British Phycological Society

in association with the Marine Biological Association of the UK


Marine Biological Association, Plymouth 25th to 27th April 2017

A field course by Professor Christine Maggs (Queens University of Belfast)


Francis Bunker (MarineSeen, Pembrokeshire)

A popular 3 day course now in its 13th year

Numbers will be limited to enable the tutors to cater for individual needs of interested amateurs, professional biologists requiring further training or refreshers, students (graduate and post graduate), artists, and those working with the Water Framework Directive.

Topics to be covered

  1. Collecting and identifying algae in the field

  2. Water Framework Directive Species Identification

  3. Use of keys and identification guides, microscopes and identification in the lab

• Seaweed classification

  1. Seaweed life histories and reproduction

  2. Preserving seaweeds for a variety of different purposes

  3. Making a herbarium with necessary notes (it is hoped to include a viewing of the MBA’s famous algal herbarium)

  4. Donating seaweeds voucher specimens to museums; archiving material

  5. Preparing specimens for DNA extraction and analysis techniques

  6. Culture of seaweeds for research purposes


The Plymouth area has an exceptionally diverse intertidal flora and offers habitats for marine algae ranging from open coast to sheltered rock and sediment and from fully saline to estuarine conditions. The MBA is an ideal location at which to base this course with its excellent laboratory facilities (with ready supplies of running seawater) and proximity to field sites.

Outline Course Program:

The course will start at 0915 on Tuesday 25th April and end at 1500 on Thursday 27th April (Sites chosen for field visits may vary depending on weather conditions etc).

Day 1 – Introductory lecture followed by a field trip to a local shore for collection and later laboratory identification.

Day 2 – Laboratory identification of collected specimens, short lectures on a variety of topics, field trip to a contrasting habitat.

Day 3 – Laboratory identification and further brief lectures.

It is planned to collect sublittoral specimens to supplement the shore collections.

Costs and applications

The course fee is £215 (inc VAT) which will cover the teaching and use of laboratory facilities (excluding food and accommodation).

The MBA has an excellent canteen that can provide packed lunches and evening meals. We have found that eating ‘in house’ is very useful to course members. There are evening lectures and a chance to work on in the laboratory. The food is very good and represents good value for money. If meals are required, the cost of lunches (3) and evening meals (2) is £85.00 (inc. VAT) per person. When ordering meals, please indicate your dietary requirements.

Application forms are available from the course administrator, Sally Archer-Thomson.


Fees are payable in advance (before January 31st 2017) to MarineSeen.

Send cheques and completed application forms to: Honey Hook Cottage, Lower Freystrop, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom. SA62 4ET Credit card payments are not accepted.

If order numbers are required prior to invoices being paid, please supply ASAP.


Information on the location of the MBA and how to reach it via road, ferry, public transport and airports can be found at the

following address:


There are many small hotels and B&B’s within walking distance of the MBA. An accommodation list can be forwarded on request.