Professor Richard Thompson - ()
Professor of Marine Biology, deputy programme leader BSc (Hons) Marine Biology
Qualifications & background
Roles on external bodies
Invited roles on external bodies
Panel Member for research grant reviews
Reviewer of research grants
Reviewer of research publications for
Deputy Programme Leader BSc (Hons) Marine Biology
Ecology of Shallow Water Marine Habitats
Experimental Marine Ecology
My research focuses on three main topics: 1) the effects of plastic debris in the marine environment, 2) modification of coastal engineering, structures such as coastal defenses and off-shore renewable energy devices, to enhance biodiversity and 3) the ecology and conservation of shallow water habitats.
I have been working on the effects of plastic in the marine environment for more than twenty years. This is currently a major area of my research with papers in Science, Nature, Biology Letters and numerous other leading scientific journals, together with reports for international organizations such as the United Nations. In 2013 I presented the outcomes of this research to the UK House of Commons select committee on water quality, a video recording of this meeting can be found here. In January 2014 I presented evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee, a recording can be found here. In 2004 my group showed that waters around the north-east Atlantic had become contaminated by microscopic fragments of plastic or ‘microplastic’ and that the abundance of this material had increased significantly over time (Science, vol 304, P. 838). These microplastic fragments some of which were smaller than the diameter of a human hair appear to have formed by the environmental breakdown of everyday items such as plastic bags, bottles, rope and materials used in packaging; together with the direct release of small particles used in cosmetics (also known as microbeads) and industrial spillage of plastic pellets and powders. My group are at the forefront of research to establish the environmental consequences of this newly described form of debris. We are currently examining potential for microplastics to cause harm in the marine environment. This could occur if chemicals that are incorporated as additives during the manufacture of plastics are released to organisms upon ingestion. In addition, plastics have been shown to concentrate hydrophobic contaminants, such as PCBs and DDT, from seawater and hence there is potential that plastics could act as a vector in the transport of these chemicals to wildlife debris (e.g. Environmental Science and Technology , 41: 7759-7764). It is also important to assess whether the physical presence of microplastics could result in harmful effects on the organisms ingesting microplastics (e.g. Current Biology, 23, 2388-2392 and 23, R1031-R1033).
In 2009 I was invited to be lead editor of a 200 page Theme Issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B – Plastics the environment and Human Health. This volume brings together the work of over 60 leading experts and balances the societal benefits of plastics alongside environmental concerns and impacts. The concluding Paper (Thompson et al. 2009) focus on knowledge gaps and solutions to some of the issues posed in the volume. I am currently acting as an advisor on marine debris for the European Commission Marine Strategy Framework Directive and working with the United Nations Environment Programme to identify solutions to prevent the accumulation of marine debris (STAP 2011).
2) Modification of coastal engineering to enhance biodiversity
Over the last decade I have become increasingly interested in the interaction between marine engineering, such as coastal defences and off-shore renewable energy developments (OREDs) and the ecology of shallow water habitats (e.g. Diversity and Distributions 19, 1275-1283, Coastal Engineering 52, 1053 – 1071; 52: 1027 – 1051; 52: 1073-1087). Coastal defense structures occupy a substantial portion of some coastlines and the number of OREDs (wind, wave, tidal) is set to increase dramatically over the next decade. Such developments present both threats and opportunities for marine life. Coastal engineering structures typically have very low heterogeneity and offer little in terms of refuge or habitat for marine life. Our research here examines ways to make space for nature by incorporating habitat modifications within marine engineering structures. This research has shown that the biodiversity of structures can be enhanced and work in the Azores has shown the potential to enhance stock of commercially exploited shellfish (e.g. Biological Conservation 143, 203-211). Much of this work has been funded by European Union collaborative projects DELOS and THESEUS within the THESEUS project I led ecological research across eleven partner institutions in Europe and Asia.
UoP Research group membershipMarine Biology & Ecology Research Centre (MBERC)
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
Current PhD students
Kayleigh Wyles, Funding NERC/ESRC. Rocky Shores: From habitat threat to marine awareness & restorative experiences. 2011 – Present.
Daniel Metcalfe, Funding ESF. Environmentally & Ecologically durable surface design for the coastal built environment. 2011 - Present
Joao Frias, Funding FCT, Portugal. Microplastics in the environment. 2011- present.
Saeed Sadri, Funding Defra. Monitoring microplastics in the marine environment. 2009 – present.
Nicolas Biber, Funding: Self. Distribution and effects on microplastics in the environment. 2009 – Present.
Juliette Jackson, Funding: Self. Recruitment and succession on coastal defence structures. 2006 – present (registered part-time).
Completed PhD Students
Luke Holmes, PhD 2013, The role of plastic production pellets in the transport and availability of trace metals in the marine environment. Funding: University of Plymouth Studentship.
Martin Coombes, PhD 2011, Coastal defences and biodiversity: examining the interplay between engineering design and ecological response, Funding: GWR.
Gustavo Martins, PhD 2009, Community structure of the Azorean rocky intertidal: interactions between recruitment and exploitation, Funding: FCT (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology).
John Griffin, PhD 2008, Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: tests using rockpools as natural mesocosms, Funding: NERC.
Ana Silva, PhD 2008, Predator-prey interactions in rocky intertidal communities, Funding: FCT (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology).
Mark Browne, PhD 2008, Environmental consequences of microscopic plastics in marine habitats, Funding: Leverhulme Trust.
Gerardo Gomes-Filho, PhD 2008, Physical and Biological Processes Influencing the Distribution of Barnacles in Estuaries, Funding: CAPES (Brazilian Ministry of Education).
Laure Noel, PhD 2007, Species interactions during succession in rockpools: role of herbivores and physical factors Funding: Self.
Emma Sheehan, PhD 2007, Ecological impact of the Carcinus maenas (L.) fishery 'Crab-Tiling' on estuarine fauna, Funding: charitable sources.
Nova Mieszkowska, PhD 2005, Population structures and reproductive cycles of British Trochid Gastropods in relation to climate change, Funding: MARCLIM and Self.
Pippa Moore, PhD 2005, The Role of biological interactions in modyfying the effects of climate change on intertidal assemblages, Funding: PERC, University of Plymouth and Marine Biological Association.
Paula Moschella, PhD 2003, Influence of rock type on microbial fouling communities, Funding: EU.
Robert Alcock, PhD 2003, The effects of climate change on rocky shore communities in the Bay of Biscay. 1895 - 2050, Funding: Self.
Malcolm Roberts, PhD 2002, Population dynamics of Patella vulgata and P. depressa in S.W. England, Funding: Self.
Grants & contracts
£300,000, to UoP as part of a £4M EU FP-7 (2012-2015) Marine Litter in European Seas: Social Awareness and Co-responsibility (MARLISCO) Thompson, R.C. and Pahl, S.
£440,000, Defra, (2011- 2014) Investigating whether microplastics cause harm in the marine environment. Thompson, R.C., Rowland, S.J. and Galloway, T.G.
£248,000, Esmee Fairburn, Naylor, L. Viles, H. and Thompson, R.C. (2011-1014) Bioprotection: an overlooked aspect of biodiversity/ecosystem service on coastal rocks.
€8,529,439, EU FP-7 (2009-2014) Innovative technologies for safer European coasts in a changing climate (THESEUS). Management Board: Zanuttigh, B., Nicholls, R.J., Burcharth, H.F., Thompson, R.C., Vanderlinden, J.P., Losada, I.J. and Claus, S. (€505,608 to UoP, PI’s Reeve, D. and Thompson, R.C.)
£254,000, Esmee Fairburn, (2009 -2012) Coastal Urban Ecology - Enhancing Biodiversity by Intelligent Design of Artificial Habitats (URBANE). Hawkins, S.J. (PI), Thompson, R.C., Frid C.L.J. and Burrows, M.T.
£5,000, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (2009), preparation of co-authored reviews on the environmental impacts of offshore renewable – Making Blue Energy Green. Thompson RC
£432,350, SWRDA (2007-2010) Assessing the biodiversity impact of the Wave Hub renewable energy development. Attrill, M.J. (PI), Thompson, R.C., Votier S.C., Hall-Spencer, J. and Howell K.L.
£22,000, PRIMaRE (2007-2008) Incorporating fisheries enhancement into coastal engineering as part of Wave Hub. Thompson, R.C. (PI), Moore, P.J. and Chadwick A.J.
£216,000, NERC (2005-2009) Consumer responses to habitat depletion: food-refuge interactions in periwinkles. Doncaster, C.P. (PI), Thompson, R.C., and Hawkins, S.J.
£31,869, NERC (2005-2007) Microscopic plastic, the extent of the problem: a new method for separating plastic fragments from natural sediments. Gaunt, L.F. (PI), Thompson, R.C. and Hearn, G.L.
£196,000, NERC (2004-2008) Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: tests using rockpools as natural mesocosms. Jenkins, S.R. (PI), Thompson, R.C. and Hawkins, S.J.
£181,608, Leverhulme Trust (2003-2007) Lost at sea – where does all the plastic go II? Thompson, R.C. (PI), Rowland, S.J., Galloway, T.S. and Russell, A.E.
£ 14,945, Leverhulme Trust (2001-2002) Lost at sea – where does all the plastic go? Thompson, R.C. (PI) and Russell, A.E.
£500,000, (2000-2003) Assessing and predicting the influence of climatic change on the marine flora and fauna of Britain and Ireland using intertidal indicators. A consortium Project funded by English Nature, Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, Department of the Environment and Transport and the Regions, Hawkins, S.J. (PI), Thompson, R.C., Southward, A.J., Kendall, M., Burrows M. and O’Riordan, R.
£88,543, NERC Joint Research Equipment Initiative (1999-2001) Data loggers for recording activity of homing limpets Hawkins, S.J. (PI), Thompson, R.C. and Hartnoll, R.G.
£140,000, EU (2000-2004) Environmental Design of Low-Crested Coastal Defences. Hawkins, S.J. (PI), Thompson, R.C. et al.
£25,469, NERC (1999-2000) The role of boring bivalves in generating spatial and erosional processes. Thompson, R.C. (PI) and Hawkins, S.J.
£30,000, EU (1999-2001) Interactions between substrate type and marine fouling. Moschella, P.S., Thompson R.C. and Hawkins S.J. (PI).
£ 22,665, NERC (1997-1999). Summertime: too much of a good thing for microalgae? Thompson, R.C. (PI), Thomason, J.C. and Hawkins, S.J.
£ 3,500, Manx Airlines. (1995) Survey of Manx sublittoral habitats Thompson, R.C. (PI), Bates M. and Veale, L.O.
£ 2,500, Royal Geographical Society (and others) (1990) Marine curio trade in Tanzania Thompson, R.C. (PI), Newton, L.C. and Parkes, E.V.H.
Creative practice & artistic projects
Dominant Wave Theory, A. Hughes (2006) Booth-Clibborn Editions
This book, gives an extensive factual and thought provoking photographic record of debris in the marine environment. I contributed a scientific forward on the environmental consequences of this debris (P112-115).
Littoral Exhibition, University of Plymouth, UK, 31st October – 25th November, 2005
I was one of four scientific contributors to this exhibition which represents the first in what is hoped to be a series of collaborations between the School of media and Photography and the School of Biological Sciences.
Weird Worlds Exhibition, Plymouth City Museum, UK, 4 March – 26th April, 2003
I organised the ‘Marine Worlds’ section of this event which was run jointly by the University of Plymouth and City of Plymouth Museums and Art Galleries. I co-ordinated exhibits and seminars from more than 20 contributors throughout SW England. The exhibition catered for all ages and attracted over 6000 visitors.
Plymouth City Museum, Plymouth, UK
Contributor of underwater photographs
National Museum of Photography, Bradford, UK
My research focuses on three main topics: 1) the effects of plastic debris in the marine environment, 2) modification of coastal engineering, structures such as coastal defenses and off-shore renewable energy devices, to enhance biodiversity and 3) the ecology and conservation of shallow water habitats.
Over 100 publications, including two in Science (impact factor 31.0), one in Nature (Impact factor 38.6), two in Global Change Biology (impact factor 6.9), four in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. (impact factor 6.2), three in Ecology (5.2), three in Environmental Science and Technology (impact factor 5.3), two in Biological Conservation (impact factor 4.2), two papers in Biology Letters (impact factor 3.3) together with numerous book chapters and invited lead editorship of a 197 page special volume of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. H index 27.
Effects of plastic debris in the marine environment
Bakir, A., Rowland, S.J., & Thompson, R.C. (2014) Enhanced desorption of persistent organic pollutants from microplastics under simulated physiological conditions. Environmental Pollution, 185, 16-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2013.10.007
Browne M.A., Niven S.J., Galloway T.S., Rowland, S.J. & Thompson, R.C. (2014) Microplastic Moves Pollutants and Additives to Worms, Reducing Functions Linked to Health and Biodiversity. Current Biology, 23, 2388-2392. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.10.012
Wright, S.L. Rowe, D. Thompson, R.C. & Galloway T.S. (2014) Microplastic ingestion decreases energy reserves in marine worms. Current Biology 23, R1031-R1033, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.10.068
Wyles, k.J., Pahl, S. & Thompson, R.C. (2014) Perceived risks and benefits of recreational visits to the marine environment: Integrating impacts on the environment and impacts on the visitor. Ocean & Coastal Management 88, 53-63. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2013.10.005
Koelmans, A.A., Gouin, T., Thompson, R., Wallace, N & Arthur, C. (2014), Plastics in the marine environment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 33: 5–10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.2426
Rochman, C.M. Browne, M.A., Halpern, B.S.,Hentschel, B.T., Hoh, E., Karapangioti, K., Rios, L.M., Takada, H.,Teh, S. & Thompson, R.C. (2013) Classify Plastics as hazardous. Nature 494, 170-171. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1038/494169a
Lusher, A. L., McHugh, M. & Thompson, R. C. (2013) Occurrence of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract of pelagic and demersal fish from the English Channel. Marine Pollution Bulletin 67, 94-99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.11.028
Wright, S. Thompson, R.C., & Galloway, T.S. (2013) The physical impacts of microplastics in marine organisms: a review. Environmental Pollution 178, 483-492. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2013.02.031
Bakir, A., Rowland, S. J. & Thompson, R. C. (2012) Competitive sorption of persistent organic pollutants onto microplastics in the marine environment. Marine Pollution Bulletin 64: 2782-2789. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.09.010
Hidalgo-Ruz, V., Gutow, L., Thompson, R. C. & Thiel, M. (2012) Microplastics in the Marine Environment: A Review of the Methods Used for Identification and Quantification. Environmental Science & Technology 46, 3060-3075. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es2031505
Holmes, L. A., Turner, A. & Thompson, R. C. (2012) Adsorption of trace metals to plastic resin pellets in the marine environment. Environmental Pollution 160, 42-48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2011.08.052
Browne, M. A., Crump, P., Niven, S. J., Teuten, E., Tonkin, A., Galloway, T. & Thompson, R. (2011) Accumulation of Microplastic on Shorelines Woldwide: Sources and Sinks. Environmental Science & Technology 45, 9175-9179. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es201811s
Browne, M. A.; Galloway, T. S., & Thompson, R. C., (2010) Spatial Patterns of Plastic Debris along Estuarine Shorelines. Environmental Science & Technology, 44, 3404-3409. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es903784e
Thompson, R.C., Moore, C.M., vom Saal, F.S. & Swan, S.H. (2009) Our plastic age. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society B., 364, 1973-1976. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2009.0054
Thompson, R.C., Moore, C.M., vom Saal, F.S. & Swan, S.H. (2009) Plastics, the environment and human health: current consensus and future trends. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B., 364, 2153-2166. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1098/rstb.2009.0053
Barnes, D.K.A., Galgani, F., Thompson, R.C. & Barlaz, M. (2009) Accumulation and fragmentation of plastic debris in global environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B., 364, 1985-1998. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2008.0205
Teuten, E.L., Saquing, J.M., Knappe, D.R.U., Barlaz, M.A., Jonsson, S., Björn, A., Rowland, S.J., Thompson, R.C., Galloway, T.S., Yamashita, R., Ochi, D., Watanuki, Y., Moore, C.M., Viet, P., Tana, T.S., Prudente, M., Boonyatumanond, R., Zakaria, M.P., Akkhavong, K., Ogata, Y., Hirai, H., Iwasa, S., Mizukawa, K., Hagino, Y., Imamura, A., Saha, M. & Takada, H. (2009) Transport and release of chemicals from plastics to the environment and to wildlife. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B., 364, 2027-2045. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2008.0284
Ogata, Y., Takada, H., Master, M.K., Hirai, H., Iwasa, S., Endo, S., Mato, Y., Mahua, S.M., Okuda, K., Nakashima, A., Murakami, M., Zurcher, N., Booyatumanondo, R., Zakaria, M.P., Le Q Dung, D., Gordon, M., Miguez, C., Suzuki, S., Moore, C.M., Karapanagioti, H., Weerts, S., McClurg, T., Burres, E., Smith, W., Velkenburg, M.V., Lang, J.S., Lang, R., Laursen, D., Danner, B., Stewardson, N. & Thompson, R.C. (2009) International Pellet Watch : Global monitoring of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in coastal waters. 1. Initial phase data on PCBs, DDTs, and HCHs. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 58, 1437-1446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.06.014
Browne, M.A., Dissanayake, A., Galloway, T.S., Lowe, D.M. & Thompson R.C. (2008). Ingested microscopic plastic translocates to the circulatory system of the mussel, Mytilus edulis (L.) Environmental Science and Technology, 42, 5026-5031 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es800249a
Thompson, R.C., Olsen, Y., Mitchell, R.P., Davis, A., Rowland, S.J., John, A.W.G., McGonigle, D. & Russell A.E. (2004). Lost at sea: Where does all the plastic go? Science, 304, 838. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1094559
Zanuttigh, B., Losada, I.J. & Thompson, R.C. (2010). Ecologically based approach to coastal defence design and planning, in: McKee Smith, J. et al. (Ed.) (2010). Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference Coastal Engineering 2010. Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 32: pp. 1-15
Coombes, M.A. Naylor, L.A. Roast, S.D. & Thompson, R.C. (2009) Coastal Defences and Biodiversity: the influence of material choice and small-scale surface texture on biological outcomes, Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers Conference: Marine structures and breakwaters, adapting to change, Edinburgh September, 2009, 12 pages.
Mangion, M., Borg, J.A., Thompson, R. & Schembri, P.J. (2014) Influence of tuna penning activities on soft bottom macrobenthic assemblages. Marine Pollution Bulletin. In press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.12.021
Hanley, M.E., Hoggart, S.P.G., Simmonds, D.J., Bichot, A., Colangelo, M.A., Bozzeda, F., Heurtefeux, H., Ondiviela, B., Ostrowski, R., Recio, M., Trude, R., Zawadzka-Kahlau, E. & Thompson, R.C. (2014) Shifting sands? Coastal protection by sand banks, beaches and dunes. Coastal Engineering In Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2013.10.020
Taramelli, A., Valentini, E., Cornacchia, L., Mandrone, S., Monbaliu, J., Hoggart, S.P.G., Thompson, R.C. & Zanuttigh, B. (2014) Modeling uncertainty in estuarine system by means of combined approach of optical and radar remote sensing. . Coastal Engineering In Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2013.11.001
Bouma, T.J., van Belzen, J., Balke, T., Zhu, Z., Airoldi, L., Blight, A.J., Davies, A.J., Galvan, C., Hawkins, S., Hoggart, S.P.G., Lara, J.L., Losada, I.J., Maza, M., Ondiviela, B., Skov, M.W., Strain, E.M. & Thompson, R.C. Yang, S. Zanuttigh, B. Zhang, L. Herman, P.M.J. (2014) Identifying knowledge gaps hampering application of intertidal habitats in coastal protection: Opportunities & steps to take. Coastal Engineering In Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2013.11.014
Hanley, M.E., Yip, P.Y.S., Hoggart, S., Bilton, D.T., Rundle, S.D. & Thompson, R.C. (2013) Riding the storm: the response of Plantago lanceolata to simulated tidal flooding. Journal of Coastal Conservation 17(4): 799-803. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-013-0278-8
Wyles, K., Pahl, S., White, M., Morris, S., Cracknell, D., a Thompson, R. C. (2013). Towards a Marine Mindset: Visiting an aquarium can improve attitudes and intentions regarding marine sustainability. Visitor Studies 16, 95-110. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10645578.2013.768077
Hawkins, S.J., Firth L.B., McHugh, M., Poloczanska, E.S., Herbert, R.J.S., Burrows, M.T., Kendall, M.A., Moore, P.J., Thompson, R.C., Jenkins, S.R., Sims, D.W., Genner, M.J. & Mieszkowska, N. (2013) Data rescue and re-use: Recycling old information to address new policy concerns, Marine Policy 42, 91-98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2013.02.001
Wearmouth, V. J., Southall, E. J., Morritt, D., Thompson, R. C., Cuthill, I. C., Partridge, J. C. & Sims, D. W. (2012) Year-round sexual harassment as a behavioral mediator of vertebrate population dynamics. Ecological Monographs 82, 351-366. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/11-2052.1
Sheehan, E. V., Attrill, M. J., Thompson, R. C. & Coleman, R. A. (2012) Changes in shorebird behaviour and distribution associated with an intertidal crab fishery. Aquatic Conservation-Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 22, 683-694. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2261
Martins, G. M., Jenkins, S. R., Hawkins, S. J., Neto, A. I., Medeiros, A. R. & Thompson, R. C. (2011) Illegal harvesting affects the success of fishing closure areas. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 91, 929-937. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315410001189
Martins, G.M., Thompson, R.C., Neto, A.I., Hawkins, S.J. & Jenkins, S.R. (2010) Exploitation of intertidal grazers as a driver of community divergence Journal of Applied Ecology, 47, 1282–1289. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01876.x
Moore, P.J., Thompson, R.C. & Hawkins, S.J. (2010) Phenological changes in intertidal con-specific gastropods in response to climate warming Global Change Biology 17, 709-719 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02270.x
Silva, A. C. F. Hawkins, S. J., Boaventura, D. M., Brewster, E. & Thompson, R. C. (2010). The use of the intertidal zone by mobile predators: the influence of wave exposure, tidal phase and elevation on abundance and diet. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 406, 197–210. http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps08543
Griffin, J.N., Noël, L. M-L. J., Crowe, T.P., Burrows, M.T, Hawkins, S.J., Thompson, R.C. & Jenkins, S.R. (2010) Consumer effects on ecosystem functioning in rock pools: roles of species richness and composition Marine Ecology Progress Series 420, 45-56. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.3354/meps08844
Noël, L. M-L. J, Griffin, J.N., Thompson, R.C., Hawkins, S.J., Burrows, M.T., Crowe, T.P. & Jenkins, S.R. (2010) Assessment of a field incubation method estimating primary productivity in rockpool communities Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 88,153-159. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2010.03.005
Skov, M.W., Volkelt-Igoe, M, Hawkins, S. J., Jesus, B., Thompson, R. C. & Doncaster, C. P. (2010) Past and present grazing boosts the photo-autotrophic biomass of microbial lawns. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 401, 1014 -111. http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps08481
Sheehan, E. V., Coleman R. A., Thompson R. C., & Attrill M. J. (2010) Crab-tiling reduces the diversity of estuarine Infauna. Marine Ecology Progress Series 411, 137–148, 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps08668
Sheehan, E. V., Coleman, R. A., Attrill, M. J. & Thompson, R. C. (2010) A quantitative assessment of the response of mobile estuarine fauna to crab-tiles during tidal immersion using remote underwater video cameras. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 387, 68–74. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2010.02.008
Silva, A.C., Silva, I.C., Hawkins, S.J., Boaventura, D.M. & Thompson R.C. (2010) Cheliped morphological variation of the intertidal crab Eriphia verrucosa across shores of differing exposure to wave action. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 391, 84–91 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2010.06.012
Silva, A. C., Hawkins, S. J., Clarke, K. R., Boaventura, D. M., & Thompson, R.C. (2010) Preferential feeding by the crab Necora puber on differing sizes of the intertidal limpet Patella vulgate. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 416, 179-188. http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps08777
Gomes-Filho, J.G.F Hawkins, S.J., Aquino-Souza R. & Thompson, R.C. (2010) Distribution of barnacles and dominance of the introduced species Elminius modestus along two estuaries in South-West England. Marine Biodiversity Records 3, e58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755267210000461
Hawkins, S.J., Sugden, H.E., Mieszkowska, N., Moore, P.J., Poloczanska, E., Leaper, R., Herbert, R., Genner, M.J., Moschella, P.S., Thompson, R.C., Jenkins, S.R., Southward, A.J. & Burrows, M.T. (2009) Consequences of climate-driven biodiversity changes for ecosystem functioning of north European rocky shores. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 396, 245–259 http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps08378
Griffin, J.N., Jenkins, S.R., Gamfeldt, L., Jones, D., Hawkins, S.J. & Thompson, R.C. (2009) Spatial heterogeneity increases the importance of species richness for an ecosystem process. Oikos 118, 1335-1342. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2009.17572.x
Silva, A.C.F., Brazão, S., Hawkins, S.J., Thompson, R.C. & Boaventura, D.M. (2009) Abundance, population structure and claw morphology of the semi-terrestrial crab Pachygrapsus marmoratus (Fabricius, 1787) on shores of differing wave exposure. Marine Biology, 156, 2591-2599. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1007/s00227-009-1283-1
Firth, L.B., Crowe, T.P., Moore, P., Thompson, R.C. & Hawkins, S.J. (2009) Predicting impacts of climate-induced range expansion: an experimental framework and a test involving key grazers on temperate rocky shores. Global Change Biology, 15,1413-1422. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.01863.x
Noel, L., Hawkins, S.J., Jenkins, S.R. & Thompson, R.C. (2009) Grazing dynamics in intertidal rockpools: Connectivity of microhabitats. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 370, 9-17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2008.11.005
Masterson, P., Arenas, F.A., Thompson, R.C. & Jenkins, S.R. (2008) Interaction of top down and bottom up factors in intertidal rockpools: Effects on early successional macroalgal community composition, abundance and productivity. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 363, 12-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2008.06.001
Sheehan, E.V., Thompson, R.C., Coleman, R.A. & Attrill, M.J. (2008) Positive feedback fishery: Population consequences of 'crab-tiling' on the green crab Carcinus maenas. Journal of Sea Research, 60, 255-261. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.seares.2008.09.002
Silva, A.C.F., Hawkins, S.J., Boaventura, D.M. & Thompson, R.C. (2008) Predation by small mobile aquatic predators regulates populations of the intertidal limpet Patella vulgata (L.). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 367, 259-265 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2008.10.010
Veale, L.O., Bates, M. and R.C., Thompson (1997). Using volunteer divers to map sublittoral habitats around the Isle of Man. Proceedings of the Fourth Underwater Science Symposium, pp. 25-26.
Thompson, R.C. (2008). Science and Ethics: plastic debris in the sea. Primary Science 104: 18-21.
Thompson R.C. (2008). Plastic: 21st century plague. Marine Conservation, 7(11): 22-27.
Reports & invited lectures
Plastic debris in the ocean - a global environmental problem. Thompson RC Royal Society of Chemistry Distinguished Guest Lecture, London March 2014
Healthy Oceans – Productive Ecosystems: A European conference for the marine environment (HOPE) European Parliament, Invited Keynote speaker Thompson RC, Brussels, March 2014
LET'S BAG IT - conference on plastic bags, European Parliament, Invited Keynote speaker Thompson RC, Brussels, February 2014
Invited as plenary speaker to open Marine Litter meeting for EU policy in Berlin, April 2012.
Plastics and oceans, a threat to the marine environment, Thompson RC. Invited plenary speaker, ALDE Seminar, European Parliament, Brussels, June 2010.
Accumulation and environmental consequences of plastic debris in marine habitats, Stralsund, Germany, May 2006. Marine Nature Conservation in Europe 2006 Invited Seminar funded by Bundesamt fur Naturschutz. Thompson RC, Rowland SJ, Galloway TS, Browne MA, Niven S and Teuten E.
Los Martes de L’Oceanographic: The fate and impacts of plastic waste in the sea, Valencia, Spain, March 2006, Invited Lecture funded the British Council programme for Science and Society. Thompson RC, Rowland SJ, Galloway TS, Browne MA, Niven S and Teuten E.
Microscopic plastic particles in the marine environment. Kommunes Internatsjonale miloorganisasjon (Local Authorities International Organisation) 15th International Conference, Lerwick, Shetland, UK, October 2005. Thompson RC, Rowland SJ, Galloway TS, Browne MA and Niven S.
The accumulation and environmental consequence of microscopic plastic debris. Plastic debris, rivers to sea conference. California, USA, September 2005. Thompson RC, Rowland SJ, Galloway TS, Browne MA and Niven S.
Lost at Sea: Studies on the Fate and Effects of Particles of Plastics. Royal Society of Chemistry International Symposium on Sustainable Plastics: Biodegradability versus Recycling. Manchester, March 2005. Thompson RC, Galloway T, Niven SJ, Browne M, & Rowland SJ.
Rocky intertidal communities: past environmental changes, present status and predictions (forecasts?) for the next 25 years. 5th International Conference on Environmental Futures, March 2003. Zurich, Switzerland. Thompson, RC, Crowe T.P. and Hawkins SJ.
9th International Temperate Reefs Symposium, Plymouth University, 26th July – 1st August 2011.
Other academic activities
Reviews of my research and publications