A survey by the Marine Conservation Society found that between October 2022 and September 2023, jellyfish sightings increased by 32% compared with the previous year.
Most were on the UK's west coasts, particularly in Cornwall and Wales, and 11% were of large blooms of more than 100 individuals.
And while many of the sightings were of species frequently observed along our coastlines, many were of new visitors thought to have been attracted here as a result of rising ocean temperatures.
In an interview published on the BBC News website, Dr McQuatters-Gollop said she went diving every day in August and had never seen so many jellyfish. This included crystal jellyfish which she had never before seen in the UK.
She told the BBC:
“The jellyfish this summer just did great, including the native ones. It could be an indication that as climate change is happening, we are seeing tropicalisation of the oceans. But we don't know if the high numbers this summer are a longer-term natural trend or linked to the marine heatwaves. There is a lack of research – we have to do more studies.”
Following the interview Dr McQuatters-Gollop, one of the world’s leading experts on plankton, was interviewed by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and a number of other of regional BBC stations.
She has also spoken to LBC Radio, and was interviewed by ITV News for its national bulletins.