There are currently 71 publications associated with the MERP programme.

The full list is shown below:


In press

  1. Sciberras M, Hiddink JG, Jennings S, Szostek CL, Hughes KM, Kneafsey B, Clarke LJ, Ellis N, Rijnsdorp AD, McConnaughey RA, Hilborn R, Collie JS, Pitcher CR, Amoroso RO, Parma AM, Suuronen P, Kaiser MJ. In press.
    Response of benthic fauna to experimental bottom fishing: A global meta-analysis
    Fish and Fisheries 10.1111/faf.12283


  1. Spence M, Blanchard JL, Rossberg AG, Heath MR, Heymans JJ, Mackinson S, Serpetti N, Speirs D, Thorpe RB,  Blackwell PG. Submitted.
    Multi-model ensembles for ecosystem prediction
    Quantative Biology


  1. Cornwell L, Findlay H, Fileman E, Smyth T, Hirst A, Bruun J, McEvoy A, Widdicombe C, Castellani C, Lewis C, Atkinson A. 2018.
    Seasonality of Oithona similis and Calanus helgolandicus reproduction and abundance: contrasting responses to environmental variation at a shelf site
    Journal of Plankton Research 10.1093/plankt/fby007

  2. Fanjul A, Iriarte A, Villante F, Uriarte I, Atkinson A, Cook K. 2018.
    Zooplankton seasonality across a latitudinal gradient in the Northeast Atlantic Shelves Province
    Continental Shelf Research 49-62. 10.1016/j.csr.2018.03.009

  3. Guy-Haim T, Lyons D, Kotta J, Ojaveer H, Queirós A, Chatzinikolaou E, Arvanitidis C, Como S, Magni P, Blight A, Orav-Kotta H, Somerfield PJ, Crowe T, Rilov, G . 2018.
    Diverse effects of invasive ecosystem engineers on marine biodiversity and ecosystem functions – a global review and meta-analysis
    Global Change Biology 10.1111/gcb.14007

  4. Howarth LM, Somerfield P, Blanchard J, Hiddink JG. 2018.
    Celtic and Irish Sea benthic biomass size spectra data collected across gradients in fishing pressure and primary productivity.
    British Oceanographic Data Centre - Natural Environment Research Council 10.5285/674d4224-7cc5-4080-e053-6c86abc0626e

  5. Ingels, J, dos Santos G, Hicks N, Vazquez YV, Neres PF, Pontes LP, Amorim MN, Román S, Yongfen D, Stahl H, Somerfield PJ, Widdicombe S. 2018.
    Short-term CO2 exposure and temperature rise effects on metazoan meiofauna and free-living nematodes in sandy and muddy sediments: Results from a flume experiment
    Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 10.1016/j.jembe.2017.07.012

  6. Lessin G, Artioli Y, Almroth-Rosell E, Blackford JC, Dale AW, Glud RN, Middelburg JJ, Pastres R, Queirós AM, Rabouille C, Regnier P, Soetaert K, Solidoro C, Stephens N, Yakushev E.. 2018.
    Modelling Marine Sediment Biogeochemistry: Current Knowledge Gaps, Challenges, and Some Methodological Advice for Advancement
    Front. Mar. Sci. 10.3389/fmars.2018.00019

  7. Peck MA, Arvanitidis C, Butenschön M, Melaku Canu D, Chatzinikolaou E, Cucco A, Domenici P, Fernandes JA, Gasche L, Huebert KB, Hufnagl M, Jones MC, Kempf A, Keyl F, Maar M, Mahévas S, Marchal P, Nicolas D, Pinnegar JK, Rivot E, Rochette S, Sell AF, Sinerchia M, Solidoro C, Somerfield PJ, Teal LR, Travers-Trolet M, van de Wolfshaar K. 2018.
    Projecting Changes in the Distribution and Productivity of Living Marine Resources: A Critical Review of the Suite of Modeling Approaches used in the Large European Project VECTORS. 
    Est. Coast. Shelf Sci. 10.1016/j.ecss.2016.05.019

  8. Queirós AM, Fernandes J, Genevier L, Lynam CP. 2018.
    Climate change alters fish community size-structure, requiring adaptive policy targets
    Fish and Fisheries 1-9. 10.1111/faf.12278

  9. Schmidt K, Brown A, Belt S, Ireland L, Taylor W, Thorpe S, Ward P, Atkinson A. 2018.
    Do pelagic grazers benefit from sea ice? Insights from the Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25
    Biogeosciences 10.5194/bg-15-1987-2018

  10. Somerfield PJ, Dashfield SL, Warwick RM . 2018.
    The structure and organisation of integral marine benthic communities in relation to sieve mesh size
    Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 10.1016/j.jembe.2017.08.007


  1. Atkinson A, Hill S, Pakhomov E,  Siegel V, Anadon R,  Chiba S, Daly K, Downie R, Fielding S, Fretwell P, Gerrish L, Hosie G, Jessopp M, Kawaguchi S, Krafft B, Loeb V, Nishikawa J, Peat H,  Reiss C, Ross R, Quetin L, Schmidt K, Steinberg D, Subramaniam R, Tarling G, Ward P. 2017.
    KRILLBASE: a circumpolar database of Antarctic krill and salp numerical densities, 1926–2016
    Earth System Science Data 193-210. 10.5194/essd-9-193-2017

  2. Barrios-O’Neill D, Bertolini C and Collins PC. 2017.
    Trophic cascades and the transient keystone concept
    Biological Conservation 212:191–195. 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.06.011

  3. Bentley JW, Serpetti N, Heymans JJ. 2017.
    Investigating the potential impacts of ocean warming on the Norwegian and Barents Seas ecosystem using a time-dynamic food-web model
    Ecological Modelling 360: 94-107. 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2017.07.002

  4. Blanchard J, Heneghan R, Everett J, Trebilco R, Richardson A. 2017.
    From Bacteria to Whales: Using Functional Size Spectra to Model Marine Ecosystems
    Trends in Ecology & Evolution 174-186. 10.1016/j.tree.2016.12.003

  5. Blanchard J, Watson R, Fulton E, Cottrell R, Nash K, Brndum-Bucholz A, Büchner M, Carozza D, Cheung W, Elliott J, Davidson L, Dulvy N, Dunne J, Eddy T, Galbraith E, Lotze H, Maury O, Müller C, Tittensor D, Jennings S. 2017.
    Linked sustainability challenges and trade-offs among fisheries, aquaculture and agriculture
    Nature Ecology & Evolution 1240-1249. 10.1038/s41559-017-0258-8

  6. Broszeit S, Beaumont NJ, Uyarra MC, Heiskanen A-S-, Frost M, Somerfield P, Rossberg A, Teixeira H, Austen M. 2017.
    What can indicators of good environmental status tell us about ecosystem services?: Reducing efforts and increasing cost-effectiveness by reapplying biodiversity indicator data
    Ecological Indicators 409–442. 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.05.057

  7. Ellis RP, Davison W, Queirós AM, Kroeker KJ, Calosi P, Dupont S, Spicer JI, Wilson RW, Widdicombe S and Urbina MA. 2017.
    Does sex really matter? Explaining intraspecies variation in ocean acidification responses.
    Biol Lett. 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0761

  8. Fanjul A, Villate F, Uriarte I, Iriarte A, Atkinson A, Cook K. 2017.
    Zooplankton variability at four monitoring sites of the Northeast Atlantic Shelves differing in latitude and trophic status
    Journal of Plankton Research 891-909. 10.1093/plankt/fbx054

  9. Hooper T, Beaumont N, Griffiths C, Langmead O, Somerfield, P. 2017.
    Assessing the sensitivity of ecosystem services to changing pressures
    Ecosystem Services Volume 24, 160-169. 10.1016/j.ecoser.2017.02.016

  10. Horne CR, Hirst AG, Atkinson D. 2017.
    Seasonal body size reductions with warming co-vary with major body size gradients in arthropod species
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B 10.1098/rspb.2017.0238

  11. Howells RJ, Burthe SJ, Green JA, Harris MP, Newell MA, Butler A, Johns DG, Carnell EJ, Wanless S, Daunt F. 2017.
    From days to decades: short- and long-term variation in environmental conditions affect offspring diet composition of a marine top predator
    Marine Ecology Progress Series 227 - 242. 10.3354/meps12343

  12. Lambert G, Murray LG, Hiddink JG, Hinz H, Lincoln H, Cambiè G, Hold N, Kaiser M. 2017.
    Defining thresholds of sustainable impact on benthic communities in relation to fishing disturbance.
    Scientific Reports 7, 5440.. 10.1038/s41598-017-04715-4

  13. McConville K, Atkinson A, Fileman E, Spicer JI, Hirst AG. 2017.
    Disentangling the counteracting effects of water content and carbon mass on zooplankton growth
    Journal of Plankton Research 10.1093/plankt/fbw094

  14. Pinnegar JK, Garrett A, Simpson SD, Engelhard GH, van der Kooij J. 2017.
    MCCIP Science Review 73-99. 10.14465/2017.arc10.007-fis

  15. Polimene L, Sailley S, Clark D, Mitra A, Allen JI. 2017.
    Biological or microbial carbon pump? The role of phytoplankton stoichiometry in ocean carbon sequestration
    Journal of Plankton Researc 39 (2): 180-186. 10.1093/plankt/fbw091

  16. Pritchard DW, Patterson RA, Bovy HC and Barrios-O’Neill D. 2017.
    frair: An R package for fitting and comparing consumer functional responses.
    Methods in Ecology and Evolution 10.1111/2041-210X.12784

  17. Rossberg A, Uusitalo L, Berg T, Zaiko A, Chenuil A, Uyarra MC, Borja A and Lynam CP. 2017.
    Quantitative criteria for choosing targets and indicators for sustainable use of ecosystems.
    Ecol. Ind., 72, 215-224. 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.08.005

  18. Spence MA, Turtle AJ. 2017.
    Making the most of survey data: Incorporating age uncertainty when fitting growth parameters
    Ecol Evol 7:7058–7068. 10.1002/ece3.3280

  19. Waggitt JJ, Dunn H, Evans PGH, Hiddink JG, Holmes L, Keen E, Murcott B, Piano M, Robins P, Scott BE, Whitmore J & Veneruso G.. 2017.
    Regional-scale patterns in harbour porpoise occupancy of tidal stream environments.
    ICES J. Mar. Sci 10.1093/icesjms/fsx164

  20. Wilson RJ, Speirs DC, Sabatino  A and Heath MR. 2017.
    A synthetic map of the northwest European Shelf sedimentary environment for applications in marine science
    Earth System Science Data 10.5194/essd-2017-88


  1. Alexander KA, Meyjes SA, Heymans JJ. 2016.
    Spatial ecosystem modelling of marine renewable energy installations: Gauging the utility of Ecospace
    Ecological Modelling Volume 331, 115-128. 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2016.01.016

  2. Barrios-O’Neill D, Ruth K, Dick J, Ricciardi A, MacIsaac H, Emmerson M. 2016.
    On the context-dependent scaling of consumer feeding rates.
    Ecology Letters 19 (6) 668-678. 10.1111/ele.12605

  3. Börger T, Broszeit S, Ahtiainen H, Atkins JP, Burdon D, Luisetti T, Murillas A, Oinonen S, Paltriguera L, Roberts L, Uyarra M and Austen MC. 2016.
    Assessing Costs and Benefits of Measures to Achieve Good Environmental Status in European Regional Seas: Challenges, Opportunities, and Lessons Learnt
    Front. Mar. Sci. 10.3389/fmars.2016.00192

  4. Bucklin A, Lindeque P, Rodriguez-Ezpeleta N, Lehtiniemi M. 2016.
    Metabarcoding of marine zooplankton: prospects, progress and pitfalls
    Journal of Plankton Research 393-400. 10.1093/plankt/fbw023

  5. Cavanagh RD, Broszeit S, Pilling G, Grant SM, Murphy EJ. and Austen MC. 2016.
    Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services – A useful way to manage and conserve marine resources? 
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences Special Feature: The value of biodiversity in the Anthropocene. 10.1098/rspb.2016.1635

  6. Clarke KR, Somerfield PJ, Gorley RN. 2016.
    Clustering in non-parametric multivariate analyses.
    J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 147-155. 10.1016/j.jembe.2016.07.010

  7. Coll M, Shannon L J, Kleisner KM, Juan-Jordá MJ, Bundy A, Akoglu AG, Banaru D, Boldt JL, Borges MF, Cook A, Diallo I, Fu C, Fox C, Gascuel D, Gurney L J, Hattab T, Heymans JJ, Jouffre D, Knight BR, Kucukavsar S, Large SI, Lynam C, Machias A, Marshall KN, Masski H, Ojaveer H, Piroddi C, Tam J, Thiao D, Thiaw M, Torres MA, Travers-Trolet M, Tsagarakis K, Tuck I, van der Meeren GI, Yemane D, Zador SG & Shin YJ. 2016.
    Ecological indicators to capture the effects of fishing on biodiversity and conservation status of marine ecosystems
    Ecological Indicators 60, 947-962. 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.08.048

  8. Datta S, Blanchard J. 2016.
    The effects of seasonal processes on size spectrum dynamics
    Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 73(4): 598-610. 10.1139/cjfas-2015-0468

  9. Edwards A, Robinson J, Plank M, Baum J and Blanchard J. 2016.
    Testing and recommending methods for fitting size spectra to data
    Methods in Ecology and Evolution 10.1111/2041-210X.12641

  10. Farcas A, Rossberg A. 2016.
    Maximum sustainable yield from interacting fish stocks in an uncertain world: two policy choices and underlying trade-offs.
    ICES Journal of Marine Science 10.1093/icesjms/fsw113

  11. Heymans JJ, Coll M, Link JS, Mackinson S, Steenbeek J, Walters C, Christensen V. 2016.
    Best practice in Ecopath with Ecosim food-web models for ecosystem-based management
    Ecological Modelling Volume 331, 173-184. 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2015.12.007

  12. Hirst AG, Lilley MKS, Glazier DS, Atkinson D. 2016.
    Ontogenetic body-mass scaling of nitrogen excretion relates to body surface area in diverse pelagic invertebrates
    Limnology and Oceanography Volume 62, Issue 1, Pages 311–319. 10.1002/lno.10396

  13. Horne CR, Hirst AG, Atkinson D, Neves A, Kiørboe T. 2016.
    A global synthesis of seasonal temperature-size responses in copepods
    Global Ecology and Biogeography 25: 988-999. . 10.1111/geb.12460

  14. Lessin G, Artioli Y, Queirós AM, Widdicombe S, Blackford JC. 2016.
    Modelling impacts and recovery in benthic communities exposed to localised high CO2
    Marine Pollution Bulletin 267-280. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.05.071

  15. Lyons D, Arvanitidis C, Blight A, Chatzinikolaou E, Guy-Haim T, Kotta J, Orav-Kotta H, Queirós AM, Rilov G, Somerfield PJ, Crowe TP . 2016.
    There are no whole truths in meta-analyses: all their truths are half-truths.
    Global Change Biology 22: 968-971. 10.1111/gcb.12989

  16. Murphy E, Cavanagh RD, Drinkwater FK, Grant SM, Heymans JJ, Hofmann EE, Hunt Jr GL, Johnston NM. 2016.
    Understanding the structure and functioning of polar pelagic ecosystems to predict the impacts of change
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283. 10.1098/rspb.2016.1646

  17. Papathanasopoulou E, Queirós AM, Beaumont N, Hooper T, & Nunes J. 2016.
    What evidence exists on the local impacts of energy systems on marine ecosystem services: a systematic map.
    Environmental Evidence 5(1), 25.. 10.1186/s13750-016-0075-6

  18. Queiros AM, Strong JA, Mazik K, Carstensen J, Bruun J, Somerfield PJ, Bruhn A, Ciavatta S, Chuševė R, Nygård H, Papadopoulou N, Pantazi M, Krause-Jensen D. 2016.
    An objective framework to test the quality of candidate indicators of good environmental status
    Frontiers in Marine Science 3:72. 10.3389/fmars.2016.00073

  19. Queiros AM, Huebert K, Keyl F, Fernandes JA, Stolte W, Maar M, Kay S, Jones M, Hamon K, Hendriksen G, Vermard Y, Marchal P, Teal L, Somerfield PJ, Austen M, Barange M, Sell AF, Allen JI, Peck M. 2016.
    Solutions for ecosystem-level protection of ocean systems under climate change
    Global Change Biology 10.1111/gcb.13423

  20. Reed J, L. Shannon L, Velez L, Akoglu E, Bundy A, Coll M, Fu C, Fulton B, Grüss A, Halouani G, Heymans JJ, Houle J,  John E,  Lasram FBR, Le Loc'h F, Salihoglu B, Verley P, Shin YJ. 2016.
    Ecosystem indicators – accounting for variability in species’ trophic levels
    ICES Journal of Marine Science 74: 158-69. 10.1093/icesjms/fsw150

  21. Schmidt K, Schlosser C, Atkinson A, Fielding S, Venables HJ, Waluda CM, Achterberg EP. 2016.
    Zooplankton Gut Passage Mobilizes Lithogenic Iron for Ocean Productivity
    Current Biology 10.1016/j.cub.2016.07.058

  22. Schmidt K, Atkinson A. 2016.
    Feeding and Food Processing in Antarctic Krill (Euphausia superba Dana)
    Biology and Ecology of Antarctic Krill, Part of the series Advances in Polar Ecology. Chapter 5, 175-224.

  23. Scott E, Serpetti N, Steenbeek J, Heymans JJ. 2016.
    A stepwise fitting procedure for automated fitting of Ecopath with Ecosim models.
    SoftwareX 2016 25-30. 10.1016/j.softx.2016.02.002

  24. Villasante S, Arreguín-Sanchez F, Heymans JJ, Libralato S, Piroddi S, Christensen V, Coll M. 2016.
    Modelling marine ecosystems using the Ecopath with Ecosim food web approach: New insights to address complex dynamics after 30 years of developments
    Ecological Modelling 311: 1-4. 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2016.04.017


  1. Acevedo-Trejos E, Brandt G, Bruggeman J and Merico A. 2015.
    Mechanisms shaping size structure and functional diversity of phytoplankton communities in the ocean.
    Scientific Reports 10.1038/srep08918

  2. Atkinson A, Harmer R, Widdicombe CE, McEvoy A, Smyth TJ, Cummings D, Somerfield PJ, Maud J and McConville K. 2015.
    Questioning the role of phenology shifts and trophic mismatching in a planktonic food web
    Progress in Oceanography Volume 137, Part B, 498–512. 10.1016/j.pocean.2015.04.023

  3. Broszeit S, Hattam C, Beaumont N. 2015.
    Bioremediation of waste under ocean acidification: Reviewing the role of Mytilus edulis.
    Marine Pollution Bulletin 2016 Jan 8. 5-14. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.12.040

  4. Glazier DS, Hirst AG and Atkinson D . 2015.
    Shape shifting predicts ontogenetic changes in metabolic scaling in diverse aquatic invertebrates
    The Royal Society Proceedings B 20142302.. 10.1098/rspb.2014.2302

  5. Hirst A, Horne C, Atkinson D. 2015.
    Equal temperature–size responses of the sexes are widespread within arthropod species
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282: 20152475. 10.1098/rspb.2015.2475

  6. Horne CR, Hirst AG, and Atkinson D . 2015.
    Temperature-size responses match latitudinal-size clines in arthropods, revealing critical differences between aquatic and terrestrial species
    Ecology Letters 18: 327-335. 10.1111/ele.12413

  7. Hyder K, Allen JI, Austen A, Barciela RM, Blanchard  J, Burrows MT, Defriez E, Edwards K, Garcia-Carreras B, Heath M, Hembury DJ, Heymans JJ, Holt J, Houle J, Jennings S, Mackinson S, McPike R, Mee L, Mills DK, Montgomery C, Pearson D, Pinnegar JK, Popova EE, Rae L, Rogers SI, Rossberg AG, Speirs D, Spence M, Thorpe R, Turner RK, van der Molen J, Yool A & Paterson DM. 2015.
    Making modelling count - increasing the contribution of shelf-seas community and ecosystem models to policy development and management.
    Marine Policy 61 291–302. 10.1016/j.marpol.2015.07.015

  8. Maud J, Atkinson A, Hirst AG, Lindeque PK, Widdicombe CE, Harmer RA, McEvoy AJ, Cummings DC.. 2015.
    How does Calanus helgolandicus maintain its population in a variable environment? Analysis of a 25-year time series from the English Channel.
    Progress in Oceanography 137: 513-523. 10.1016/j.pocean.2015.04.028

  9. Payne M, Barange M, Cheung W, MacKenzie B, Batchelder H, Cormon X, Eddy T, Fernandes JA, Hollowed A, Jones MC, Link J, Neubauer P, Ortiz I, Queiros A, Paula JR. 2015.
    Uncertainties in projecting climate-change impacts in marine ecosystems
    ICES Journal of Marine Science 10.1093/icesjms/fsv231

  10. Polimene L, Mitra A, Sailley SF, Ciavatta S, Widdicombe CE, Atkinson A, Allen JI. 2015.
    Decrease in diatom palatability contributes to bloom formation in the Western English Channel
    Progress in Oceanography 137:484-497. 10.1016/j.pocean.2015.04.026

  11. Queirós AM, Bruggeman J, Stephens N, Artioli Y, Butenschön M, Blackford JC, Widdicombe S, Somerfield PJ and Allen JI. 2015.
    Placing biodiversity in ecosystem models without getting lost in translation
    Journal of Sea Research 83-90. 10.1016/j.seares.2014.10.004

  12. Sailley SF, Polimene L, Mitra A, Atkinson A and Allen JI. 2015.
    Impact of zooplankton food selectivity on plankton dynamics and nutrient cycling
    Journal of Plankton Research 2015 37(3), 519-529. 10.1093/plankt/fbv020

  13. Spence M, Blackwell P, Blanchard JL. 2015.
    Parameter uncertainty of a dynamic multi­species size spectrum model
    Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 73(4), 589-597. 10.1139/cjfas­2015­0022

  14. Woodworth-Jefcoats PA, Polovina JJ, Howell EA & Blanchard JL. 2015.
    Two takes on the ecosystem impacts of climate change and fishing: Comparing a size-based and a species-based ecosystem model in the central North Pacific
    Progress in Oceanography 138, Part B, 533-545. 10.1016/j.pocean.2015.04.004

Acknowledging MERP:

Please use the following statement when acknowledging the Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP) in publications and other forms of media communication:

'This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [grant number NE/L003279/1, Marine Ecosystems Research Programme]'

For further information on how to acknowledge work funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) please click here.

For those funded under WP2 Modelling please use the following acknowledgement:

'This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [grant number NE/L003066/1, Marine Ecosystems Research Programme]'

Please note: Grant holders should notify the NERC media office and the MERP KE office ( when a paper based on NERC-funded research is accepted for publication.

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