecology: towards a new generation of plankton models. Journal of Plankton Research 33(7): 989-997.

Rose, K.A., Allen, J.I., Artioli, Y., Barange, M., Blackford, J., Carlotti, F., Cropp, R., Daewel, U., Flynn, K.J., Hill, S., Hille Ris Lambers, R., Huse, G., Mackinson, S., Megrey, B., Moll, A., Rivkin, R., Salihoglu, B., Schrum, C., Shannon, L., Shin, Y-J., Smith, S.L., Smith, C., Solidoro, C., St. John, M., Zhou, M. (2010). End-To-End Models for the Analysis of Marine Ecosystems: Challenges, Issues, and Next Steps. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science, 2, 115 : 130

Barange M, Allen I, Allison E, Badjeck M-C, Blanchard J, Drakeford B, Dulvy NK, Harle J, Holmes R, Holt J, Jennings S, Lowe J, Merino G, Mullon C, Pilling G, Tompkins E, Werner F. in press. Predicting the impacts and socio-economic consequences of climate change on global marine ecosystems and fisheries: the QUEST_Fish framework. In: Ommer, R. (editor). Coping with climate change in marine socio-ecological systems. Blackwell FAR Series.

Allen JI, Aiken J, Anderson TR, Buitenhuis E, Cornell S, Geider RJ, Haines K, Hirata T, Holt J, Le Quere C, Hardman-Mountford N, Ross ON, Sinha B, While J. 2010. Marine ecosystem models for earth systems applications: The MarQUEST experience. Journal of Marine Systems, 81(1-2), 19-33.

Allen JI, Fulton EA. 2010. Top-down, bottom-up or middle-out? Avoiding extraneous detail and over-generality in marine ecosystem models. Progress in Oceanography, 84(1-2), 129-133.

Allen JI, Somerfield PJ. 2009. A multivariate approach to model skill assessment. Journal of Marine Systems, 76(1-2), 83-94.

Holt J, Harle J, Proctor R, Michel S, Ashworth M, Batstone C, Allen I, Holmes R, Smyth T, Haines K, Bretherton D, Smith G. 2009. Modelling the global coastal ocean. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series A, 367(1890), 939-951.

Stow CA, Jolliff J, McGillicuddy DJ, Jr, Doney SC, Allen JI, Friedrichs MAM, Rose KA, Wallheadg P. 2009. Skill assessment for coupled biological/physical models of marine systems. Journal of Marine Systems, 76(1-2), 4-15.

Allen JI, Holt JT, Blackford J, Proctor R. 2007. Error quantification of a high-resolution coupled hydrodynamic-ecosystem coastal-ocean model: Part 2. Chlorophyll-a, nutrients and SPM. Journal of Marine Systems, 68(3-4), 381-404.

Allen JI, Somerfield PJ, Gilbert FJ. 2007. Quantifying uncertainty in high-resolution coupled hydrodynamic-ecosystem models. Journal of Marine Systems, 64(1-4), 3-14.

Blackford JC, Allen JI, Gilbert FJ. 2004. Ecosystem dynamics at six contrasting sites: a generic modelling study. Journal of Marine Systems, 52(1-4), 191-215.

Pinardi N, Allen I, Demirov E, De Mey P, Korres G, Lascaratos A, Le Traon PY, Maillard C, Manzella G, Tziavos C. 2003. The Mediterranean ocean forecasting system: first phase of implementation (1998-2001). Annales Geophysicae, 21(1), 3-20.
Taylor AH, Allen JI, Clark PA. 2002. Extraction of a weak climatic signal by an ecosystem. Nature, 416(6881), 629-632.

Allen JI, Blackford J, Holt J, Proctor R, Ashworth M, Siddorn J. 2001. A highly spatially resolved ecosystem model for the North West European Continental Shelf. Sarsia, 86(6), 423-440. 

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