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Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP)

Montage of images related to MERP

Completed project

Project start: May 2014  |  Project end: April 2018
Funder: Jointly funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Principal Investigator: Dr Paul Somerfield
Other participants from PML: Claire Widdicombe, Dr Ana M Queirós, Dr Jacqueline Maud, Dr Luca Polimene, Dr Stefanie Broszeit, Elaine Fileman, Jerry Blackford, Jessica Heard, Louise McNeill, Saskia Ruhl

The Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP) will address key knowledge gaps in marine ecosystem research. By bringing together existing data and targeted new data, the programme scientists will integrate these data with current models and knowledge of ecosystem services within a common framework, in order to improve our understanding of the whole UK marine ecosystem.

The programme will facilitate the development of a more accurate suite of marine ecosystem models and provide vital evidence, tools and advice to policymakers and environmental managers, including the development and implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Marine and Coastal Access Act, Marine (Scotland) Act, Common Fisheries Policy and the OSPAR Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme.

MERP consists of two projects, both led by PML, with potential for a third project in the future. PML’s involvement in the programme will be wide-ranging and diverse, including data collation, macroecological analysis, sampling, experiments, modelling and ecosystems services work, whilst also coordinating the Knowledge Exchange component and overall management of the programme.