Category Archives: Policy

What makes a good pelagic habitat?

The Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) and the more recent EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008) require the conservation, maintenance, sustainable use, and/or improvement of biodiversity. However, little scientific research has been done into how to characterise and manage pelagic … Continue reading

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Decreasing primary productivity linked to decreased fishery production – an opportunity for management?

As the ocean’s major primary producers, phytoplankton are the base of the marine food web, with changes to their abundance, biomass, and community composition resonating upwards through zooplankton to fish, seabirds, and cetaceans. Our understanding of the direct relationships between … Continue reading

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A ‘strong and stable’ marine ecosystem?

Long-term monitoring time-series are most important during times of political uncertainty such as Brexit, but it is these times they are most at risk.  The UK marine environment faces an uncertain future. Cumulative pressures from human activities are being placed … Continue reading

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Why do policy makers need plankton taxonomy?

It might not seem intuitive, but plankton taxonomy is critically important to informing marine policy and conservation. At its most basic level, biodiversity is an inventory of the organisms present in an ecosystem. The recognition and identification of these organisms … Continue reading

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Implementing the MSFD in Europe – an OSPAR COBAM workshop

In May I attended the OSPAR Intersessional Correspondence Group for Coordinated Biodiversity and Monitoring (COBAM) workshop in Marseille, France. OSPAR COBAM is responsible for leading development and operationalisation of indicators for marine pelagic biodiversity in Europe. The workshop focused on … Continue reading

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Reflections on the science-policy interface

As a first year PhD student in Plymouth University’s Plankton and Policy research group, I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop run by OSPAR, about the integration of different biodiversity indicators into holistic ecosystem assessments. The workshop was part … Continue reading

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Time-series datasets are crucial to delivering Good Environmental Status

We are on a mission in Europe to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) for our seas (Who cares about the MSFD?). As with many marine policy or conservation efforts, good data are critical to success. When it comes to GES, … Continue reading

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Funded PhD at Plymouth Uni: Ecology and distribution of European sea bass

“Ecology and distribution of European Sea Bass in inshore and coastal waters in South West England” This one isn’t plankton-related, but my colleagues @Dr_Emma_Sheehan and @MJAttrill are looking for a PhD student to carry out a funded project examining South … Continue reading

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Two funded plankton PhD opportunities at Plymouth University!

UPDATE (6 August 2015): The application process is open! Click on the project titles here for application instructions. Please contact me if you’d like to discuss in more detail. Good luck!   Two competitive, funded PhDships with me are about … Continue reading

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Force majeure: Will climate change prevent Good Environmental Status in pelagic communities?

North Atlantic marine species are responding to climate change in multiple ways including changes in species distributions (bioegeographical shifts), community composition and alterations to seasonal cycles.  Plankton, with their short lifespans and sensitivity to their surroundings, are particularly responsive to … Continue reading

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