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Claire Widdicombe

Claire Widdicombe


Plymouth Marine Laboratory


Phytoplankton taxonomy

Claire is a plankton ecologist with 20+ years’ experience in issues relating to plankton biodiversity, community structure and ecosystem function. Specifically, Claire is skilled in phytoplankton and microzooplankton identification and is responsible for generating and maintaining the weekly long-term phytoplankton ‘L4’ time-series dataset within Plymouth Marine Laboratory’s Western Channel Observatory program. This program has been running for >25 years and is a key resource in our efforts to identify and predict the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. Her current research explores long-term trends in the diversity and structure of phytoplankton communities at station ‘L4’. She also has experience in studying planktonic communities from a variety of marine ecosystems: English Channel, North Sea, North and South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mauritanian upwelling system.

Selected Publications

Smyth TJ, Allen I, 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: e98709. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098709

Downes-Tettmar N, Rowland S, Widdicombe CE, Woodward EMS, Llewellyn CA, 2013. Seasonal variation in Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and domoic acid in the Western English Channel. Continental Shelf Research, 53, 40 : 49

Leblanc K, Arístegui J, Armand L, Assmy P, Beker B, Bode A, Bretton E, Cornet V, Gibson J, Gosselin M-P, Kopczynska E, Marshall H, Peloquin J, Pointovski S, Poulton A J, Queguiner B, Schiebel R, Shipe R, Stefels J, van Leeuwe MA, Varela M, Widdicombe CE, Yallop M, 2012. A global diatom database - abudance, biovolume and biomass in the world ocean. Earth Syst Sci Data Discuss, 147: 185

Tilstone GH, Airs RL, Martinez-Vicente V, Widdicombe CE, Llewellyn C, 2010. High concentrations of mycosporine-like amino acids and colored dissolved organic matter in the sea surface microlayer off the Iberian Peninsula. Limnology and Oceanology, 55(5): 1835–1850

Widdicombe CE, Eloire D, Harbour D, Harris RP, Somerfield PJ, 2010. Long-term phytoplankton community dynamics in the Western English Channel. Journal of Plankton Research, 32: 643-655

Useful links

Plymouth Marine Laboratory website

Western Channel Observatory