Professor Peter Burkill

Professor Peter Burkill

Professor of Ocean Science

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)


Currently:  Professor of Ocean Science
Also: President, Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR)

Visiting Scientist, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India

Previously: Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS), Director (2007- 2011)
Marine Institute, Associate Director for Excellence (2008-2011)
Plymouth Marine Sciences Partnership Board, Member (2007-2011), Chairman (2007-2009) 
Plymouth Marine Science Education Forum, Chairman (2008-2011)


Fellow of the Institute of Biology (1998)
Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society (1990)
Chartered Biologist (1986)
PhD Oceanography University of Southampton (1978)
BSc Biology King's College, University of London (1972)


Professional membership

Marine Biological Association of the UK (since 1973)
Challenger Society (since 1975)
British Ecological Society (since 1978)
Royal Microscopical Society (since 1985; elected Fellow in 1990)
Institute of Biology (since 1986; elected Fellow in 1998)
American Society for Limnology & Oceanography (since 1996)

Roles on external bodies

Aquatic Microbial Ecology (Editorial Board April, 1996 – present)
DIVERSITAS International EcoServices Scientific Steering Committee (2004 – present)
International Committee for Marine Microbial Biodiversity (2005-present)
Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research President (2012-2016), Vice President (2006 – 2010)
Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar & Marine Science, Bremerhaven Germany, International Scientific Advisory Panel (2007 - present)
Anton Dohrn Stazione Zoologia, Naples, Italy. International Science Council (2008- present) 
Netherlands Institute for Ocean Science Scientific Stearing Committee (2009- present)
Portugese Funding Council (FCT) Marine Science & Technology Grants Panel Chair (2008- present)
EU Expert Group on Marine Observation & Data (EMODNET) Member (2008- present) 
Integrated Framework for Sustained Ocean Observations Task Team (2010 - present)
North Sea Task Team (2010- present)
Royal Society Global Environmental Research Working Group (1998 – 2011)
Royal Society Scientific Committee for Oceanic Research Working Group (National Representative: 1994 – present; Chairman: 2001- 2011)
HEFCE RAE 2001: Earth Sciences Board Adviser
HEFCE RAE 2008: Earth Systems & Environmental Sciences Panel Member
Scottish Association for Marine Science Council (2009-present)
HEFCE REF Trials 2010: Earth Systems & Environmental Sciences Panel Member (2010)
HEFCE 2014 REF Panel 7 Member for Earth Systems & Environmental Sciences (2011 - 2014)

Research interests

Biological Oceanography; Plankton Ecology; Marine Biogeochemistry; Marine Flow Cytometry; Marine Food-Webs; Marine Microbial Biodiversity; Microzooplankton Ecology; Plankton Trophodynamics; Plankton-climate interactions

Grants & contracts

56 personal research grants since 1988 worth £~10M

Co-Investigator / Principal Investigator on:  

NERC Grant NE/1030062 Going Global - internationalising the CPR Survey £232k over 3 years
NERC Grant NE/H01702X/1 Ocean Acidification Impacts on Sea Surface Biology £75k over 3 years
EU FP7 European Programme on Ocean Acidification £67k over 4 years
NERC Grant NE/E009719/1 Bacterioneuston of the air-sea microlayer £60k over 1 year.
NERC Grant NE/E1016138/1 Mixotrophic protists in oligotrophic gyres. £307k over 3 years
EPSRC/NERC Grant EP.E016774/1 Ruggedised microsystem technology for marine measurements £1.89M over 4 years
NERC Grant NE/C514723/1 Amino acid uptake by cyanobacteria £31k over 1 year
BES Grant Estuarine bacterioplankton £1.5k over 0.5 year.
NERC Grant NE/C50800X/1 Aq microbial metagenomics: environmental controls & bacterial populations 2004 £148k over 3 years.
ERC Grant Temporal & spatial variability of microbes £28k over 0.5 year.
NERC Grant NER/O/S/2001 Atlantic Meridional Transect £1.61M over 4 years.
NERC Grant NER/A/S/2001/01202 Phytoplankton mortality due to viral activity £132k over 3 years.
EU FP5 Grant Bacterial single cell approaches (BASICS) £210k over 3 years
NERC M&FMB AMBITION research in Arabian Sea £71k over 1 year