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Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Country: United Kingdom
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196 Projects, page 1 of 40
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/F014406/1
    Funder Contribution: 81,211 GBP
    Partners: PML

    Marine bacteria are abundant and live in a range of unusual environments. Evolution has resulted in adaptation to the different environments in which these microbes are found. This adaptation means that they can often make unusual chemicals using enzymes not found on land. Some of these enzymes could replace harmful chemical processes used by industry to make products This is a proposal to discover new and useful enzymes from marine microbes for the development of environmentally-friendly industrial processes.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/L012995/1
    Funder Contribution: 123,034 GBP
    Partners: PML

    Web, database, storage and processing servers to: * Provide data services for massive EO datasets to a range of scientist users - Data access, subsetting, querying and selection.. * Demonstrate and explore advanced online analytics and visualisation - OGC services, processing (WPS), advanced filtering (WCPS) * Establish a services exemplar and make it easier for others to create similar systems

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: pml010002
    Funder Contribution: 1,403,000 GBP
    Partners: PML

    The cycling of elements within the surface oceans and coastal seas has important effects upon marine productivity, atmospheric chemistry and for life on land. These areas are also thought to play a major role in climate regulation via the uptake and release of climatically active gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2). However, the roles of these chemical and biological processes, as well as the processes performed by the microbial community, are not well quantified or understood and therefore, the way in which they will respond to global change is a major question for science and society. All of the processes that occur in the ocean will be directly or indirectly affected by ocean acidification; the lowering of seawater pH due to human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels. Uncertainties remain about how any future changes in pH will impact upon element cycling and how this will affect the goods and services provided by the ocean. Increasing fundamental understanding of the ocean, and the invisible processes taking place within, creates a more informed and evidence based foundation for analysing, predicting and responding to the effects of ocean acidification, climate change and developing sustainable marine management strategies. PML has a long and internationally recognised track record in biogeochemical cycling research, which requires an interdisciplinary approach to study the interface of biology, chemistry and physics. Key research areas: a) air-sea gas exchange; b) oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOCs); c) dimethyl sulphide (DMS); d) nitrogen cycling; e) ocean acidification; f) primary production; g) microbes and viruses.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/T003820/1
    Funder Contribution: 151,809 GBP
    Partners: PML

    The ONWARD Network (Open Network for Water-Related Diseases) is dedicated to forecasting, early warning and risk mapping for water-associated diseases through use of remote sensing, field observations and mathematical modelling. Our vision is to enable cost-effective, regularly updated, geo-referenced early warning for areas vulnerable to water-associated diseases, which in turn will enable preventive measures to be deployed in a timely manner to minimise the probability of epidemics. Our long-term vision is to establish a system that will be applicable broadly, in a variety of localities and for a variety of diseases. By "water-associated" disease, we mean a rather broad class, including diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera; skin diseases associated with water-borne bacteria or metazoan parasites; vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever; and others such as hepatitis. Any or all of them will be relevant to the activities of the network. The "water" involved may be fresh, or brackish or coastal seawater. The network will respond primarily the GCRF Challenge of Global Health (infectious diseases), and secondarily to that of Resilience to Environmental Shocks and Change (since outbreaks of water-associated diseases are affected by extreme weather events, expected to become more frequent as a result of climate change). The network will also address UN Sustainable Development Goal 3, Target 3d, to "Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks." According to the World Health Organisation, some two billion people use faecally-contaminated drinking water, putting them at risk of death or chronic poor health from water-borne infectious diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Provision of safe drinking water is hostage to the influence of extreme weather and flooding. Apart from the fatalities, the effect of a chronic burden of lower-level infection by water-associated diseases is antagonistic to the maintenance of a healthy work force and to the well-being of society in general, to the detriment of sustainable development. For example, cholera kills an estimated 95,000 people every year, but it also makes another 2.9 million seriously ill with a debilitating disease. Hence the need to address, in addition, the resilience of communities to perturbations of the safe drinking water supply under extreme weather events associated with a changing climate. Before now, our ability to develop early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks due to water-associated diseases has been limited by mutual isolation of the scientific communities whose collective effort is required to make progress. Forecasting outbreaks of water-associated diseases and their geo-referenced risk mapping is a complex matter for which the collaboration of experts from several disciplines (ranging from environmental biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, social sciences and epidemiology to remote sensing and modelling) is needed if we are to make real advances. Hitherto, the required experts have rarely encountered each other in a scientific setting. A multidisciplinary network is essential to foster exchange of ideas between them, and so build a collaborative approach to a difficult problem by uniting them behind a common target. We believe that progress in early warning, risk forecasting and risk management of water-associated diseases will be possible through the combined efforts of specialists in the stated disciplines. Establishment of a related network is the perfect way to bring this about. An international team of outstanding experts, as well as related stakeholders, has been assembled to undertake the work. The network will be an open one. As well as the research activity, there will be a component of capacity building delivered through two training courses.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/V001868/1
    Funder Contribution: 121,724 GBP
    Partners: PML

    In the UK 330 billion road miles are driven every year, generating particles of synthetic rubber as a consequence of friction between the tyre and the road surface. It has been estimated that tyre wear could account for 65% (18,000 tonnes annually) of all microplastics released to UK surface waters. However, these estimates are in stark disagreement with environmental data where polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and PET are the main types of microplastics and on a global scale only around 1% of studies report finding any tyre particles at all. This contradiction is concerning because tyres contain a range of potentially hazardous chemicals which have been shown to cause harm to marine life. Tyre particles are challenging to identify from environmental samples and this might explain the discrepancies between modelling estimates and actual field sampling. In this proposal, we will use an approach that has been recently trialled by the team and has shown that very substantial quantities of tyre particles are indeed entering the sea via storm water, waste water and from airborne dust. This project will measure tyre particle concentrations at their points of entry to the marine environment and then describe their subsequent transport in the water column. We will measure concentrations in the water, sediment and marine life at increasing distances from the places where these particles enter the sea and construct and validate mathematical models to describe the dispersal of tyre particles in inshore waters. This information will then be used establish the potential for any associated risks to marine life at environmentally relevant concentrations. The proposal brings together the Universities of Plymouth, Exeter and Newcastle, together with Plymouth Marine Laboratory and an Advisory Group comprising 14 organisations including policy makers, tyre, automobile, plastics and water industries as well as academia and environmental charities. Our research team includes world-leading experts in microplastics, marine litter, environmental chemistry, coastal dynamics and ecotoxicology who have pioneered the field with numerous collaborative projects, jointly authored papers and awards for their work. Their previous research has had significant, broad impact influencing policy and industry on a global scale to help reduce plastic contamination in the environment. There has been considerable media attention on plastic pollution in recent years and this has translated into an urgent call for action by the public, policy makers and industry. However, current understanding of the most appropriate actions is less clear and reliable information on the relative importance and associated risks from various sources of microplastic, including tyre particles, is lacking. The outcomes of this research are therefore of critical importance to guide policy and industry intervention. The number of road vehicles is set to double by 2050 leading to increased particle emissions; however, there are interventions that could reduce the rate of tyre particle generation, hence the proposed research is both urgent and timely. The outcomes of this project will be widely disseminated via a dedicated Work Package on communication and impact, facilitated by an Impact Champion and the Advisory Group that has been specifically assembled for the project.