In 2018, The Marine Biological Association and The Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey (CPR Survey) – both internationally renowned for the quality of their science joined forces.
The Marine Biological Association incorporated the CPR Survey. Both organisations demonstrate global impact: the MBA was established in 1884 and counts seven Nobel Prize winners among those who have worked here. In 2013 the MBA was awarded a Royal Charter in recognition of its long and eminent history and its status within the field of marine biology. The CPR Survey is an international non-profit organisation operating global surveys that measure the ecological health of the ocean using marine plankton. Its international hub is based at the Citadel Hill Laboratory on the Hoe.
The resulting synergies and greater influence bring benefits for UK environmental science:
• new and exciting possibilities for scientific discovery
• increased capacity to provide evidence in support of policy
• training the next generation of scientists and communicators
• greater resilience in a changing world
As a result of the merger the MBA is now 30% larger and has pooled impressive expertise and experience: the world’s longest and most spatially extensive biological datasets; fisheries science expertise ranging from the role of plankton in fisheries recruitment to fish behaviour; and developing new ‘environmental DNA’ fingerprinting tools that will enable forensic assessments of marine life from nothing more than a cup of seawater.
The new Director of the MBA, Professor Willie Wilson, said “Together we represent a truly international constituency of marine scientists and a centre of independent, outward-looking research. This new chapter in our eminent history is about reigniting our founders’ spirits of discovery to ensure the new MBA is seen as one of the most widely recognised and respected marine biology organisations in the world.”