South West Marine Ecosystems Conference
  • Sherwell Centre

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The South West Marine Ecosystems (SWME) conference takes place every spring and in 2018, is held at the University of Plymouth. The conferences attract an audience of 200+ delegates from a wide range of organisations (75+) including professionals, students and volunteers.

The objectives of the SWME conference are:


  • To provide a networking opportunity for a wide cross section of people to meet, exchange views and build networks for the south-west's marine ecosystems in order to: provide active support for existing networks enabling and building citizen science projects, to encourage collaboration between users, researchers/scientists and managers/policy makers, and to encourage links between researchers on science projects throughout the region’s seas (for example the English Channel, Bristol Channel, Celtic Seas and the wider Atlantic Ocean).

Annual events and recording

  • To use the annual conference to record observation on ecological and oceanographic events of the previous year that have affected the south west marine ecosystems and to make the linkages between environmental and biological phenomena. 
  • To publish these observations annually. To promote the recording of observations through the year and ongoing regional and national marine recording projects through the SWME website.

Ecology of marine species

  • To promote research studies that focus on the ecology of marine species, planktonic, benthic and ‘mobile’ species (fish, birds, mammals, turtles) and the ecosystem that supports them. 
  • To understand the status of populations of marine species in the region’s seas and how they are responding to environmental and anthropogenic pressures. 
  • To enable stories to be told about the ecology of our common species, their distribution, movements and numbers, and importantly to highlight the gaps in our knowledge.

Management of south west marine ecosystems

  • To encourage strong relationships between policy makers and scientists; to promote science and the evidence base that underpins management of human activities in the coastal and marine environment with a view to supporting and promoting the health of south west’s marine ecosystems.

Marine education and outreach

  • To highlight marine education and outreach programmes in the south west. 
  • To support the development of new programmes that promote marine management and make use of marine science. To promote good practice in environmental education, interpretation, signage and outreach.

Participating staff from the University are Professor Martin Attrill, Robyn Samuel, Dr Olivia Langmead and Pete Davies.

Visit the conference website for further information or email

Join the conversation on Twitter using #SWME18

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