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 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. Setala, O; Lehtiniemi, M; Coppock, RL; Cole, MJ. 2018 Microplastics in marine food webs. In: Zeng, Eddy Y, (ed.) Microplastic Contamination in Aquatic Environments: An Emerging Matter of Environmental Urgency. Elsevier.
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  2. Hooper, TL; Austen, MC; Ashley, M. 2018 Capturing benefits: opportunities for the co-location of offshore energy and fisheries. In: Yates, KL; Bradshaw, CJA, (eds.) Offshore Energy and Marine Spatial Planning. Routledge.
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  3. Hattam, C ; Beaumont, NJ; Austen, MC. 2014 The seas, ecosystem services and human well-being. In: Oceans and Human Health: Implications for Society and Well-Being. Wiley Blackwell Publishers, 71-112, 318pp.
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  4. Cahill, AE; Pearman, JK; Borja, A; Carugati, L; Carvalho, S; Danovaro, R; Dashfield, SL; David, R; FĂ©ral, J-P; Olenin, S; Siaulys, A; Somerfield, PJ ; Trayanova, A; Uyarra, MC; Chenuil, A. 2018 A comparative analysis of metabarcoding and morphology-based identification of benthic communities across different regional seas. Ecology and Evolution, 2018. 1-13. 10.1002/ece3.4283
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  5. Robson, J; Archibald, A; Cooper, F; Christensen, M; Gray, L; Holliday, NP; Macintosh, C; McMillan, M; Moat, B; Russo, M; Sutton, R; Tilling, R; Carslaw, K; Desbruyeres, D; Embury, O; Feltham, D; Grosvenor, D; Josey, S; King, B; Lewis, A; McCarthy, G; Merchant, C; New, A; O'Reilly, C; Osprey, S; Read, K; Scaife, A; Shepherd, A; Sinha, B; Smeed, D; Smith, D; Ridout, A; Woolings, T; Yang, M . 2018 Recent observed changes in the North Atlantic Climate System with a focus on 2005-2016. International Journal of Climatology. (In Press)
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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.

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