People > Dr Helen Findlay

Dr Helen Findlay

Biological Oceanographer

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)


Dr Helen Findlay is a biological oceanographer who uses a combination of experimental, observational and modelling tools to investigate the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on marine organisms and ecosystem functioning. She has an interest in understanding the biological, physical and chemical interactions within the marine environment, specifically relating to carbon biogeochemical cycling, with a particular focus in Arctic regions.

Helen was the first recipient of the PML Lord Kingsland Fellowship, allowing her to continue her research on ocean acidification in both temperate seas and in the Arctic. She is currently involved in the UK Shelf Seas Biogeochemistry Programme; participating on the cruises to investigate nutrient and carbon biogeochemical cycling in sediments. Helen was involved in the UK Ocean Acidification project, offering advice for setting-up and running long-term CO2 experiments, and is lead PI on an Arctic project Ocean Acidification in Arctic Fjords. Helen facilitates PML's carbon chemistry research, with an aim to understand short-term variability relating to ocean acidification and climate change.

Helen is also involved in the outreach of marine science to schools and educators, working alongside Digital Explorer and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) to promote ocean learning in the classroom.


Shelf Seas Biogeochemistry research programme: biogeochemistry

Shelf Seas Biogeochemistry research programme: biogeochemistry, macronutrient and carbon cycling in the benthic layer

Contact: Professor Steve Widdicombe

The shelf seas are of major importance to society, providing a diverse range of goods, such as fisheries, renewable energy, transport and services...

Western Channel Observatory (WCO)

Western Channel Observatory (WCO)

Contact: Dr Tim Smyth

The Western Channel Observatory (WCO) is an oceanographic time-series and marine biodiversity reference site in the Western English Channel. In...

Other key projects

IUCN Mission Blue: Ocean Acidification in Arctic Fjords

NERC UK Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry

NERC UK Ocean Acidification

ESA Pathfinders - Ocean Acidification 

Catlin Arctic Survey (2010 – 2011)

EU FP7 European Project on Ocean Acidification (2008-2012)

Recent publications

  • Land, PE; Shutler, JD; Findlay, HS; Girard-Ardhuin, F; Sabia, R; Reul, N; PiollĂ©, J-F; Chapron, B; Quilfen, Y; Salisbury, J; Vandemark, D; Bellerby, R; Bhadury, P. 2015 Salinity from Space Unlocks Satellite-Based Assessment of Ocean Acidification. Environmental Science & Technology, 49 (4). 1987-1994. 10.1021/es504849s
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  • Tait, K; Beesley, A; Findlay, HS; McNeill, CL; Widdicombe, S; Sobecky, P. 2015 Elevated CO2induces a bloom of microphytobenthos within a shell gravel mesocosm. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 91 (8). fiv092. 10.1093/femsec/fiv092
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  • Keys, M; Tilstone, GH; Findlay, HS; Widdicombe, CE; Lawson, T. 2017 Effects of elevated CO2 on phytoplankton community biomass and species composition during a spring Phaeocystis spp. bloom in the western English Channel. Harmful Algae, 67. 92-106.
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  • Queiros, AM; Fernandes, JA; Nunes, J; Rastrick, S; Mieszkowska, N; Artioli, Y; Yool, A; Calosi, P; Arvanitidis, C; Findlay, HS; Barange, M; Cheung, W; Widdicombe, S. 2015 Scaling up experimental ocean acidification and warming research: from individuals to the ecosystem. Global Change Biology, 21 (1). 130-143. 10.1111/gcb.12675
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  • Hennige, SJ; Wicks, LCW; Kamenos, NAK; Findlay, HS; Roberts, JM. 2015 The hidden impacts of ocean acidification to live and dead coral. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B-Biological Sciences, 282. 10.1098/rspb.2015.0990
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  • Graham, H; Rastrick, SPS; Findlay, HS; Bentley, MG; Widdicombe, S; Clare, AS; Caldwell, GS. 2016 Sperm motility and fertilisation success in an acidified hypoxic environment. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 73 (3). 10.1093/icesjms/fsv171
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Selected key publications

Henry, L.-A., Vad, J., Findlay, H.S., Murillo, J., Milligan, R., Roberts, J.M., 2014. Environmental variability and biodiversity of megabenthos on the Hebrides Terrace Seamount (Northeast Atlantic). Nature Scientific Reports, 4: 5589, doi: 10.1038/srep05589

Findlay, H.S., Hennige, S.J., Wicks L.C., Moreno Navas J., Woodward E.M.S., Roberts J.M., 2014. Fine-scale nutrient and carbonate system dynamics around cold-water coral reefs in the northeast Atlantic. Nature Scientific Reports, 4: 3671-3681, doi:10.1038/srep03671 

Lewis, C.N.,* K.A. Brown, L. Edwards, G. Cooper, H.S. Findlay,* 2013. (*contributed equally) Sensitivity to ocean acidification parallels natural pCO2 gradients experienced by Arctic copepods under winter sea ice. PNAS 110: E4960-E4967, doi:10.1073/pnas.1315162110.

Land, P.E., Shutler J.D., Cowling R.D., Woolf D.K., Walker P., Findlay H.S., 2013. Climate change impacts on sea-air fluxes of CO2 in three Arctic seas: a sensitivity study using Earth observation. Biogeosci. 10: 8109-8128, doi:10.5194/bg-10-8109-2013 

Lewis, C.N.,* K.A. Brown, L. Edwards, G. Cooper, H.S. Findlay,* In press. (*contributed equally) Sensitivity to ocean acidification parallels natural pCO2 gradients experienced by Arctic copepods under winter sea ice. PNAS.

Land, P.E., J.D. Shutler, R.D. Cowling, D.K. Woolf, P. Walker, H.S. Findlay, in press. Climate change impacts on sea-air fluxes of CO2 in three Arctic seas: a sensitivity study using Earth observation. Biogeosci.

Russel, B., S.D. Connell, H.S. Findlay, K. Tait, S. Widdicombe, N. Mieszkowska, (2013). Unbalanced ecosystems: ocean acidification and temperature increase primary productivity but supress consumption. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B., 368, 20120438, doi:

Findlay, H.S., Y. Artioli, J. Moreno Nava, S.J. Hennige, L.C. Wicks, V.A.I. Huvenne, E.M.S. Woodward, J.M. Roberts, 2013. Tidal downwelling and implications for the carbon biogeochemistry of cold-water corals in relation to future ocean acidification and warming. Glob. Change Biol. 19, 2708-2719, doi: 10.1111/gcb.12256

Findlay, H.S., H.L. Wood, M.A. Kendall, J.I. Spicer, R. Twitchett, S. Widdicombe, 2011. Comparing the impact of high CO2 on calcium carbonate structures in difference marine organisms. Mar. Biol. Res., 7: 565-575

Findlay, H.S., P. Calosi, K. Crawfurd, 2011. Determinants of the PIC:POC response in the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi under future ocean acidification scenarios. Limnol. Oceanogr. 56: 1168-1178

Findlay, H.S., M.T. Burrows, M.A. Kendall, J.I. Spicer, S. Widdicombe, 2010. Does ocean acidification affect population dynamics: A modelling study? Ecology, 91: 2931-2940

Other activities

Fellow of Royal Geographical Society with IBG

Executive Committee Member for Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART) IASC Network

Member of the Association for Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS)

Editorial Board member for Ocean Challenge, Challenger Society Magazine