Ellie Bartle, Biological Science

Department of Biological and Marine Sciences

About the department

Our friendly team of academic staff have expertise across biology, zoology and marine science and this knowledge is reflected in our teaching and research.

Our work involves collaborations across the University, particularly with the Department of Geography, Geology and Environment, the Energy and Environment Institute, as well as the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

From bioinformatics and DNA sequencing to diving on coral reefs, we have it all.

Head of department

Dr Alastair Ward

Dr Alastair Ward

Accreditations

Research in the Department of Biological and Marine Sciences

Our research ranges from exploring fundamental questions about how life on earth came to exist in its incredible diversity, to investigating practical and applied science to monitor and manage species abundance and pollution. We combine disciplines to predict what will happen in future climate change scenarios.

We lead the way in modern monitoring techniques – at the molecular scale all the way up to the planetary scale – using super computers in both DNA sequencing analysis and remote sensing and mapping.

Our work involves collaborations across the University, particularly with the Department of Geography, Geology and Environment, the Energy and Environment Institute, as well as the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

We are united by our curiosity to understand the biological sciences and use our knowledge to make the world a better place – educating the next generation of biologists along the way.

Research themes

Dynamic Earth and Changing Environments

Our research in this thematic grouping addresses the management of marine and freshwater ecosystems, monitoring and modelling environmental systems, changing aquatic environments, and the co-evolution of Earth and life.

We have led the use of environmental DNA as a tool for monitoring species in aquatic environments and have considerable expertise in telemetry and migration of fish, birds and mammals.

We’re exploring ways to improve the region’s bieconomy through reducing waste, adding value to by-products, developing novel manufacturing processes, adapting feedstocks and enhancing resilience against risks within the supply chain.

Management of Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems

Our research uses scientific evidence to inform and shape sustainable water resource management practices and policies across the world.

Projects include:

  • the effect of oil and gas decommissioning on marine conservation and ecosystem services
  • water use of the Shatt al-Arab for food security
  • fish-friendly hydropower systems
  • inland waterways pollutant characterisation

Monitoring and Modelling Environmental Systems

Our research here focuses on environmental fluid dynamics, hydrology, flood science, geomorphology, and environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring.

Projects include:

  • physical models for climate change adaptation
  • drone-mounted spectral analysis engineering
  • susceptibility of catchments to intense rainfall and flooding
  • combination hazard of extreme rainfall, storm surge and high tide on estuarine infrastructure
  • eDNA-based methods for non-invasive monitoring of biodiversity

Changing Aquatic Environments

This research cluster examines the genetic pathways that are at risk from climate-induced stress; and the effect of changing aquatic environments on chemical communication.

Our cutting-edge research on aquatic microplastic contamination is pinpointing the fate and effects of microplastics in environments that were previously considered pristine such as the Antarctic. We’re also examining microplastic behaviour and impact in estuarine and maritime contexts – and within the human food chain.

We’re proud to expand public understanding of these issues by featuring our work at The Deep.

Co-evolution of Earth and Life

Our research contributes to the knowledge base and international debates on past climate and ecological and evolutionary change from the Precambrian period to the Holocene. We also examine threats to natural capital as we move into the Anthropocene.

This group has won international awards for impact and attracted significant investment from funding bodies such as the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and The Royal Society.

What we do

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Sullied Sediments

Watch: we're developing and testing new tools to prevent contamination from chemical pollution in our waterways. New water treatment methods will help combat this pollution and raise awareness of this critical issue, helping people to take action to prevent it.

Play YouTube video in lightbox

Dive deeper

On our BSc Marine Biology course, you’ll train as a PADI-qualified diver during your degree.

Take the plunge

Study that take you places

Our location inside the Yorkshire Nature Triangle gives you easy access to some of the UK’s most important habitats, such as the shores of the Humber Estuary and the stunning Yorkshire countryside and coast. Depending on which modules you choose, you may find yourself learning to dive, engaging in practical conservation, surveying rocky shores or carrying out Phase 1 habitat surveys.

Find out where our students have visited

Capturing our Coast

This project was an innovation in marine citizen science that trained almost 3,000 members of the public to gather data to help us understand in more detail the species that live on our coasts.

Find out more on the project website

Try an on-demand session

Watch: Join Biological and Marine Sciences staff and students to find out more about studying at Hull.

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The Data Cube Service for Copernicus

This project is addressing the challenges of handling big data volumes through high-quality information from novel sensors.

Find out more on the DCS4COP website

The Darwin Tree of Life Fish Genome Consortium

This project aims to sequence the genomes of all freshwater fish in Britain and Ireland.

Exploring the Impact of Hydropower on River Habitats

We're part of a pan-European expert team exploring the impact of hydroelectric power plants on fish populations. Hydropower is one of the most important and widely used renewable energy sources, but plants cause major disturbances to the natural world.

Read more about this work

Chemical Egology

We're studying the chemically mediated interactions of marine life.

Delve into our research

Wild Ecology and Behaviour

Find out more about our work

marine-biology-student

Take a tour of our facilities

Take a 360-degree look at our tropical aquariums, where you'll study the richness and diversity of marine life, and our specialist molecular laboratory and the flume lab - a device for studying bodies of water.

Footnote

Percentage of students from biological sciences subject area in work or further study within six months of graduating: UK domicile full-time first degree leavers; Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey for the academic year 2016/17, published by HESA 2018

* Previous destinations include Brazil, Malaysia and Majorca (extra fees may be payable and availability is subject to government guidance and restrictions)