From climate change to over-fishing and pollution, we're exploiting our oceans in ways that aren't sustainable. With our oceans increasingly under threat, our Marine Sciences research is working to improve the marine environment for future generations, and make marine activities sustainable.
Marine researchers are at the forefront of international marine projects, from the molecular to the ecosystem and community level. In collaboration with scientists and industry from difference disciplines around the world, our research addresses some of the key environmental issues that we face in marine science, as well as advancing our knowledge of biological processes in marine ecosystems.
The overarching focus of our research is the interaction of humans with the marine environment, across a range of ecosystems and habitats – from tropical mangroves to intertidal soft sediments and even the polar regions, but with particular emphasis on coastal areas.
Our research is working to tackle pressing global issues, such as climate change, conservation and ocean acidification. We're addressing pollution, aquaculture, over-fishing and invasive species, and looking at marine governance.
Our research covers these topics:
- Animal behaviour
- Biotechnology and biofuels
- Climate change
- Coral reef ecology
- Fisheries protection
- Impacts of pollutants (e.g. metals, pharmaceuticals, microplastics)
- Marine conservation and restoration
- Mangrove ecology
- Marine microbiology
- Marine aquarium trade
- Ocean acidification
- Underwater video and remote sensing
Funders and collaborations
Within the Institute of Marine Sciences, collaborate with international research institutions, Universities, Government Agencies, local stakeholders, Non-Governmental Organisations, and industry.
Recent projects have received funding from major funding organisations, including the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Research Councils UK, the European Union, the Leverhulme Trust, the Environment Agency, and Natural England.
Environmental Pollution, 2018, DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.09.091, Dr Gordon Watson, Pini, J. M. & Richir, J.
National Accounting Review, Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 3-15, 2019, Professor Pierre Failler, Montocchio, C., Binet, T., Borot de Battisti, A. & Marechal, J-P.
PeerJ. Volume 7, Issue 26 p. e6431, 2019, Luke David Helmer, Farrell, P., Hendy, I., Harding, S., Robertson, M. & Dr Joanne Preston
Biology Letters. 13, 20170447, 2017, Dr Trevor John Willis, Berglof, K., McGill, R., Musco, L., Piraino, S., Rumsey, C., Vega Fernandez, T. & Badalamenti, F.
Biofouling, 2019, Dobretsov, S., Coutinho, R., Rittschof, D., Dr Maria Salta, Dr Federica Ragazzola & Hellio, C.
Discover our areas of expertise
Marine Sciences is 1 of 6 areas of expertise within our Biological Sciences research. Explore the others below.
Through our biodiversity and evolution research, we're expanding our knowledge of the diverse organisms that exist across the Tree of Life – from microbes to whales.
We explore new ways to treat genetic disorders, identifying novel targets for drugs and searching for advances in treatment that could impact the lives of millions.
We're examining how humans impact ecosystems, and developing new ways to assess and counteract our impact on the environment.
We're searching for new antibiotics and other important enzymes and molecules – and developing the new technology needed to harness microbes for human benefit.
Interested in a PhD in Biological Sciences?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Biological Sciences postgraduate research degrees page.
News, blogs and podcasts
Find our more about our latest research successes, read blogs by our academics and listen to the latest ideas and discoveries that look set to change our lives in our Life Solved podcast.
In the Sustainability and the Environment theme blog, our experts cover topics including fast fashion, marine conservation, plastic pollution and the latest research in the fight against climate change.