Welcome to our laboratory!  We are interested in biology at the surface-water interface.  The usual perception of ‘marine biology’ is of ‘blue oceans’ rather than surfaces, but if you accept the commonly held view that up to 80% of bacteria live in biofilm, surfaces come sharply into focus. Our focus, surface colonisation and biofouling, may be summarised in the form of two fundamental questions:

  • How do organisms find a suitable place to settle?
  • How do organisms remain attached to surfaces when challenged by hydrodynamic forces?

These are particularly exciting and challenging questions. Seeking the answers to them requires research at the interface of multiple disciplines through collaborations with polymer chemists, surface scientists, hydrodynamacists, analytical chemists and molecular biologists (see our publications).   The answers to these questions are expected to be of value in the applied fields of marine biofouling control, bioadhesives and aquaculture.

Most of our research involves model biofouling organisms that are both economically important and relatively easy to culture and/or maintain in the laboratory.  Our current work is primarily with barnacles, tubeworms and algae (Ulva and diatoms) and utilises a variety of tools and instrumentation to, for example, isolate and characterise chemical cues, obtain behavioural measures of the settlement of marine organisms and measure adhesive forces.

We hope you enjoy the website!

Prof. Tony Clare



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