Since its foundation in 1884, the MBA at Plymouth in the UK has had a rich history and has seen many highly significant scientific discoveries at its Citadel Hill laboratory. Today, MBA scientists deliver an internationally-renowned programme of scientific research. The MBA promotes scientific research into all aspects of life in the sea and disseminates to the public the knowledge gained. The research programme is structured around the broad themes "Ecosystems and environmental change" and "Mechanisms underlying biogeochemical and ecological processes". Within these themes, the MBA research groups carry out research on marine biogeochemical cycles, biodiversity and ecosystem function, science for sustainable marine resources, as well as running a programme of integrating sustained observations in the marine environment. The MBA also runs a strong and dedicated teaching and training programme for both researchers and the public.

MBA provides TA services for ASSEMBLE Plus and is also one of the British partners


  • Contaminated estuary
  • Pristine estuary
  • Intertidal habitats
  • Long-term time series station
  • Subtidal habitats


Ecosystem access

  • Coastal research vessels (On-site service)
    • South-West UK.
    • Category 2 Coded workboat and versatile research platform for exploring river, estuarine and coastal environments, up to 60 miles off shore
    • Fully crewed and equipped with full-time seagoing technician support
    • Associated land transport 
  • Sampling equipment (On-site service)
    • A wide range of marine instrumentation and sampling  gear can be deployed from the vessel.


Biological resources

  • Culture collections  (On-site and remote service)
    • South West UK
    • 400 species/strains of eukaryotic microalgae
    • Light- and temperature-controlled growth rooms and cabinets
    • Cryopreservation system for marine phytoplankton and prokaryotes


Experimental facilities

  • Aquaria and tanks (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • Circulating Seawater Systems and Aquaria. Natural seawater is pumped direct from sea and filtered for Aquarium facilities for housing and husbandary of a wide range of marine species -invertebrates, vertebrate fish and seaweeds.
    • Full range of tank sizes available housed in seawater hall and tank rooms. Environmental control and closed systems also available.
    • Full technical support available
  • Wet labs (On-site service)​​​​​​​
  • Dry labs (On-site service)​​​​​​​


Technology platforms

  • Molecular biology and omics  (On-site and remote service)
    • Facilities for protein and nucleic acid preparation and analysis:
      • High throughput quantitative PCR, associated separation and biochemical facilities, genetic manipulation.
      • Full technical support
  • Imaging  (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • ​​​​​​​A Zeiss Confocal/2-photon microscope
    • A Nikon TIRF microscope
    • Leica live cell floureescence imaging microscope
    • FlourCam imaging PAM flourmeter
    • Brightfield and flouresecence micrsoscopes
    • Mesolens facility
    • Electrophysiology capability


Supporting faciltites

  • Library services (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • Access to the National Marine Biological Library, providing access to current scientific literature and a unique and substantial collection of reports, archives and grey literature relevant to marine sciences



Citadel Hill
United Kingdom

Liaison officer: Paul Lonsdale ( ), cc to: 

Website developed and maintained by Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) | Privacy Policy