Research impact

Our research impact includes:

Climate change

Understanding changes in fisheries due to warming

Research showing that some species of fish are increasing in the North East Atlantic Ocean due to warmer water is informing decision makers in industry and government. Read more »

Large-scale study reveals new insights into coral and symbiotic algae partnership

A large-scale study of Caribbean coral has yielded discoveries on the pairing process between an endangered coral and the microscopic symbiotic algae they rely on for survival. Read more »

Developing school resources on ocean acidification

Research on ocean acidification has led to a successful educational programme which has reached more than 500 secondary schools and connected scientists with classrooms. Read more »


Research on fish bioacoustics leads to new tech

Research on reef fish bioacoustics has led to a new device which helps attract post-larval fish to certain marine areas to aid in restoring fish populations. Read more »

Marine connectivity in temperate waters

Dr Jamie Stevens describes his work assessing marine connectivity in temperate waters using pink sea fans.

Sea of the Hebrides important to basking sharks

A pioneering project to learn the secrets of Scotland’s basking sharks by using satellite tag technology has shown an area off the west coast is truly important for these giant fish. Read more »

Turtles dying in Middle East and North African waters

Thousands of loggerhead turtles are killed annually in areas of Syria, Libya and Egypt and Tunisia where they travel to find food. Read more »

Sea turtle populations boosted by conservation research

Research, which has included extensive tracking of sea turtles around the world, has informed policy and led to legislative changes that provide greater protection for these animals. Read more »

Illegal marine turtle trade continues

An illegal trade in marine turtles is continuing despite legislation and conservation awareness campaigns, a pioneering study has shown. Read more »


There are more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans. An estimated 10 per cent of the plastics we produce end up in the sea. Researchers from the University of Exeter are leading the way in investigating the effect this has on marine life and calling for plastic microbeads to be removed from cosmetics.

Ban on microbeads in cosmetics

The University of Exeter's Professor Tamara Galloway welcomed a ban on the use of microbeads in cosmetics following evidence she gave to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee. Read more »


How microplastics are entering the food chain

Microplastics could affect the feeding habits of the copepod - a tiny animal with a highly important role within marine food webs. Research has shown these animals are ingesting the microscopic pieces of plastics and they are being transferred up the food chain. Read more »

Producing educational resources

A full set of GCSE science educational resources on marine microplastics have been produced by researchers from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory working with Digital Explorer and Snowline Productions. Read more »

Man-made noise

An increase in noise-generating human activities, such as urbanisation, transportation, and the exploitation of resources, have changed the acoustic landscape of aquatic ecosystems.

Minimising the impact of man-made noise on marine life

Anthropogenic (man-made) noise is now recognised as a major component of marine environmental change. Our research is looking at how we minimise the impact of man-made noise on marine life. Read more »

Motorboat noise gives predators a deadly advantage

Noise from passing motorboats increases stress levels in young coral reef fish and reduces their ability to flee from predators. Read more »

Working with industry to solve marine noise challenges

Working with businesses to shape marine-noise research questions for the benefit both academia and industry. Read more »

Whale social behaviour

Work on social behaviour and life history evolution in killer whales has given new insight into the evolution of menopause.

killer whale study sheds light on evolution of menopause

Research has provided an insight into why women continue to live long after the menopause by showing that female killer whales survive after menopause because they help their family members find food during hard times. Read more »

Drones helping killer whale conservation

Drones will be used to discover more about the social lives of killer whales and help conserve these amazing mammals, which are at risk of extinction. Read more »

Menopause insights from killer whales

Professor Darren Croft has spoken to the Centre for Whale Research about the evolution of Orca menopause.