PlyMSEF 2021 Climate Conference
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PlyMSEF is a charitable organisation promoting marine science and education across Plymouth. It organises an annual conference run by and for postgraduate students. This year's event is aligned with the UN COP26.

The conference will be held in October with presentations by masters and PhD students, posters and talks related to the COP26 objectives:

  • Achieve net zero emissions by 2050
  • Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
  • Mobilise finance to fight climate change
  • Work together to deliver.

More information about COP26

The conference will be delivered via Zoom with an evening poster session held at the Marine Biological Association, The Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB. Undergraduate students are welcome to attend as audience members.


Please register your place via the above links or email for any queries. 

Registration to the virtual session will also provide access to the 34th Annual Plymouth Marine Science Lecture (see below).

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Today's events


34th Annual Plymouth Marine Science Lecture: Tracing anthropogenic lead through the ocean using lead isotopes

Wednesday 27 October 2021 | 16:00 (online delivery)

Speaker: Professor Edward A Boyle, Professor of Ocean Geochemistry, Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Almost all of the lead in the ocean is derived from human emissions of Pb into the atmosphere, from whence it transports Pb into the surface ocean. Changing uses of Pb and the regional evolution of emissions creates a time-dependent input that is then transported throughout the ocean by advection and sinking particles. Although data on this evolving Pb distribution is limited, there is enough data to see changes in some regions, with water column data enhanced by the use of coral skeleton reconstructions. 

It is possible to recognise some distinct sources of Pb: we can distinguish North American Pb from European, Australian, and Chinese sources. Understanding of the evolving global ocean Pb distribution has improved greatly in the past decade thanks to the International GEOTRACES Program which is determining the distributions of a host of trace elements and their isotopes throughout the global ocean. 

In this lecture, Professor Boyle will present some of this data illustrating how the study of oceanic Pb can contribute to the understanding of chemical processes in the ocean.

Please note that this lecture will be delivered using Zoom and the link will be provided following registration to the conference.

About the speaker

Professor Boyle is a marine geochemist involved in the study of the oceanic dispersal of anthropogenic emissions and the evolution of the Earth’s climate. He is interested in the areas of paleoceanography, paleoclimatology, and the chemistry of environmental waters. His research includes climatological studies of past ocean circulation patterns based on the fossil chemistry of oceanic sediments, control of late Pleistocene carbon dioxide pressure by ocean circulation and chemistry, and trace element variability in polar ice cores. He is also investigating the trace element chemistry of rivers and estuaries, and the chemical composition of seawater. In particular, he studies the variability of oceanic trace metals related to atmospheric transport of anthropogenic emissions and natural mineral dust into the ocean and mineral dust, and the transport and fate of pollutant lead and biologically essential iron in the ocean.

Source and further information: MIT Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Directory


Supporting COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference 2021

The University of Plymouth is proud to be part of the COP26 Universities Network, collaborating with over 40 other universities across the UK to help deliver a successful COP26. 

The network is a growing group of more than 55 UK-based universities and research centres working together to raise ambition for tangible outcomes from the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference. Its mission is to ensure that the UK academic sector plays its role in delivering a successful COP26, in order to deliver a zero-carbon, resilient world.

Discover how the University is supporting COP26

Event photography and video

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