Human interactions with the marine environment


Our world-leading research into marine biodiversity, ecosystem function  and their interactions is helping to increase understanding of how society is impacting upon the ocean.

There is an enormous array of biodiversity in the ocean with an estimated 50-80% of all life on earth found under the sea surface. It is this biodiversity that is the cornerstone of many basic ecosystem functions required by humans to live on Earth.

Due to the ocean’s vast nature and limited accessibility there are large knowledge gaps about what organisms are in the oceans, what ecosystem functions they provide and the role of these functions in the Earth system.

Our investigations help to develop the understanding to predict the impact of biodiversity change, induced by human pressures, on the structure and function of marine ecosystems and the services they provide. This has enabled us to take a leading role in the development of several national and European marine management strategies.

To help address this research topic, we focus on the following research subjects:

Biodiversity and ecosystem function

Coastal production processes

Ecosystem modelling and forecasting

Long-term observations

Marine biogeochemical cycles

Valuing the marine environment

Our research is funded by commissioned projects and programmes. A selection of current and recent projects relevant to this research topic can be found below:

Other research topics