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.
- Walker, C; Corrigan, S; Daniels, C; Wilding, C; Woodward, EMS; Widdicombe, CE; Smale, DA; Ashton, IGC; Brown, AR; 2023. Field assessment of the potential for small scale co-cultivation of seaweed and shellfish to regulate nutrients and plankton dynamics. Aquaculture Reports.
- Zhao, Q; van den Brink, PJ; Xu, C; Wang, S; Clark, AT; Karakoç, C; Sugihara, G; Widdicombe, CE; Atkinson, A; Matsuzaki, S-I S; Shinohara, R; He, S; Wang, YXG; De Laender, F; 2023. Relationships of temperature and biodiversity with stability of natural aquatic food webs. Nature Communications.
- Stern, R; Picard, K; Clarke, J; Walker, CE; Martins, C; Marshall, C.; Amorim, AL; Woodward, EMS; Widdicombe, CE; Tarran, GA; Edwards, M; 2023. Composition and Patterns of Taxa Assemblages in the Western Channel Assessed by 18S Sequencing, Microscopy and Flow Cytometry. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering.
- Airs, RL; Beale, R; Polimene, L; Chen, Y; Mausz, MA; Scanlan, DJ; Widdicombe, CE; Tarran, GA; Woodward, EMS; Harris, C; McEvoy, AJ; 2022. Seasonal measurements of the nitrogenous osmolyte glycine betaine in marine temperate coastal waters. Biogeochemistry.
- Chang, C-W; Miki, T; Ye, H; Souissi, S; Adrian, R; Anneville, O; Agasild, H; Ban, S; Be’eri-Shlevin, Y; Chiang, Y-R; Feuchtmayr, H; Gal, G; Ichise, S; Kagami, M; Kumagai, M; Liu, X; Matsuzaki, S-I S; Manca, MM; Nõges, P; Piscia, R; Rogora, M; Shiah, F-K; Thackeray, SJ; Widdicombe, CE; Wu, J-T; Zohary, T; Hsieh, C-h; 2022. Causal networks of phytoplankton diversity and biomass are modulated by environmental context. Nature Communications.