Benjamin Whitcombe

Aura Centre for Doctoral Training

Work with industry, drive innovation, develop a sustainable future.

Cohort 5

Benjamin Whitcombe


Prior to joining the Aura CDT programme, I achieved a First-class BSc Hons degree in Marine Biology. Through my degree, I have implemented various oceanographic techniques to study water quality, using Niskin bottles, Secchi discs, plankton nets, and an EXO2 multiparameter sonde. I am also experienced using GIS, analysing satellite remote sensing images, and using Microsoft Excel and R programming software to analyse data and perform statistical tests. For my dissertation, I investigated whether water quality changes resulted in the mass mortality of marine life along the northeast coast of England in 2021 and 2022, focussing on harmful algae blooms.

Research Interests:

I am fascinated by the ecology and biogeochemistry of phytoplankton. I want to investigate how environmental changes and human disturbances influence the growth rates and productivity of phytoplankton, and how they cope with these habitat changes. I would like to implement field and laboratory work, using oceanographic equipment to collect and analyse water samples, and active fluorescence to measure phytoplankton biomass. Through this PhD I hope to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of phytoplankton in aquatic systems and how they are affected by offshore wind farm activity.

Why you applied for the Aura CDT:

I aspire to advance my knowledge within the oceanographic field to the highest degree, therefore, a PhD would be a suitable qualification to gain towards this path. Furthermore. I am passionate about scientific research, and I want to contribute more to the STEM field through my work and publications. Additionally, I want to enhance my career prospects in research-oriented roles, especially in the renewable energy sector where I can address environmental challenges and promote energy efficiency.

My research:

Primary production and carbon export across the Flamborough frontal system: interaction with offshore wind energy

Get in touch:


For an informal discussion, call +44 (0) 1482 463331
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