£400,000 grant for Marine Biological Association

The Marine Biological Association (MBA) in Plymouth has been awarded £400,000, which will improve its research facilities, reinforcing its position as leader in marine science.

The £400,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation award will allow the MBA to complete state-of-the-art facilities on the first floor of the 1920s North Building at the MBA's headquarters at Citadel Hill in Plymouth. Image: Burwell Architects

Dedicated to promoting research into our oceans and the life it supports, the Marine Biological Association provides unparalleled insight into the health of our seas that continues to shape national and international policy on how to combat climate change.

The funding will enable safe new labs to be built for the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey team with essential safety equipment, allow crucial research to continue and ultimately increase the MBA’s capacity for research and academic output.

David Johns, head of the CPR Survey says with the new funding 'we can build on our existing record-breaking plankton work, improving facilities and collaborative spaces, and create a dedicated taxonomy workspace.' 

The CPR Survey, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year, is operated by the MBA and the longest running and most geographically extensive marine survey in the world. It has helped shape scientific understanding about the health of the oceans, and how marine life is changing as sea temperature and levels rise in response to climate change.

did you know that plankton produce as much as 50 per cent of the world's oxygen?

Philippa Charles, director of Garfield Weston, says the foundation is delighted to be involved with the MBA. 'Understanding the health of the ocean could not be more crucial at this time.' She says the MBA undertakes impactful marine biology research that is cutting-edge and globally relevant.

This funding complements grant from the Wolfson Foundation, Natural Environment Research Council and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in support of a new Marine Microbiome Centre of Excellence.