Dr Gavin Tilstone

Bio-optical Oceanographer

Dr Gavin Tilstone

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)

Dr Gavin Tilstone is a Senior Scientific Officer at PML working in bio-optical oceanography and remote sensing. Gavin originally trained as a botanist working on physiological, genetics and ecological aspects of plant biology, specialising in marine phytoplankton. In the last ten years he has been developing marine research that directly interfaces optical oceanography and remote sensing to address key environmental issues.

Gavin’s wide-ranging research interests include: Bio-optical modelling, phytoplankton optical properties, phytoplankton photo-physiological properties, particulate and dissolved optical properties, quality assured in-situ measurements, phytoplankton production models and validation of satellite products.

Gavin has written over 40 peer reviewed research papers.

Key Projects

INTERREG IVA 2SEAS ISECA - project Information System on the Eutrophication of our Coastal Areas

EUFAR-HYQUAPRO – higher performing water algorithms

COASTCOLOUR - European Space Agancy high resolution ocean colour satelllite algorithms

NERC National Capability - Atlantic Meridional Transect

NERC National Capability - Western English Channel Observatory

Ecosystem of the mid-Atlantic Ridge at the sub-polar front and Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone (ECOMAR)

NERC UK SOLAS grant, Investigation of the near surface production of iodocarbons – rates and exchanges (INSPIRE)


Tilstone GH, Miller PI, Brewin R, Priede, I.G. (2014) Enhancement of primary production outside of the spring bloom in the North Atlantic identified by remote sensing of ocean colour and temperature. Remote Sensing of Environment, 146: 77-86.

Kitidis V, Tilstone GH, Serret P, Smyth TJ, Torres R, Robinson C. (2014) Oxygen photolysis in the Mauritanian upwelling: Implications for net community production. Limnology and Oceanography, 59(2): 299-310.

Brewin RJ, Sathyendranath S, Lange PK, Tilstone GH. (2014) Comparison of two methods to derive size-structure of natural samples of phytoplankton. Deep-Sea Research I, 85: 72-79.

Tilstone GH, Lotliker A, Miller PI, Ashraf PM, Kumar TS, Suresh T, Ragavan BR, Menon HB. (2013) Assessment of MODIS-Aqua chlorophyll a algorithms in coastal and shelf waters of the eastern Arabian Sea. Continental Shelf Research, 65: 14-26.

Kowalczuk P, Tilstone G, Zabłocka M, Röttgers R, Thomas R. (2013). Composition of Dissolved Organic Matter along an Atlantic Meridional Transect from fluorescence spectroscopy and parallel factor analysis. Marine Chemistry, 157: 170-184.

Oubelkheir K, Clementson L, Moore G.F., Tilstone G.H. (2013). Production of mycosporine like-amino acids by phytoplankton under Ultra-violet radiation exposure in the sub-Antarctic zone south of Tasmania. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 494: 41-63

Abel R, Brand T, Dale A, Tilstone G, Beverage C. (2013). Variability of particle flux over the mid-Atlantic ridge. Deep Sea Research II 98: 257-268.

Tilstone GH, Lotliker A, Miller PI, Ashraf PM, Kumar TS, Suresh T, Ragavan BR, Menon HB. (2013) Assessment of MODIS-Aqua chlorophyll a algorithms in coastal and shelf waters of the eastern Arabian Sea. Continental Shelf Research, 65: 14-26.

Priede I.G., Bergstad O.A. , Miller P.I., incl. Tilstone G.H., et al (2013) Does presence of a Mid Ocean Ridge enhance biomass and biodiversity? PLoS ONE 8(5): e61550.

Hickman A.E., Moore C. M, Sharples J, Lucas M.I., Tilstone G.H., Krivtsov V., Holligan P. (2012). Primary production and nitrate uptake within the seasonal thermocline of the Celtic Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 463: 39-57, doi: 10.3354/meps09836.

Tilstone GH, Steef Peters, Hans van der Woerd, Marieke Eleveld, Kevin Ruddick, Wolfgang Schoenfeld, Hajo Krasemann, Victor Martinez-Vicente, David Blondeau-Patissier, Rudiger Rottgers, Kai Sorensen, Peter Jorgensen, Jamie Shutler. (2012) Variability in specific-absorption properties and their use in a semi-analytical Ocean Colour Algorithm for MERIS in North Sea and Western English Channel coastal waters. Remote Sensing Environment 118: 320-338.

Kitidis, V., Tilstone G.H., Smyth, T.J., Torres, R., Law C.J. (2011) Carbon monoxide Emissions from a Mauritanian Filament. Marine Chemistry. Mar. Chem. 127, 123-133.

Martinez-Vicente V, Tilstone GH, Sathyendranath S, Miller P, Groom S. (2012) Living sources of particulate backscattering over the mid-Atlantic Ridge. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 445: 37-51.Kitidis, V., Tilstone G.H., Smyth, T.J., Torres, R., Law C.J. (2011) Carbon monoxide Emissions from a Mauritanian Filament. Marine Chemistry. 127, 123-133.

Tilstone GH, I M Angel-Benavides; Y Pradhan, J D Shutler, S Groom; S Sathyendranath. (2011) An assessment of chlorophyll-a algorithms available for SeaWiFS in coastal and open ocean areas of the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. Remote Sensing Environment, 115, 2277-2291.

Shutler JD, Smyth TJ, Saux-Picart S, Wakelin SL, Hyder P, Orekhov P, Grant M, Tilstone GH, Allen JI. (2011) Evaluating the ability of a hydrodynamic ecosystem model to capture inter- and inra-annual spatial characteristics of chlorophyll-a in the north east Atlantic. Journal of Marine Systems, 88(2):169-182.

Tilstone G, Airs R, Martinez-Vicente V, Widdicombe C, Llewellyn C. in press. High concentrations of mycosporine like amino acids and coloured dissolved organic matter in the sea surface microlayer off the Iberian Peninsular. Limnology and Oceanography, 55(5).

Martinez-Vicente V, Land PE, Tilstone GH, Widdicombe C, Fishwick JR. 2010. Particulate scattering and backscattering related to water constituents and seasonal changes in the Western English Channel. Journal of Plankton Research, 32(5), 603-619.

Groom SB, Martinez-Vicente V, Fishwick J, Tilstone GH, Moore GF, Smyth TJ, Harbour D. (2009). The western English Channel Observatory: Optical characteristics of station L4. Journal of Marine Systems, 77(3), 278-295.

Robinson C, Tilstone GH, Rees AP, Smyth TJ, Fishwick JR, Tarran GA, Luz B, Barkan E, David E. 2009. Comparison of in vitro and in situ plankton production determinations. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 54(1), 13-34.

Serret P, Robinson C, Fernández E, Teira E, Tilstone G, Pérez V. 2009. Predicting plankton net community production in the Atlantic Ocean. Deep-Sea Research II, 56(15), 941-953.

Tilstone G, Smyth T, Poulton A, Hutson R. 2009. Measured and remotely sensed estimates of primary production in the Atlantic Ocean from 1998 to 2005. Deep Sea Research II, 56(15), 918-930.

Carr M-E, Friedrichs MAM, Schmeltz M, Aita MN, Antoine D, Arrigo KR, Asanuma I, Aumont O, Barber R, Behrenfeld M, Bidigare R, Buitenhuis ET, Campbell J, Ciotti A, Dierssen H, Dowell M, Dunne J, Esaias W, Gentili B, Gregg W, Groom S, Hoepffner N, Ishizaka J, Kameda T, Le Quere C, Lohrenz S, Marra J, Melin F, Moore K, Morel A, Reddy TE, Ryan J, Scardi M, Smyth T, Turpie K, Tilstone G, Waters, Yamanaka Y. 2006. A comparison of global estimates of marine primary production from ocean color. Deep-Sea Research II, 53(5-7), 741-770.

Lorenzo LM, Arbones B, Tilstone GH, Figueiras FG. 2005. Across-shelf variability of phytoplankton composition, photosynthetic parameters and primary production in the NW Iberian upwelling system. Journal of Marine Systems, 54(1-4), 157-173.

Smyth TJ, Tilstone GH, Groom SB. 2005. Integration of radiative transfer into satellite models of ocean primary production. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110(C10), art:C10014.

Tilstone GH, Smyth TJ, Gowen RJ, Martinez-Vicente V, Groom SB. 2005. Inherent optical properties of the Irish Sea and their effect on satellite primary production algorithms. Journal of Plankton Research, 27(10), 1-22

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