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Centre for

Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
and physiology to aquaculture, marine spatial planning and conservation.


Researchers at CMBB study the oceans, the largest ecosystem on earth covering more than 70% of our blue planet.

We rely on the oceans for food, recreation and the oxygen in every fourth breath we take.The oceans were the cradle for life on Earth and today support an incredible array of habitats from shallow tropical reefs to the vast expanses of the deep sea.

No one knows how many species live in the sea but there are more types of animals in the oceans than any other environment on Earth. Understanding this biodiversity needs expertise from classical marine biology to the latest molecular genetics techniques and underwater survey technologies – expertise brought together in Heriot-Watt University's Centre for Marine Biodiversity & Biotechnology.

Scientific expertise from the CMBB regularly informs conservation policy development in Scotland and further afield, through the creation of Marine Protected Areas. They also give further specialist advice to international bodies including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).