Dr Glen Tarran

Marine Ecologist

Dr Glen Tarran

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)

Dr Glen Tarran is interested in the use and development of technology to automate the analysis of plankton community structure through flow cytometry. He manages the PML flow cytometry facility and has a great deal of experience of using flow cytometry in a wide range of marine, freshwater and other applications involving plankton and many other particles suspended in water. He is currently involved in the characterisation and quantification of microbial communities with the NERC National Capability programmes of the Western (English) Channel Observatory and the Atlantic Meridional Transect.

His published papers relate to plankton community composition and dynamics, particularly in the open ocean, as well as a range of papers associated with the application of flow cytometry in aquatic ecology.

Flow cytometry is a generic technique for optically analysing and quantifying particles suspended in a medium. The analysis is multi-parametric, each particle can have two light scattering and 3 fluorescence properties measured simultaneously at rates up to 5000 particles per second. The PML's flow cytometers can also pick out (sort) sub-populations from samples to give pure samples, either for culturing, verification or rate measurements on specific components of a community. The flow cytometers at PML have been used to analyse phytoplankton, bacteria, viruses, silt, blood, beads, paint particles, squid ink, detergent bubbles, metazoan tissue cell suspensions, milk, oil and so on. Basically, if it's in suspension it can be measured.

Glen has over 50 peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters.


Llewellyn, C.A., White, D.A., Martinez-Vincente, V., Tarran, G. A. and Smyth, T.J. (2012). Distribution of mycosporine-like amino acids along a surface-water meridional transect of the Atlantic. Microbial Ecology: Volume 64, Issue 2 (2012), Page 320-333.

Archer, S.D., Tarran, G.A., Stephens, J., Butcher, L.J. and Kimmance, S.A. (2011) Combining flow sorting with gas chromatography to determine phytoplankton group-specific intracellular content of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP). Aquatic Microbial Ecology. 62, 109-121.

Hartmann, M., Grob, C., Tarran, G.A., Martin, A.P., Burkill, P.H., Scanlan, D.J. and , Zubkov, M.V. (2012). Mixotrophic basis of Atlantic oligotrophic ecosystems. PNAS. doi/10.1073/pnas.1118179109.

Kadar E., Tarran G.A., Jha A.N., Al-Subiai N., (2011). Stabilization of Engineered Zero-Valent Nanoiron with Na-Acrylic Copolymer Enhances Spermiotoxicity. Environmental Science and Technology, 45, 3245 : 3251.

Fileman. E.S., Fitzgeorge-Balfour, T., Tarran, G.A. and Harris, R.P. (2011). Plankton community diversity from bacteria to copepods in bloom and non-bloom conditions in the Celtic Sea in spring. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 93, 403-414.

Poulton, A.J., Charalampopoulou, A., Young, J.R., Tarran, G.A., Lucas, M.I. and Quartly, G.D. (2010). Coccolithophore dynamics in non-bloom conditions during late summer in the central Iceland Basin (July-August 2007). Limnology and Oceanography, 55(4), 1601–1613.

Martin, A.P., Zubkov, M.V., Holland, R.J., Tarran, G.A. and Burkill, P.H. (2010) Variability in ultraplankton at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain study site (49º50’n 16º30’w) Deep Sea Research Part II, 57 (15), 1336-1345.

Mary, I, Oliver, A, Skipp, P, Holland, R, Topping, J, Tarran, GA, Scanlan, DJ, O’Connor, D, Whiteley, AS3, Burkill, PH7,8 and Zubkov, MV1 (2010). Metaproteomic and metagenomic analyses of defined oceanic microbial populations using microwave cell fixation and flow cytometric sorting. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 74(1), 10-18.

Robinson C, Tilstone G, Rees AP, Smyth TJ, Fishwick J, Tarran GA, Luz B, Barkan E, David E, (2009). Comparison of in situ and in vitro plankton production determinations. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 54, 13 : 24.

Schattenhofer, M., B.M. Fuchs, R. Amann, M.V. Zubkov, G.A. Tarran & J. Pernthaler (2009). Latitudinal distribution of prokaryotic picoplankton populations in the Atlantic Ocean. Environmental Microbiology, doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.01929.x.
Gordon, HR, Smyth, TJ, Balch, WM, Boynton, GC and Tarran, GA (2009). Light scattering by coccoliths detached from Emiliania huxleyi. Applied Optics, 48 (31), 6059-6073.  doi:10.1364/AO.48.006059.

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