University of Essex School of Biological SCIENCES Department of Mathematics


 WELCOME TO The Algae & Grazers Research group webpage

The Algae & Grazers Research Group is an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the School of Biological Sciences and Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Essex.


The oceans contain only about 0.5% of total global biomass of primary producers. However, they provide a similar amount of total annual production to that on land and turnover times for organic matter is 1000-times faster in marine in comparison to terrestrial ecosystems.


The Algae & Grazers Research Group is involved in a range of research areas from microzooplankton and copepod behavioural ecology and population modelling to phytoplankton trace gas production under different climate change scenarios.


Our research interests include:

DMSP & DMS Production & Biogeochemistry

Quantification of Real Time Trace gas production

Mathematical Modelling in Biology and Ecology

Production of biogenic trace gases under future CO2 levels

Plankton Chemical Ecology & Trophic Interactions



Algae and Grazers Gallery



Dr Michael Steinke



Lecturer in Marine Science




Dr Edward Codling


Senior Lecturer in Mathematical Biology



Dr Mark Breckels


Postdoctoral Researcher

DMS Chemical Ecology



  Nicola Lewis


 Dr Nicola Lewis




Dr Nikolai Bode


Dr Nikolai Bode


Research Fellow




Past & Visiting Researchers




 SELECTED Recent Publications


Lewis, N.D., Morozov, A., Breckels, M.N., Steinke, M., Codling, E. (2013) Multitrophic interactions in the Sea: Assessing the effect of Infochemical-Mediated Foraging in a 1-d Spatial Model. Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena, 8, 24-44. (link)


Lewis, N.D., Breckels, M.N., Steinke, M., Codling, E. (2013) Role of infochemical mediated zooplankton grazing in a phytoplankton competition model. Ecological Complexity, 16, 41-50. (link)


Breckels, M.N., Bode, N.W.F., Steinke, M., Codling, E. (2013) Effect of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production on the swimming behavior of the copepod Calanus helgolandicus. Mar. Drugs, 11, 2486-250. [Special Issue: Bioactive Compounds from Marine Plankton]. (link)


Green, B.C., Suggett, D.J., Hills, A., Steinke, M. (2011) Optimisation of a Fast DMS Sensor (FDS) for real time quantification of dimethyl sulphide production by algae. Biogeochemistry. (link).


Kerrison, Hall-Spencer, J.M., Suggett, D.J., Hepburn, L.J.,  Steinke, M. (2011) Assessment of pH variability at coastal CO2 vents for ocean acidification studies. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science., 94, 129-137. (link).


Lewis, N.D., Breckels, M.N., Archer S.D., Morozov, A., Pitchford, J.W., Steinke, M., Codling, E. (2012) Grazing-induced production of DMS can stabilize food-web dynamics and promote the formation of phytoplankton blooms in a multitrophic plankton model. Biogeochemistry, 110, 303-313.


Breckels, M.N., Roberts, E.C., Archer S.D., Malin G., Steinke, M. (2011) The role of dissolved infochemicals in mediating predator-prey interactions in the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina. J. Plank. Res., 33, 629-639.


Boakes, D.E., Codling, E.A., Thorn, G.J., Steinke. M. (2011) Analysis and modelling of swimming behaviour in Oxyrrhis marina. J. Plank. Res., 33, 641-649.


Codling, E.A., Bearon, R.N., Thorn, G.J. (in press). Diffusion about the mean drift location in a biased random walk. Ecology, 91, 3106-3113. (Pdf)


Exton, D.A., Smith, D.J., McGenity, T.J., Steinke, M., Hills A.J., Suggett D.J. (2010) Application of a Fast Isoprene Sensor (FIS) for measuring isoprene production from marine samples. Limnol. Oceanogr. Methods., 8, 185-195. (Pdf)


Breckels, M.N., Boakes, D.E., Codling, E.A., Malin, G., Archer, S.D., Steinke, M. (2010) Modelling the concentration of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) in the boundary layer surrounding phytoplankton cells. J. Plank. Res., 32, 253-257.











RESearch Information



The role of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in pelagic tritrophic interactions

PI: Dr Michael Steinke



Dr Stephen D. Archer

Dr Edward A. Codling

Dr Susan Kimmance


PDRA: Dr Mark N. Breckels

Ph.D student: Nicola Lewis




Fast DMS Sensor for online quantification of dimethyl sulfide (DMS)

PI: Dr Michael Steinke

PDRA: Dr Ben Green



research Affiliations






RESearch protocols

Macroalgae Chlorophyll Extraction

Measuring Hydrogen Peroxide

Copepod Husbandry Protocol

Plankton Tower Protocol

DAPI Staining Protocol

Fast DMS Sensor Protocol

Macroalgae DMSP Quantification

Full Facilities and Equipment



Recent & upcoming events

JR288 Arctic Cruise

JR288 Arctic Cruise

 July-August 2013

Microscale Interaction in Aquatic Environments


Les Houches, 10-15 March 2013




Copyright (c) 2012 site designed by Dan Boakes & Mark Breckels (mbreck -at-
Plankton images courtesy of
Glynn Gorick