The Marine Biological Association

Promoting marine scientific excellence and representing the marine biological community since 1884

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Contract Services

The MBA provides a range of professional science-based contract research and knowledge exchange services. The MBA has provided scientific advice since its inception in 1884. It continues to provide evidence and advice on the long-term ecological impacts of anthropogenic activities in the marine environment. The MBA can draw on the expertise of its research fellows and specialists in knowledge exchange and outreach to deliver its services.

To discuss the services we can provide for your organisation please contact:

Services are provided by the following specialist teams and research groups

Marine Evidence (for Conservation Management and Policy)

The Marine Evidence group includes specialists that provide advice to UK/EU government agencies, industry, NGOs, and other stakeholders on marine biodiversity and conservation science, management and policy development.

We currently provide advice, contract research and services in the following areas.

  • Ecosystem impacts of marine activities on species and habitats
  • Sensitivity assessment
  • Biodiversity assessment
  • Marine Protected Areas science (design, implementation and monitoring)
  • Ecosystem services and benefits
  • Geospatial analysis and mapping of biodiversity data
  • Marine intertidal and subtidal survey and survey design
  • Seagrass mapping and management
  • Non-native species – inc. Rapid Assessment Surveys
  • Long-term data series (collation, analyses, monitoring)

Contact – Dr Harvey Tyler-Walters (htw@mba.a.cuk; +44 (0)1752 63 33 55)

The Data Management Team

The activities of the MBA Data Team provide a holistic approach to data archiving and management. Through close liaison with the scientific community and other providers of marine biological data, the data team is able to offer data management solutions for the effective archiving, manipulation and dissemination of biological data relating to species and habitats, both to MBA research staff and external clients and partner organizations.

  • Metadata creation, management and quality assurance
  • Guidance on standards and protocols for data and metadata exchange
  • Data archiving service
  • Web applications for the management and dissemination of biodiversity data
  • Data collation and aggregation services
  • Advice on INSPIRE Directive compliance

Contact – Dan Lear (; +44 (0)1752 633 291)

The Education and Outreach Team

The MBA works locally, nationally and internationally on a diverse and innovative programme of education, communication and public engagement. The team includes experts in formal and non-formal education and community projects. We work with a large number of partners at all levels. The outreach work includes engaging with the volunteer recording community leading projects monitoring climate change and the spread of non natives.

We currently provide advice and services in the following areas:

  • Network of marine life recorders, and recording initiatives
  • Marine life recording, and providing online recording services for partners
  • Data archiving for recording groups
  • School and public engagement on diverse topics from alien species to colonisation of sub-sea structures
  • Ocean literacy
  • Courses, conferences and training
  • Resource Centre at Citadel Hill, Plymouth

Contact – Jon Parr (; +44 (0)1752 633 338)


The Marine Life and Environmental Sciences Resource Centre

The Resource Centre is designed for a variety of educational and training purposes in support of the local, national and international community, including charities, small and medium-sized businesses, schools and colleges, universities and learned societies.

The Centre provides a spacious and flexible venue combining facilities for workshops, conferences and lectures with laboratory benching and equipment for practical work and field courses.

Contact – Fiona Crouch (; +44 (0)1752 633 336)