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BBC One Spotlight features MERP jellyfish research

Published: 10 July 2015

Jellyfish research carried out by the Marine Ecosystems Research Programme, MERP, was featured on a recent episode of BBC One Spotlight.

In an interview with MERP scientist Dr Steve Widdicombe (pictured in the image right) at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the BBC team explored the work carried out by the programme to help of understand why jellyfish blooms have been occurring so frequently this summer, particularly along the south coast of Cornwall, which has resulted in mass numbers being stranded on our local beaches. 

The jellyfish research undertaken by the MERP team is focused on exploring the diet of jellies to better understand their impact on the wider marine ecosystem. For example are the jellyfish eating the larvae of commercial fish? Or competing with them for common planktonic food source? In order to examine the predation habits of jellyfish, MERP scientists from Plymouth Marine Laboratory are developing state-of-the-art “Next Generation Sequencing” genetic methods to study what jellyfish are eating.

For further information on MERP’s fieldwork please click here.

Images clockwise: Rhizostoma pulmo, commonly known as the barrel jellyfish sighting in Plymouth, Dr Steve Widdicombe being filmed at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, barrel jellyfish stranded on beach in Devon, 'jellyfish invasion'


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