MBERC undertakes its research using observations and experiments in both the field and the laboratory.
Our suite of environmentally-controlled laboratories allow us to undertake behavioural, developmental and physiological studies within precisely determined conditions, including temperature ranges from -10 to +30 and a range of natural light and chemical regimes. The Embryo Phenomics laboratory has been formed from a strategic internal investment (HEIF) in hardware for the high-resolution bio-imaging of marine embryos and NERC-funded software for the automated extraction of data from video images and analysis of the phenome. The recent award of a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship (Oliver Tills) is supporting the extension of this technology into various different industrial, biomedical and environmental applications, including via transfer of these technologies into the field for remote sensing of biological stress in the natural environment. This project is a collaboration with Plymouth Science Park, which is co-owned by the University and Plymouth City Council.
Recent investment has also been made in in our analytical capabilities via the International Marine Litter Unit’s new laboratory (£160k for new Fourier transform infrared microscope and clean room). We also have a range of facilities for molecular ecological research including an automated sequencing and fragment analysis facility and the capability and equipment for the processing of field samples and access to the University's Electron Microscopy Centre.
The Marine Station provides enhanced facilities for field-based teaching and research, with ocean-view teaching rooms, a sector-leading diving facility, wet laboratory, aquaria, berths for vessels and equipment storage facilities to support boat-based activities, including Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) seabed surveys. The range of vessels now includes a 14m catamaran ‘RV Falcon Spirit’, a 13m sailing yacht ‘Take the Helm’ (useful for marine mammal and other noise surveys), an 11m catamaran ‘Wavedancer’, a 10m dive support vessel ‘JoJo’ and three 6m powerboats.