Skip to main content

Exeter Marine


At the University of Exeter we see the power of synergy generated from collaboration. We have an exceptional collaborative network around marine issues.

Contact Claire Eatock, to find out how you can collaborate with our research staff.

Our external partners include:


The University of Exeter has worked with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) on a number of environmental research projects. The organisations have formed a strategic alliance to support lecturing opportunities, student placements and pursue joint research projects.

Current areas of mutual interest include: pathogens relevant to environmental and human health, chemicals, climate change, wild fisheries and aquaculture.

CEFAS are supporting studentships as part of the GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership, a consortium formed to train tomorrow’s leading environmental scientists.

Aquaculture diseases

The University of Exeter and the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences (Cefas) are leading on a £1.97 million BBSRC-Newton Fund project to develop and apply new molecular biology techniques to reduce the impact of major diseases in aquaculture for the improvement of the livelihood of small-scale farmers in India, Bangladesh and Malawi. Find out more »

Future fish distributions constrained by depth in warming seas

Student projects are investigating the impact of climate change on fisheries and the contribution of fish to coral reef ecosystems, helping the fishing industry to adapt to a changing world. Find out more »

Water quality for shellfish aquaculture

This study is using satellites, weather forecasts and in situ monitoring, to develop water quality monitoring and forecasts for shellfish farmers to help support farm management decisions. Find out more »


The Falmouth Bay Test Site (FaBTest) site became operational in October 2011 and the Fred Olsen ‘Lifesaver’ device was the first machine deployed on site; commissioned in March 2012 and on site for 26 months. Following a successful period of prototype development in Cornwall, the device is now at the Wave Energy Test Site in Hawaii, and will be imminently deployed and grid connected for the next stage of technology demonstration.

In 2015, Polygen deployed their Volta device on site. The Cornish supply chain was heavily involved with the development of the mooring spread as well as installation and maintenance of the device on site.

Summer 2018 will see MPS Ltd deploying their WaveSub device on the FaBTest site. This novel quarter-scale device is designed to be modular for commercial upscaling and will undergo a rigorous testing programme to validate numerical models and optimize design.


Marine-i is a pioneering programme designed to help the marine technology sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through research, development and innovation.

Are you a marine business interested to develop new technology? Or a business in a different sector interested to explore the opportunity that marine technology offers?

Marine-I offers:

  • Business support
  • Research support
  • Marine Challenge Fund - £5000-£150’000 for projects with growth potential
  • Access to world class testing facilities and labs
  • Graduate staff at a subsidised cost
  • Special events to bring together thought leaders from industry, market leading organisations, technology companies and research experts.

Contact our team today. We will listen to your ideas and help you chart the best way forward, harnessing the marine services and resources you need to help turn your ideas into reality.


The Marine Business Technology Centre (MBTC)

The University of Exeter is a partner in the European Regional Development Funded project: The Marine Business Technology Centre (MBTC). Other partners include Plymouth City Council (Lead), Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Marine Biological Association and the University of Plymouth.

The main element of the MBTC Offer is an off-shore deep-sea test range: the ‘Plymouth Smart Sound’, in which businesses can test their innovations (usually TRL levels 5-9) in a real-world environment with support of the MBTC’s physical and knowledge assets. Devon-based SMEs can access the MBTCs physical and knowledge assets for free, to support marine-related Research, Development and Innovation. These assets include:

  • Use of an autonomous vessel from June 2019.
  • Platforms for testing sensors and equipment, such as the L4 Station Buoy.
  • Use of two manned vessels.
  • Access to world class testing facilities and labs.
  • Business Support through our Knowledge Transfer Officers.
  • Research-support through the project’s researchers and technicians.
  • Workshops and events for networking and upskilling participants.

You can contact the UoE MBTC Team’s Jim Grant and Kitty Adhamy-Nichol for more information.

Met Office

The University of Exeter works with the Met Office to tackle key challenges in weather and climate prediction as part of an in-depth research partnership which also includes the universities of Leeds, Oxford and Reading.

The University of Exeter’s areas of expertise for the partnership include earth system science; using maths and statistics to study weather and climate; and looking at the links between human health, weather and climate.

The partnership has developed strongly since the Met Office relocated to Exeter in 2003 and there are in the region of 80 collaborative projects underway or in the pipeline, wit a total value of £18million, including studentships and research projects.

PREDEX (PREDictability of EXtreme weather events)

This collaborative interdisciplinary project will deliver and apply new mathematical complexity methods for quantifying the predictability of extreme events in complex dynamical systems. Find out more »


Researchers on the PAGODA project have found evidence of human-induced changes in rainfall, with wet regions becoming wetter whilst dry regions are becoming drier in response to a warming planet. Find out more »

Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Our partnership with PML is addressing fundamental research questions in marine renewables, molecular biology, and environmental and human health, and much more.

Ecosystem Services And Poverty Alleviation

The project aims to improve the lives of societies susceptible to climate change impacts such as sea level rise and land degradation.

Microplastic Pollution

The University and PML have also worked on a project led by Prof Tamara Galloway looking at how microplastics pollution affects marine life. Find out more »

Global atmospheric-ocean gas exchange and climate

The oceans are a significant sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide and this is of prime importance to the global climate system. This European Space Agency funded project is using satellite sensors to improve the quantification of gas exchange and the resulting oceanic sink of carbon dioxide. Find out more »


Working with Zoological Society of London

Based at University’s Penryn campus, researchers from the ZSL’s Marine and Freshwater Conservation team are involved with a wide variety of projects across the world, including:

Project Seahorse

Project Seahorse co-founded by Heather Kodleway in 1996 to combat threats to seahorse populations around the globe. Project Seahorse is now recognised as the world’s leading authority on seahorses, conducting innovative research and working with governments, local communities and other stakeholders to protect seahorses and their habitats, and ensure they are used sustainably. Find out more »
Video link for the Sea Horse project.


Net-works an award-winning project that has developed a novel community-based supply chain for discarded fishing nets that are recycled into carpet tiles - with Interface Inc. - addressing issues of marine debris and poverty alleviation in coastal communities.
Video link for the net-work project

Project Ocean

Project Ocean retail activism in action - an innovative and ground-breaking partnership between the luxury London department store Selfridges and ZSL to bring ocean conservation to new audiences and change consumer buying habits. Find out more »

Chagos Archipelago Science Consortium

Chagos Archipelago Science Consortium- developed and co-ordinated by Heather Koldeway this consortium, which is working with the Bertarelli Foundation to deliver a ground-breaking science programme that supports ocean conservation and the management of large marine protected areas, particularly in the UK Overseas Territories.

Our Sea Our Life

Our Sea Our Life project in Mozambique, which is helping to create locally managed marine areas to both increase food security and protect biodiversity.

The Our Sea Our Life project works with six vulnerable communities to manage local fisheries. The goal is to improve the resilience of coastal ecosystems and community well-being by creating community fishers councils for the management of 500ha of marine areas, developing sustainable financing mechanisms and supporting Village Savings and Loan Associations to invest in alternative small-scale businesses and secure a diversity of income.

National Oceanography Centre

The NOC is one of the world’s top oceanographic institutions and has worked with the University of Exeter on a number of environmental research projects.


Convex Seascape Survey

The Convex Seascape Survey seeks to discover exactly how the ocean performs its vital role as the world's largest carbon sink. Over five years, the project will not only scrutinise the carbon locked in the continental shelf seabeds but will assess the role of ocean life on carbon storage, as well as assessing human influences on seabed carbon. Funded by Convex Group Ltd., the project is facilitated by Blue Marine Foundation, with science led by the University of Exeter in collaboration with partners. Researchers will be working on the following Work Programmes (with Communications and Outreach in Work Programme 4, managed by Blue Marine Foundation):
WP1: Seascape carbon – Where is it, how and when did it get there and where did it come from?  
We will identify the origins of carbon on the world’s continental shelves and explore how it has accumulated and altered over time, discover where the biggest stores are found, molecularly fingerprint where they came from, and put the size of these carbon stores into context in the global carbon cycle.
WP2: Human influences on seascape carbon  
We will map the spread of multiple different human activities disturbing the seabed over two and a half centuries to the present day. By overlaying disturbance maps with our maps of the distribution of carbon in the seascape, and experimental measures of the consequences of bottom disturbance in the field and laboratory, we will identify historic and contemporary patterns of human influence on blue carbon and determine its vulnerability to loss and re-release to the ocean and atmosphere. We will thereby make quantitative links between human pressures on the seascape and their impact on carbon dioxide emissions and identify potential management options to slow climate change.
WP3: The role of life and biodiversity on seascape carbon stores  
We will study and monitor the effects on wildlife and habitats of protection from seabed-disturbing human influences at multiple representative locations worldwide. We will measure how long it takes for carbon capture and burial to recover following protection and quantify the complementary benefits of protected areas to wildlife and people, in terms of ecosystem services, economic benefit and increased human wellbeing
 Our partners are:
  • Blue Marine Foundation
  • Bangor University
  • The University of Sheffield
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • University of Southampton
  • Utrecht University
  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
  • Fundacion Rewilding Argentina
  • Nelson Mandela University
  • Quantitative Aquatics"