Dr James Clark

Marine Ecosystem Modeller

James Clark

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)

James Clark is a research scientist who works within the Marine Ecosystem Modelling Group at PML. He has a Masters degree in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of York, and a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia.

During his PhD, which was supervised by Professor Andrew Watson, he developed an evolutionary individual-based model of phytoplankton growth and reproduction. This model formed the basis of the EVolutionary Ecosystem (EVE) Model, which he co-developed with Dr Stuart Daines and Professor Tim Lenton during postdoctoral work at the University of Exeter.

Since moving to PML in 2013, he has worked on a variety of projects, including the UK Shelf Seas Biogeochemistry Programme, which is co-funded by NERC and Defra, and a NERC funded project on the bioavailability of microplastic debris in the marine environment. As part of the latter project, he has written an offline particle tracking tool (PyLag) to help understand the movement and fate of microplastics in the marine environment.

His research interests span a range of topics, including evolutionary adaptation and acclimation in phytoplankton, marine ecology and biogeochemistry, and marine pollution.


Clark, J. R., Cole, M., Lindeque, P., Fileman, E., Blackford, J., Lewis, C. Lenton, T. M., Galloway, T. S. Marine plastic debris: a targeted plan for understanding and quantifying interactions with marine life. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. (In Press)

Kreft, J-U; Hellweger, F. L.; Clegg, R; Clark, J. R.; Plugge, C. M. 2016 Advancing microbial sciences by individual-based modeling. Nature Reviews Microbiology. (In Press)

Cole, M., Lindeque, P. K., Fileman, E., Clark, J. R., Lewis, C., Halsband, C., Galloway, T. S. Microplastics Alter the Properties and Sinking Rates of Zooplankton Faecal Pellets. Environmental Science & Technology, 2016.

Butenschön, M., Clark, J. R., Aldridge, J. N., Allen, J. I., Artioli, Y., Blackford, J., Bruggeman, J., Cazenave, P., Ciavatta, S., Kay, S., Lessin, G., van Leeuwen, S., van der Molen, J., de Mora, L., Polimene, L., Sailley, S., Stephens, N., Torres, R. ERSEM 15.06: a generic model for marine biogeochemistry and the ecosystem dynamics of the lower trophic levels Geoscientific Model Development Discussions, 2015, 8, 7063-7187

Daines, S. J., Clark, J. R., Lenton, T. M. Multiple environmental controls on phytoplankton growth strategies determine adaptive responses of the N : P ratio. Ecology Letters, 2014, 17, 414-425

Kreft, J.-U., Plugge, C. M., Grimm, V., Prats, C., Leveau, J. H. J., Banitz, T., Baines, S., Clark, J. R., Ros, A., Klapper, I., Topping, C. J., Field, A. J., Schuler, A., Litchman, E., & Hellweger, F. L. Mighty small: Observing and modeling individual microbes becomes big science Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013, 110, 18027-18028

Toseland, A., Daines, S., Clark, J. R,, Kirkham, A., Strauss, J., Uhlig, C., Lenton, T., Valentin, K., Pearson, G., Moulton, V., Mock, T., The impact of temperature on marine phytoplankton resource allocation and metabolism. Nature Climate Change 2013 10.1038 / nclimate1989

Clark, J. R., Daines S., Williams, H. T. P., Lenton T. M., 2013. Environmental selection and resource allocation determine spatial patterns in picophytoplankton cell size. Limnology and Oceanography, 58, 1008-1022.

Boyle, R. A., Clark, J. R., Poulton, S. W., Shields-Zhou, G., Canfield, D. E., Lenton, T. M., 2013. Nitrogen cycle feedbacks as a control on euxinia in the mid-Proterozoic ocean. Nature Communications, 4, 1533

Clark, J. R.,  Daines S., Lenton T. M., Watson A. J., Williams, H. T. P., 2011. Individual-based modelling of adaptation in marine microbial populations using genetically defined physiological parameters. Ecological Modelling. 222(23-24), 3823-3837.

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