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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.



The CMBB has access to the School of Life Sciences Aquarium, allowing experimentation under tightly controlled conditions. The aquarium has a variety of tanks and facilities for keeping and handling live specimens. It is built around flexibility, allowing any system to be stripped out and remodelled as required. This avoids constraints in infrastructure compromising experimental design.

A 30,000 litre re-circulating cooled seawater storage system provides natural North Sea water to our experimental rigs. Freshwater systems are either recirculating or flow-through, as required. A bank of activated carbon and zeolite filters remove chemicals from our freshwater supply making it suitable for research use.

The aquarium facilities consist of three air conditioned rooms where the air temperature can be set between 10 and 25 °C. In addition to the aquarium, there are 6 Constant Temperature rooms with light arrays, allowing simulation of natural conditions throughout the year.

An air blower system provides 4-5psi air supply to the aquarium, backed up by stand-by blower with automatic switch-over and an emergency generator ensuring continuous support in the event of power failure.

Our stock holding room houses a 3000 l closed recirculation system and is presently holding marine invertebrates. It can also be used to hold fish. This system has also run as a freshwater aquaculture facility. There are also a number of freshwater flow-through tanks. One of the rooms is dedicated to student research projects, where small experimental systems can be purpose built.

Additional facilities within the aquarium:

  • Expertise on distribution, availability and care of marine organisms.
  • Supply of specimens for teaching or experimentation - organisms from fish to shellfish
  • Identification experts
  • Algae culture – a variety of species available.