Claire is a plankton ecologist with 30 years research experience and over 70 publications relating to plankton biodiversity, community structure and ecosystem function. Specifically, Claire is highly skilled in phytoplankton identification and has studied planktonic communities in temperate (N&S Atlantic, North Sea), tropical (Indian Ocean, Mauritanian upwelling) and polar (Arctic & Antarctica) systems.
In 2005, Claire took over the responsibility for maintaining the long-term phytoplankton Station L4 time-series dataset which forms part of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory’s Western Channel Observatory. This programme has been running for over 30 years and is a key resource in Plymouth Marine Laboratory’s efforts to identify and predict the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems.
Her current research combines traditional and pioneering technology, such as microscopy, automated image recognition and eDNA, to explore long-term trends in the diversity of phytoplankton communities, including harmful algal species (HABs), so as to quantify the potential impacts of climate change (weather extremes, rising temperatures and nutrient supply) on microbial communities.
- Kerr, T; Clark, JR; Fileman, ES; Widdicombe, CE; Pugeault, N. 2020. Collaborative Deep Learning Models to Handle Class Imbalance in FlowCam Plankton Imagery. IEEE Access 8. 170013-170032.
- Schmidt, K; Birchill, AJ; Atkinson, A; Brewin, RJW; Clark, JR; Hickman, AE; Johns, DG; Lohan, MC; Milne, A; Pardo, S; Polimene, L; Smyth, TJ; Tarran, GA; Widdicombe, CE; Woodward, EMS; Ussher, SJ. 2020. Increasing picocyanobacteria success in shelf waters contributes to long-term food web degradation. Global Change Biology, 26: 5574–5587.
- Widdicombe, CE; Eloire, D; Harbour, D; Harris, RP; Somerfield, PJ. 2010. Long-term phytoplankton community dynamics in the Western English Channel. Journal of Plankton Research, 32: 643-655.
- Widdicombe, CE; Archer, SD; Burkill, PH; Stefels, J. 2004. Microzooplankton grazing in Phaeocystis and diatom-dominated waters in the southern North Sea in spring. Journal of Sea Research, 51: 37-51.
- McClusky, E; Brewin, RJW; Vanhellemont, Q; Jones, O; Cummings, DG; Tilstone, GH; Jackson, T; Widdicombe, CE; Woodward, EMS; Harris, C; Bresnahan, PJ; Cyronak, T; Andersson, AJ; 2022. On the Seasonal Dynamics of Phytoplankton Chlorophyll-a Concentration in Nearshore and Offshore Waters of Plymouth, in the English Channel: Enlisting the Help of a Surfer. Oceans.
- Mausz, MA; Airs, RL; Dixon, JL; Widdicombe, CE; Tarran, GA; Polimene, L; Dashfield, SL; Beale, R; Scanlan, DJ; Chen, Y; 2022. Microbial uptake dynamics of choline and glycine betaine in coastal seawater. Limnology and Oceanography.
- Mutshinda, CM; Mishra, A; Finkel, ZV; Widdicombe, CE; Irwin, AJ; 2022. Bayesian two-part modeling of phytoplankton biomass and occurrence. Hydrobiologia.
- Ross Brown, A; Lilley, MKS; Shutler, J; Widdicombe, CE; Rooks, PA; McEvoy, AJ; Torres, R; Artioli, Y; Rawle, G; Homyard, J; Tyler, CR; Lowe, C; 2022. Harmful Algal Blooms and their impacts on shellfish mariculture follow regionally distinct patterns of water circulation in the western English Channel during the 2018 heatwave. Harmful Algae.
- Ostle, C; Paxman, K; Graves, CA; Arnold, M; Artigas, LF; Atkinson, A; Aubert, A; Baptie, M; Bear, B; Bedford, J; Best, M; Bresnan, E; Brittain, R; Broughton, D; Budria, A; Cook, K; Devlin, M; Graham, G.; Halliday, NC; Helaouët, P; Johansen, M; Johns, DG; Lear, D; Machairopoulou, M; McKinney, A; Mellor, A; Milligan, AJ; Pitois, S; Rombouts, I; Scherer, C; Tett, P; Widdicombe, CE; McQuatters-Gollop, A; 2021. The Plankton Lifeform Extraction Tool: a digital tool to increase the discoverability and usability of plankton time-series data. Earth System Science Data.