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Dr James Clark

Dr James Clark

Marine Ecosystem Modeller

jcl6/22/2024 6:18:02 PM@pml.ac.uk    |     +44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)

Dr James Clark is a Senior Scientist who works within the Marine Systems Modelling Group at PML. He has a Masters degree in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of York, and a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia, where he studied under the primary supervision of Prof. Andrew Watson FRS. Before moving to PML in 2013, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher with Prof. Tim Lenton and Prof. Hywel Williams at the University of Exeter.

His research interests span a range of topics, including marine pollution, evolutionary adaptation and acclimation in phytoplankton, marine ecology, marine biogeochemistry, and machine learning for automatic plankton identification.

He has over a decade of experience working on marine plastic pollution. His early collaborative work on the impact of microplastics on marine invertebrates, and the role these organisms play in redistributing microplastic in the ocean, informed UK legislation banning the use of microplastic beads in wash-off cosmetics. More recently, he has collaborated with social scientists and economists to study the social cost of plastic, and the conditions under which countries would be incentivised to reduce levels of plastic in the ocean.

He leads the NERC-funded Automated Plankton Imaging and Classification System (APICS) project (2022 – 2024), in which two automated plankton imaging systems are being configured for remote deployment in the Western English Channel. He is also the PML Principle Investigator (PI) and Work Package 5 Lead for the Horizon Europe New Copernicus Capability for Trophic Ocean Networks (NECCTON) project (2023 – 2027), which is co-funded by Innovate UK; and PML PI for UK Regional Environmental Prediction project, which is led by the UK Met Office (2017 –). Previously, he was the PI for the Copernicus Climate Change Marine, Coastal and Fisheries Sectoral Information System project (2018 – 2019).

Over the past decade, he has actively contributed to projects based around using particle tracking models to study ocean connectivity. He created the open-source particle tracking software PyLag, which he has used to study the movement, dispersal, and fate of plastic in the ocean. PyLag has acquired an international user base with applications in multiple novel projects, including two aimed at using models and satellite data to identify hotspots for ocean plastic.

In September 2023, his publications had received > 2800 citations with a h-index of 18 (Google Scholar).


PML PI and Work Package 5 Lead for the Horizon Europe New Copernicus Capability for Trophic Ocean Networks (NECCTON) project (2023 – 2027).

PI for the NERC Automated Plankton Imaging and Classification System (APICS) project (2022 – 2024),

PML PI for UK Regional Environmental Prediction project (2017 - ).

PI for the Copernicus Climate Change Marine, Coastal and Fisheries Sectoral Information System project (2018 – 2019).

PML PI for the Economics of Marine Plastic Pollution: What are the benefits of International Cooperation project (2019 – 2023)

  • Kerr, T., Clark, J. R., Fileman, E. S., Widdicombe, C. E. and Pugeault, N.  (2020) Collaborative deep learning models to handle class imbalance in FlowCam plankton imagery. IEEE Access, 8, pp. 170013-170032.
  • ​Schmidt, K., Birchill, A. J., Atkinson, A., Brewin, R. J. W., Clark, J. R. et al., 2020. Increasing picocyanobacteria success in shelf waters contributes to long-term food web degradation. Global Change Biology, 26: 5574– 5587.
  • Clark, J. R., Cole, M., Lindeque, P., Fileman, E., Blackford, J., Lewis, C. Lenton, T. M., Galloway, T. S. 2016. Marine microplastic debris: a targeted plan for understanding and quantifying interactions with marine life. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 14, 317-324.
  • Cole, M., Lindeque, P. K., Fileman, E., Clark, J. R., Lewis, C., Halsband, C., Galloway, T. S. Microplastics Alter the Properties and Sinking Rates of Zooplankton Faecal Pellets. Environmental Science & Technology, 2016.
  • Butenschön, M., Clark, J. R., Aldridge, J. N., Allen, J. I., Artioli, Y., Blackford, J., Bruggeman, J., Cazenave, P., Ciavatta, S., Kay, S., Lessin, G., van Leeuwen, S., van der Molen, J., de Mora, L., Polimene, L., Sailley, S., Stephens, N., Torres, R. ERSEM 15.06: a generic model for marine biogeochemistry and the ecosystem dynamics of the lower trophic levels Geoscientific Model Development Discussions, 2015, 8, 7063-7187.
  • Hellweger, F. L., Clegg, R. J., Clark, J. R., Plugge, and J. U., Kreft. 2016. Advancing microbial sciences by individual-based modelling. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 14, 461–471.

     

Recent publications

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