Research

Our research is a unique combination of observation, experimentation and modelling activities, working together to provide a greater understanding of the dynamic and complex marine environment to inform knowledge-based solutions to the challenges our ocean and seas face.

The ocean and seas are essential to every one of us. They regulate weather and climate, produce oxygen for us to breathe, provide food, chemicals, and energy and support our economies by providing employment in many sectors including transport, tourism, fishing, energy and biotechnology.

An increasing global population is placing ever increasing demands upon the resources provided by the ocean, but in order to be sustainable, cohesive, thoughtful and innovative management practices need to be applied which reach far beyond political boundaries. This requires an in depth knowledge of how the oceans and seas function so that we can predict how they may respond to future change.

Our unique combination of observation networks, experimental facilities and modelling capabilities enables us understand and forecast the changes in marine ecosystems and provide evidence-based solutions to the challenges posed. We work to anticipate emerging societal needs and promote stewardship of the marine environment, unlocking the ocean's value by developing tools to assess the benefits and risks in developing the blue economy.

Research topics

Air-sea gas exchange Aquaculture Biodiversity Capacity building Carbon and nutrient cycles Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) Earth Observation Food security Invasive species Marine plastics Marine spatial planning Modelling the Marine Environment New technologies Ocean acidification Renewable energy Valuing the marine environment

Recent publications

  1. Currie, AR; Tait, K; Parry, HE; de Francisco-Mora, B; Hicks, N; Osborn, AM; Widdicombe, S; Stahl, H. 2017 Marine Microbial Gene Abundance and Community Composition in Response to Ocean Acidification and Elevated Temperature in Two Contrasting Coastal Marine Sediments. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8. 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01599
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  2. Quartly, GD; Nencioli, F; Labroue, S; Féménias, P; Scharroo, R; Abdalla, S; Bonnefond, P; Cancet, M; Frery, ML; Raynal, M; Baker, S; Muir, A; Brockley, D; Shepherd, A; Garcia, P; Roca, M; Calmant, S; Cretaux, JF. 2017 Ensuring that the Sentinel-3A altimeter provides climate-quality data. Proc. of SPIE Remote Sensing 2017, 10422, 104220R. 16, pp. 10.1117/12.2277593
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  3. Quartly, GD; Nencioli, F; Conley, D; Abdalla, S. 2017 Assessing altimetry close to the coast. Proc. of SPIE Remote Sensing 2017, 10422, 104220T. 6, pp. 10.1117/12.2277591
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  4. Tait, K; Beesley, A; Findlay, HS; McNeill, CL; Widdicombe, S; Sobecky, P. 2015 Elevated CO2induces a bloom of microphytobenthos within a shell gravel mesocosm. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 91 (8). fiv092. 10.1093/femsec/fiv092
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  5. Scales, KL; Schorr, GS; Hazen, EL; Bograd, SJ; Miller, PI; Andrews, RD; Zerbini, AN; Falcone, EA. 2017 Should I stay or should I go? Modelling year-round habitat suitability for fin whales in the California Current. Diversity and Distributions, 23 (10). 1204-1215. 10.1111/ddi.12611
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Our videos

Being a scientific apprentice - our experience at Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Becca May and Oban Jones talk about their experience as scientific apprentices after their first year at PML.

The apprenticeships would not have been possible without the generous...

An Introduction to Plymouth Marine Laboratory

PML is a charity, undertaking pioneering marine research for the benefit of us all.  

This video gives an overview into what we do and our scientific research.

More videos