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Dr Paul Somerfield

Dr Paul Somerfield


Plymouth Marine Laboratory


August 2023

It is with the deepest sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved friend & colleague Professor Paul Somerfield. Paul will be missed greatly, not only at Plymouth Marine Laboratory but also by those he worked with across the world. A tribute can be read on the PML website


Dr Paul Somerfield is a Principal Investigator in the Marine Ecosystems Research Programme. His research interests are very general, albeit with a focus on the distribution and functioning of biodiversity.  His work integrates research across levels of biological organization from viruses to chordates to elucidate scales, causes and consequences of variability in space and time.  He is a senior member of the Marine Ecology and Biodiversity group at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, where his primary objectives are to undertake scientific research and to disseminate information through peer reviewed papers, reports, training, student supervision and other means.  He has authored and co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and 10 books.  He is recognised as an international expert on the application of nonparametric multivariate analysis, and travels widely to provide training courses. He is a member of the UK Biodiversity Science Committee and the Royal Statistical Society Panel on Statistics for Ecosystem Change, and served two terms on the Council of the Marine Biological Association of the UK.

Selected Publications

Ingels, J, Dashfield, SL, Somerfield, PJ, Widdicombe, S, Austen, MC (2014) Interactions between multiple large macrofauna species and nematode communities - mechanisms for indirect impacts of trawling disturbance  J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 456: 41-49

Pearce, B, Fariñas-Franco, J, Wilson, C, Pitts, J, De-Burgh, A, Somerfield, PJ (2014) Repeated mapping of reefs constructed by Sabellaria spinulosa Leuckart 1849 at an offshore wind farm site.  Contl Shelf Res. 83: 3-13

Smyth, TJ, Allen, JI, Atkinson, A, Bruun, JT, Harmer, RA, Pingree, RD, Widdicombe, CE, Somerfield, PJ (2014) Ocean net heat flux influences seasonal to interannual patterns of plankton abundance. PLoS ONE 9 (6) e98709

Clarke, KR, Gorley, RN, Somerfield, PJ, Warwick, RM (2014) Change in marine communities: an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation, 3rd edn.  PRIMER-E, Plymouth. 256 pp

Lyons, D, Arvanitidis, C, Blight, A, Chatzinikolaou, E, Guy-Haim, T, Kotta, J, Orav-Kotta, H, Queirós, AM, Rilov, G, Somerfield, PJ, Crowe, TP (2014) Macroalgal blooms alter community structure and primary productivity in marine ecosystems.  Global Change Biology 20: 2712-2724

Useful links

Profile on PML website

oogle Scholar profile



acebook - Marine Life Support Systems

ERP - Marine Ecosystems Research Programme