Turn of the Tide; Marine organisms in an ocean of change

20-22nd April 2022

The 18th MBA non-profit post graduate conference is hosted by Liverpool John Moores University.

It will be the first hybrid MBA conference is over, videos will be made available for free on youtube by June 2022

Proudly Hosted By

The Sponsors That Have Made It Possible

Our Keynote Speakers

Change in Marine Biology session

Attending in-person

Dr Ilaria Coscia

Lecturer in Marine Biology

Univeristy of salford

Find Out More About Ilaria's Career

Ilaria started her journey in academia at the University of Genoa, studying population genetics of the striped barnacle (Balanus amphitrite).

In 2009 Ilaria completed her PhD at University College Dublin (UCD) focussing on the use of molecular genetic approaches to study the evolutionary dynamics of high-profile fish species in Ireland. In her PhD Ilaria also highlighted the inadequacies phenotypic-based identification techniques of hybrid Allis x Twaite shad. As well as furthering insights into the role of hybridization on biodiversity change and assessments in the marine and estuarine environments. During her time at UCD, Ilaria also researched population structures of the European seabass and helped find juvenile gilthead sea bream in estuaries of the South Irish Sea, providing the first evidence of change in gilthead spawning locations. Ilaria also collaborated with project DEECON, on population connectivity of deep-sea sharks and fish.

Ilaria then moved to Wales and studied the common cockle (Cerastoderma edule) and using genetics and particle tracking modelling found links between cockle populations of Wales and South Ireland from the larval dispersal across the Irish sea. In 2013 Ilaria Joined the AquaTrace project at KU Leuven and was also a recipient of the prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship to work on the Deep sea Lings (Molva genus). Since 2016 Ilaria has been working at University of Salford and has researched topics from the population genetic structures of the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) to the use of the eDNA in fishery management.Recently Ilaria has been working as part of the GECKA project on deep-sea  angler fish and is a member of the ICES Working Group for the Application of Genetics to Fisheries and Aquaculture

Attending In-person

Dr Bryce Stewart

Senior Lecturer

University of YORK

Find Out More About Bryce's Career

Our next keynote speaker is Dr Bryce Stewart who is a senior lecturer at the University of York and one of the leading voices on scallops and the impact of Brexit on fisheries.

Growing up in both Australia and Papua New Guinea, Bryce has had an interesting experience getting into marine ecology and fisheries biology. From aspiring to be a “professional holiday man” when he was 5, to writing his phone number on lobsters, obsessing over scallops and collecting predator vomit - he has had quite a remarkable journey.

Bryce started his academic journey in 1988 at the University of Melbourne for his BSc in Zoology, studying the “Reliability of growth back-calculations from otoliths: the effect of variation in somatic growth rate” for his 4th year project. For 2 years Bryce then worked as a fisheries scientist at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, during his time here he worked on commercially important deep water Zeidae and Oreosomatidae fish and he also published several papers on the otoliths of juvenile greenback flounder. Later in his PhD at James Cook University, Bryce designed and found funding for his project on the Interactions between piscivorous coral reef fish and their prey”. From this work he found new evidence to support the theory that predation does play a regulatory role for populations of coral reef fish in the Great Barrier Reef.

After his PhD Bryce left the sunny coasts of Australia and came to the murky coasts of the Irish Sea to become a research associate in at the Uni of Liverpool for 8 years. During his time in Liverpool Bryce started to develop himself as a leading researcher in Irish sea scallop fisheries. Working with the Manx government and researching all things scallop from dredging methods, population dynamics, growth rates and protected areas for improving fisheries management. He continued this work part from 2005 to 2007, while also working for the Marine Conservation Society, co-ordinating the society’s fisheries programme to promote ecologically sustainable fisheries and the sustainable seafood movement.

In 2007, Bryce took up a lecturer position in the University of York, where he continued his passion for scallop fisheries but also began to branch further into marine policies and fisheries management and marine protected areas research.

Since 2016 he has been heavily involved with assessing the fallout of Brexit on British fisheries and the marine environment as well as the different scenarios and impacts certain governmental decisions may have on fisheries post-Brexit.

From giving over 100 invited talks, multiple radio, podcast, webinars and television interviews as well as brilliant use of social media Bryce is considered to be one of the top science communicators of marine fishery and marine ecology research.

Attending In-person

Dr Rui Vieira 

Senior Fisheries Scientist

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)

Find Out More About Rui's Career

Our deep-sea keynote speaker is Dr Rui Vieira, who is a Senior Fisheries Scientist at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas). His main research interests include fisheries ecology, fish biology and drivers of functioning of deep-sea ecosystems. Rui’s wants to make sure that his research contributes to changing a little the way we see marine ecosystems, in particular deep sea, about which very little is known.

Rui participated in 8 oceanographic expeditions in the North Atlantic and Southern Oceans, as well in sampling campaigns onboard commercial fishery vessels. In 2010, he was awarded with a scholarship for polar research “New Generation of Polar Researchers”, contributing with studies on ecosystem dynamics in the Southern Ocean. His work was recognised with the John Gage Prize at the 14th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium and selected for SET for BRITAIN poster competition 2016 held at the House of Commons, organised by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee. Rui actively contributes to the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) Working Group for the Decade of Deep-Ocean Science and the Challenger 150 programme.

In 2017 Rui completed a PhD in Ocean and Earth Sciences at the University of Southampton, where he demonstrated that isotope-type metrics can provide a powerful proxy to understand (deep-sea) community structure and a useful tool to improve ecosystem-based models. He also found evidence to suggest that changes in benthic nutrient cycling communities can affect secondary production of deep-sea fish communities.

Rui joined Cefas in the same year, where he currently leads science on deep-water fisheries and work relating to conservation and sustainable use of marine fisheries resources, and provides advisory support on assessments and technical measures relating to deep-water fish stocks and ecosystems. Rui is member of the ICES Working Group on the Biology and Assessment of Deep-sea Fisheries Resources (WGDEEP) and Deep-water Ecology (WGDEC), which he co-chairs since January 2022.

Rui also holds an Honorary Lectureship in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia and is a member of the Council of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

Media Schooling Session

Dr Huw Griffiths

Marine Biogeographer

British Antarctic SURVEY

Dr Natasha Phillips

Director and Producer

Swimming head productions

Attending In-person

Dr Sarah Schiffling

Senior Lecturer

Liverpool John Moores University

Andy Ridgway

Senior Lecturer in Science Communication

University of West england Bristol

Citizen Science and Marine Biology Session

Arianna Liconti

Head of Science & Ecosystem Manager, OutBe

Mediterranean Special Interest Group Chief, Marine Biological Association UK

Young Marine Biologist Art Competition

We reached out to the Young Marine Biologists of the Marine Biological Association for artwork of their favourite marine organisms. The drawings will get marked by conference attendees and the U15 and U18 winning artworks will recieve a prize!

Click Here to see the submissions

Join the MBA to get exclusive benefits at our conference!

Since 1884 the Marine Biological Association (MBA) has been dedicated to promoting research into our oceans and the life they support. Providing a unified, clear, independent voice on behalf of the marine biological community We also run a leading marine biological research laboratory where many eminent scientists - including 7 Nobel prize winners - have carried out their research.

Online Ticket *Available to Anyone*

Online Ticket


Online ticket to our streaming platform for all three days of the conference as well as the live Q&A.

Symposium Topics

We have one main topic which will span the first day and a half and two half day topics


Turn of the Tide; Marine organisms in an ocean of change

This main topic is all about past, present and future change at the species level (e.g. genetic, behavioural) and/or ecosystem level (e.g. trophic ecology, hydrology).

For this topic the changes can have different abiotic/biotic and natural/human caused drivers.

There are 3 main sub-themes for postgraduate speakers to apply for, based on the location of their research;

1) Estuary/ Coastal environments

2) The Open Ocean (Pelagic and Demersal environments)

3) Abyssal/ Deep Sea environments


Media Schooling; How to develop your online presence as an academic

Science and communication has become a key foundation in helping many academics propel their career. Especially during the pandemic where online networking has become pivotal for many projects.  For this topic we will have some top keynote speakers on how to develop your online presence through all media channels and communicate your work to both the academic community and the general public.


Citizen Science in Marine Biology

Citizen science in the past 10 years has made continuous leaps and bounds, this topic we will have keynote citizen science experts to discuss the best practice for developing a marine biology citizen science project and will also invite other post graduate speakers to talk about their citizen science experiences and projects.

Here’s what people are saying about the MBA post graduate conference 

Here is what previous attendees have to say about the 2021 Exeter MBA conference

PhD student

Hariot-Watt University


A relaxed and motivational environment for all students

"The MBA Postgraduate Conference Exeter 2021 offered the possibility to discuss current scientific issues in a young, relaxed, and vibrant environment. .The organisers encouraged traditional or novel (e.g. "explaining my PhD to my Mum") poster format, which gave me the opportunity to present a poster to communicate science to a wider audience!"

PhD student

Liverpool University


Conferences can seem intimidating, but the MBA postgraduate conference was fun, friendly and interactive.

"I felt included and totally engaged. I especially enjoyed the interactive creative workshops around science communication which provided unique tips and tricks as a modern day academic. The conference was a safe space for young researchers to present their work and to connect with more senior academics. The experience has made me more confident to present my own work in a conference style setting."

Join Us For the 2022 post graduate conference


20-22nd April 2022




Redmonds Building, Liverpool John Moores University


Can I travel to the MBA conference from outside of the UK?

Yes, as long as it meets your local travel advise and your country of origin is on England's green travel list. We highly reccommend that you check the travel requirements for both where you are travelling from and the UK's travel advise before registering to come in person to our conference. 

If another covid wave hits can I get refunded?

If another covid wave or lockdown hits the UK the event will become fully online and the in person event tickets will be refunded, but you will still be registered for the free online event. 

What stage of research can I be at to attend?

Anyone can attend the online conference!

But to attend the in person or submit an abstract for a talk or poster you must be in postgraduate studies at an academic institution.

Where can I stay during the conference?

There is a host of hotels and B&B's in and around Liverpool to choose from. See More details on our advised choices here

Meet the LJMU Hosting Team

Here is the fab team that is making this hybrid conference.


The "Finishing soon" PhD student 


Lover of Marmite and Whiskey


3rd year PhD student


The Guinea pig hoarder


Stamatia Galata

1st year PhD student


Diving is love, diving is life.

Marketing Officer

2nd year PhD student 


Frisbee Fanatic

Support officer

Mphil student


Corals and Jellyfish

Event sponsor coordinator

2nd year PhD student


LFC and SUFC?!

Conference Advisor

Professor of Marine biodiversity


Academic advisor

MBA 2022 PG conference

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