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PML scientists in Egypt for COP27

2 November 2022

The 27th session of the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) takes place in Sharm El-Sheikh from 6-18 November, 2022
Aerial view of Sharm El-Sheikh Egypt

Ocean and climate experts from Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) will participate in and organize numerous ocean events at COP27 as well as exhibit in person and online, highlighting the enormous role the ocean plays in sustaining life on Earth, regulating climate and the consequences of a high CO2 world for the ocean and society.

PML has played a key role at every single UN global climate summit since 2009, and is a founding partner of this year’s first-ever in-person Ocean Pavilion, which will serve as a central hub for conference delegates to exchange ideas about how to address climate change by leveraging the ocean.

In collaboration with partners we developed the COP27 Ocean Events tracker resulting in a unique overview which can be accessed for free and by anyone through the COP27 Virtual Ocean Pavilion. This virtual initiative is a platform for connecting virtual and in-person participants of the Summit from various parts of the world and for promoting increased ambition, finance, unity, and action in accordance with COP27 priorities.

PML’s experts develop science-policy briefings, including for COP27, and have lead author roles in UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports which inform COP negotiations.

An important focus for PML is on explaining the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems and society to inform policy decisions needed to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

This includes providing evidence and developing technologies and novel applications in support of addressing the climate crises, in areas such as: blue carbon, offshore renewable energy, carbon capture and storage, carbon dioxide removal, and related stressors such as the impact of plastics on climate change.

The goal and vision for COP27 is to “accelerate global climate action through emissions reduction, scaled-up adaptation efforts and enhanced flows of appropriate finance,” and PML scientists will be sharing their evidence and insight in support of this ambition.

The COP27 delegates from PML include:

Prof Steve Widdicombe
Professor Steve Widdicombe 
Director of Science and Deputy Chief Executive, Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)  

Professor Widdicombe is a marine ecologist with over 30 years of experience in areas including benthic ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem function.  

Much of his recent research has concentrated on the impacts of human induced stressors, such as climate change, ocean acidification and artificial light, on marine organisms and ecosystems.  

Prof Widdicombe is the co-chair of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) Executive Council. He is also a co-lead on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development endorsed programme OARS (Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability) and regularly contributes to high level policy discussions (e.g. UNFCCC COP and the UN Ocean Conference I Dialogues). 
Dr Carol Turley
Dr Carol Turley OBE
Head of the International Office

Dr Turley’s research has been centred on the ocean’s biogeochemical cycles looking at habitats from shallow and deep-sea sediments, estuaries, frontal systems to large enclosed waters. She was a member of The Royal Society Working Group on ocean acidification and has been both a Lead Author and a Review Editor on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports on Climate Change.

Dr Turley has contributed to many UN events, including giving evidence to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice for COP. She briefs a wide range of interested global stakeholders including UK Government departments, Ministers and Chief Scientists on the latest science on the ocean-climate nexus and has presented in the Houses of Parliament, European Parliament and the US State Department. She is the lead author on ‘Why the Ocean Matters in Climate Negotiations’ and an author on the upcoming briefing paper ‘The Urgency of Climate Mitigation for COP27 and Beyond’.

Dr Helen Findlay
Dr Helen Findlay
Biological Oceanographer

Dr Findlay is focused on understanding the effects of climate change and ocean acidification on marine ecosystems, and the application of this knowledge to maintain a healthy, sustainable ocean. She uses a combination of experimental, observational, and modelling tools to investigate the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification, with a particular focus on the Arctic.

She is a member of the Executive Council for the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) and lead coordinator for the North East Atlantic Ocean Acidification (NEA-OA) regional hub of GOA-ON, which aim to establish accurate global monitoring of acidification, share knowledge and build capacity, to underpin solutions. She is an author on the second State of the Cryosphere report, released just before COP27 which summarizes the best scientific understanding of IPCC authors and cutting-edge researchers. They describe what the essentially permanent impacts from cryosphere will be if we choose to exceed 1.5°C or more. It does not take as its benchmark 2100, but rather the ultimate cost of inaction to the planet and human communities.
Dr Ana Querios
Dr Ana M Queirós
Marine and Climate Change Ecologist

Dr Queirós is an internationally recognised expert on seaweed blue carbon and climate change ecology, with expertise in field, laboratory and modelling based approaches.

She is working specifically on helping to manage ocean habitats through the advancement of our understanding of global blue carbon capacity and the identification of ecosystem-level climate signals. She recently published the first field-based quantification of sedimentary seaweed carbon sequestration in the wild, highlighting the need for joint conservation of seaweed and sedimentary habitats.

Gemma Kulk
Dr Gemma Kulk
Phytoplankton physiologist, Earth Observation Science & Applications

Dr Gemma Kulk specialises in the photophysiology and primary production of marine phytoplankton. Over the past ten years, Gemma has combined laboratory experiments with field measurements in the North Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, the Arctic Ocean and the western Antarctic Peninsula to study the response of marine phytoplankton to changing environmental conditions.

She is especially interested in the role of phytoplankton in the ocean’s carbon cycle. At PML, Gemma studies long term trends in global primary production using ocean colour remote sensing. She also uses ocean-colour remote sensing to investigate the role of lake ecosystems in Cholera epidemics in the South-West of India. She is an author on the Human Health and Climate Change briefing paper published during COP27. 


Thecla Keizer
Deputy Head International Office & International Marketing and Business Development Executive

Thecla Keizer plays a vital role in coordinating PML delegation at COP27.

For interview requests please contact: Daniel Jones (Head of Marketing & Communications at PML): / 07886 785 986

Related information

View our COP27 event page which details which events PML's ocean and climate experts will be participating and organizing.