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Research themes

The Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre (MBERC) conducts research across a wide range of subject areas within the realms of marine biology, conservation, ecophysiology and ecology; these include studies across terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. There are currently six broad research themes, although many of the research projects span several of these themes at once.
Learn more about the research being carried out within these themes by following the links to the individual research theme pages.


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Current research includes:
  • Aggression and personality
  • Learning and communication
  • Evolution of mating systems
  • Predator-prey interactions
  • The effects of anthropogenic pollutants and climate change on animal behaviour
Find out more about research in this theme

and Conservation

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Current research includes:
  • Animal-plant interactions
  • Coastal defences 
  • Dispersal ecology and biogeography
  • Macroecology
  • Cimate change (ecology)
  • Population ecology

and Development

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Current research includes:
  • Functional developmental physiology
  • Macrophysiology and thermal tolerance
  • Ecophysiological responses to environmental and climate change
Find out more about research in this theme


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Current research includes:
  • Eustress and distress in marine mammals
  • The use of oceanic fronts by marine vertebrates 
  • Co-operative interactions between marine mammals and man
Somatochlora arctica  by Wilco Verberk


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Current research includes:
  • Impacts of plastics in the marine environment
  • Environmental toxicology and stress physiology
Find out more about research in this theme
St Ives harbour with fishing boats

Resource Management

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Current research includes:
  • Deep sea (ecology, conservation and management)
  • Fisheries impacts
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Marine renewable energy