Research subjects

Air-sea gas exchange

Underwater image in the sea showing sky above

We have over 30 years’ experience of leading international research investigating the exchange of gases between the ocean and the atmosphere, the function of these exchanges and their role within the Earth system. Over this time our scientists have made significant contribution to advancing scientific understanding of these complex processes and have developed a variety of techniques and technologies to monitor gas exchange.


Female scientist holding mussels in an aquaculture environment

We are able to bring together our advanced modelling capabilities, satellite observation data, biofouling and socio-economic expertise to create tools which support aquaculture management. 

The knowledge and resulting outputs enable those who work within the industry to gain a more in-depth understanding in relation to various environmental factors, facilitating greater decision making for future sustainability, risk mitigation and compliance with regulatory requirements. 

Biodiversity and ecosystem function

Underwater image of coral and various tropical fish

Our world-leading expertise in this area is being used to measure and investigate biodiversity across a range of biological scales. We use this knowledge to determine the relationship between biodiversity and the provision of important ecosystem functions and services, which the marine environment provides to society, and how these may impacted by human and natural environmental change.

Coastal production processes

Image of cliffs and beach below

We have a highly respected international reputation in a wide range of coastal research and have contributed significantly to developing scientific understanding of the function and importance of coastal production processes. This knowledge is then combined with social and economic analysis to help increase our understanding of the role and interactions between coastal processes and societal benefits and how these may alter as a result of environmental change.  

Ecosystem modelling and forecasting

Close up multi-coloured computer code on a screen

We are internationally renowned for our expertise in modelling the marine environment, in particular the marine ecosystem, and we host one of the largest and most experienced marine ecosystem modelling groups in the world. Our models are not only used in a range of studies, to gain greater understanding of the dynamics and potential change of marine processes and systems, but we also continuously develop and refine models for use by the wider scientific community.

For more information about the Marine System Modelling Group at PML, visit our dedicated sub-site here.

Geo-engineering solutions

Geo engineering in progress

We are partners in a range of groundbreaking marine geo-engineering projects addressing key questions relating to developing initiatives, such as carbon dioxide capture and storage facilities. This is to provide an evidence base of the environmental impact and levels of risk of such facilities and associated technologies throughout their lifecycles.

Long-term observations

A data buoy at sea

Our leadership of several long-term monitoring programmes, in particular the hundred-year-old Western Channel Observatory, and the 20+ year-old Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme, has allowed the monitoring and quantification of physical, biological and chemical changes in the marine environment. The data collected also feeds into ecosystem models to help forecast how change may affect ecosystems and the marine goods and services they provide. 

Marine biogeochemical cycles

Bubble of gas underwater

Our long and internationally recognized track record in biogeochemical cycling aims to quantify key processes in the biogeochemical cycling of life sustaining elements in the upper ocean and coastal seas. We use an interdisciplinary approach to study the interface of biology, chemistry and physics in order to predict gas exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere.

Marine energy and resources

Wind turbines at sea

We work on a range of projects investigating the efficiency, value and environmental impact of existing and developing marine energy generation devices. By working in an interdisciplinary way, we assess the environmental, physical, social and economic implications of devices, providing this evidence for use in policy development, planning and management.

Remote sensing observation

Remote sensing data image

We have a large and highly experienced team of remote sensing scientists, processing satellite data and developing new techniques and products for remotely monitoring principally the marine environment. Our research and outputs are used in a range of ways, from monitoring oceanic conditions and assisting research cruise sampling to tracking harmful algal blooms.

Valuing the marine environment

A trawler out at sea

Our team of Environmental Economists has been working alongside our natural scientists for over a decade to provide social and economic analysis and advanced understanding of marine goods and services. Our research is used by policy makers and environmental managers in developing marine management strategies, to ensure sustainable use of the marine environment and coastal zones by the diverse range of stakeholders.