People > Jerry Blackford

Jerry Blackford

Head of Science - Marine Ecosystems Models & Predictions

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)


Jerry Blackford is the Head of Science for PML’s Marine Systems Modelling Group, whose scientists develop coupled ecosystem, biogeochemical and physical model systems addressing a variety of applied research questions from coastal to global scales.

Jerry has a 26 year career specialising in marine system modelling being involved in the development and application of ERSEM since its conception in 1991. In recent years he has been particularly concerned with the interaction of high CO2 with marine systems, in the context of Climate Change and Ocean Acidification as well as leading environmental risk assessment and monitoring research for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

He has been actively researching CCS since 2004, in a wide range of projects, including as a work package leader in the EU funded RISCS and ECO2 programmes and as Principle Investigator in the UK funded QICS project which developed a world-first release of CO2 into shallow marine sediments. He is a work package and institute lead for the recently funded STEMM-CCS Horizons 2020 project, focused on operational monitoring for offshore CCS. He has links with several international researchers in the field of CCS, including Japan, Australia and the US, as well as within Europe.

Concerning Climate and Ocean Acidification he has pioneered the development of local and regional scale projections, including impacts and feedbacks to ecosystems, leading a NERC-Defra funded project investigating the evolution of ocean acidification in shelf seas and publishing in Nature Climate Change. He advises and contributes to the International Ocean Acidification Research Users Advisory Group, based in Monaco.

More generally he is involved in developing marine system models for a wide range of applications, including in the BBSRC-NERC funded ROSA Aquaculture project and the NERC funded Shelf Seas Biogeochemistry program. He has published over 50 articles with in excess of 1400 citations (85 / 2000 according to Researchgate!).



Combining Autonomous observations and Models for Predicting and Understanding Shelf seas

Contact: Dr Stefano Ciavatta

CAMPUS is a three-year project (2018–2021), funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, combining state-of-the-art computer modelling...


Pressure control and conformance management for safe and efficient CO2 storage - accelerating CCS technologies

Contact: Jerry Blackford

Pre-ACT is a €5.2M project led by the Norwegian research institute Sintef. The objective of Pre-ACT is to equip operators and regulators of...

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Other key projects

  • H+ fluxes in phytoplankton - physiological roles and responses to ocean acidification.
  • UK CCSRC: UK CCS Research Centre, Environment theme lead & coordination group.
  • ROAM: Regional Impacts of Ocean Acidification – A Modelling Study. NERC OA Theme. Project lead.

Recent publications

  • Instrument and Data Technician 

    £23,630 per annum 

    Full Time - 3 year Fixed Term Appointment 

    Do you have a background in building/developing scientific instrument systems and providing specialist technical support? Do you want to further your career in one of the UK’s leading marine research laboratories, making crucial steps to understanding how the oceans and marine atmosphere influence air pollution and climate?

    Plymouth Marine Laboratory has a strong track record in world leading Air-Sea Exchange (ASE) research. In recent years, the ASE group has had considerable success establishing a coastal atmospheric research station at Penlee Point ( and developing the capability to make autonomous direct measurements of air/sea CO2 exchange from ships (e.g. We require a Junior Technologist to help us to build upon these successes.

    As a key member of the ASE team your role will be to maintain and improve remote instrumentation at Penlee and on ships fitted with air/sea flux systems. You will drive forward the automation of remote instrumentation and develop novel methods of data acquisition and delivery using embedded PC technologies (e.g. Raspberry PI) and Python scripting. You will be responsible for data processing and quality control and will contribute to scientific interpretation and research outputs. You will be jointly responsible for the day-to-day running of the ASE laboratory and Penlee facility.

    This post is available immediately and for a fixed term of three years. To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact the air/sea exchange group lead (Dr Tom Bell) via 

    For this role we are open to discuss the possibility of reduced hours, flexible working or possible job share.

    Please see the link for our  Employee Benefits

    Closing date: 5pm on Tuesday 10th December 2019

    Interviews will take place on Tuesday 4th February 2020

    View publication

View more publications

Selected key publications

  • Jerry Blackford, Jonathan M. Bull, Melis Cevatoglu, Douglas Connelly, Chris Hauton, Rachael H. James, Anna Lichtschlag, Henrik Stahl, Steve Widdicombe, Ian C. Wright. Marine baseline and monitoring strategies for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) Int. J. Greenhouse Gas Control. 10.1016/j.ijggc.2014.10.004.
  • Blackford, JC; Stahl, H; Bull, JM; Bergès, BJP; Cevatoglu, M; Lichtschlag, A; Connelly, DP; James, RH; Kita, J; Long, D; Naylor, M; Shitashima, K; Smith, D; Taylor, P; Wright, I; Akhurst, M; Chen, B; Gernon, TM; Hauton, C; Hayashi, M; Kaieda, H; Leighton, TG; Sato, T; Sayer, MDJ; Suzumura, M; Tait, K; Vardy, ME; White, PR; Widdicombe, S. 2014 Detection and impacts of leakage from sub-seafloor deep geological carbon dioxide storage. Nature Climate Change. 10.1038/NClimate2381.
  • Artioli, Y; Blackford, JC; Nondal, G; Bellerby, RGJ; Wakelin, SL; Holt, JT; Butenschon, M; Allen, JI. 2014 Heterogeneity of impacts of high CO2 on the North Western European Shelf. Biogeosciences, 11 (3). 601-612. 10.5194/bg-11-601-2014.
  • Flynn, KJ; Blackford, JC; Baird, ME; Raven, J; Clark, DR; Beardall, J; Brownlee, C; Fabian, H; Wheeler, G. 2012 Changes in pH at the exterior surface of plankton with ocean acidification. Nature Climate Change, 2. 510 - 513. 10.1038/NClimate1489.
  • Blackford, JC; Jones, N; Proctor, R; Holt, JT; Widdicombe, S; Lowe, DM; Rees, AP. 2009 An initial assessment of the potential environmental impact of CO2 escape from marine carbon capture and storage systems. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part a-Journal of Power and Energy, 223. 269 - 280. Doi:10.1243/09576509JPE623
  • Blackford, JC; Allen, JI; Gilbert, FJH. 2004 Ecosystem dynamics at six contrasting sites: a generic modelling study. Journal of Marine Systems, 52 (1 - 4). 191 - 215. Doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2004.02.004