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 and Official Development Assistance (ODA) Carbon and nutrient cycles Carbon 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. Steinke, M; Hodapp, B; Subhan, R; Bell, TG; Martin-Creuzburg, D. 2018 Flux of the biogenic volatiles isoprene and dimethyl sulfide from an oligotrophic lake. Scientific Reports, 8 (1). 10.1038/s41598-017-18923-5
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  2. Trimmer, M; Chronopoulou, P-M; Maanoja, ST; Upstill-Goddard, RC; Kitidis, V ; Purdy, KJ. 2016 Nitrous oxide as a function of oxygen and archaeal gene abundance in the North Pacific. Nature Communications, 7. 13451. 10.1038/ncomms13451
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  3. Bakker, DCE; Pfeil, B; Landa, CS; Metzl, N; O'Brien, KM; Olsen, A; Smith, K; Cosca, C; Harasawa, S; Jones, SD; Nakaoka, S; Nojiri, Y; Schuster, U; Steinhoff, T; Sweeney, C; Takahashi, T; Tilbrook, B; Wada, C; Wanninkhof, R; Alin, SR; Balestrini, CF; Barbero, L; Bates, NR; Bianchi, AA; Bonou, F; Boutin, J; Bozec, Y; Burger, EF; Cai, W-J; Castle, RD; Chen, L; Chierici, M; Currie, K; Evans, W; Featherstone, C; Feely, RA; Fransson, A; Goyet, C; Greenwood, N; Gregory, L; Hankin, S; Hardman-Mountford, NJ; Harlay, J; Hauck, J; Hoppema, M; Humphreys, MP; Hunt, CW; Huss, B; Ibánhez, JSP; Johannessen, T; Keeling, RF; Kitidis, V ; Kortzinger, A; Kozyr, A; Krasakopoulou, E; Kuwata, A; Landschützer, P; Lauvset, SK; Lefèvre, N; Lo Monaco, C; Manke, A; Mathis, JT; Merlivat, L; Millero, FJ; Monteiro, PMS; Munro, DR; Murata, A; Newberger, T; Omar, AM; Ono, T; Paterson, K; Pearce, D; Pierrot, D; Robbins, LL; Saito, S; Salisbury, J; Schlitzer, R; Schneider, B; Schweitzer, R; Sieger, R; Skjelvan, I; Sullivan, KF; Sutherland, SC; Sutton, AJ; Tadokoro, K; Telszewski, M; Tuma, M; van Heuven, SMAC; Vandemark, D; Ward, B; Watson, AJ; Xu, S. 2016 A multi-decade record of high-quality fCO2 data in version 3 of the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT). Earth System Science Data, 8 (2). 383-413. 10.5194/essd-8-383-2016
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  4. Rees, SE; Mangi, SC; Hattam, C ; Gall, SC; Rodwell, LD; Peckett, FJ; Attrill, MJ. 2015 The socio-economic effects of a Marine Protected Area on the ecosystem service of leisure and recreation. Marine Policy, 62. 144-152. 10.1016/j.marpol.2015.09.011
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  5. Hooper, TL; Ashley, M; Austen, MC. 2015 Perceptions of fishers and developers on the co-location of offshore wind farms and decapod fisheries in the UK. Marine Policy, 61. 16-22. 10.1016/j.marpol.2015.06.031
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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