Dr Richard Kirby is an award winning plankton scientist, author and public speaker based in Plymouth, UK. Richard’s research focuses upon
the plankton food web and how it is affected by environmental variability, especially temperature. Richard has always been fascinated with the natural world and animals especially, and so it was no surprise that his career began with a zoology degree from Exeter University followed by a PhD in Genetics from University College, London.
Since then, Richard has worked in the USA at Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University and at the Belle W Baruch Institute of Marine Science, University of South Carolina. He was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2003 to study plankton ecology. Richard’s research laboratories are currently located at the Marine Biological Association of the UK where he is also an Associate Fellow.
Richard is enthusiastic about sharing his work through an engaging ‘science outreach’ programme, which includes the world’s largest citizen science marine project (the Secchi Disk Study - a global study of marine
phytoplankton), educating in the school classroom, both at primary
and secondary school level, and also through his popular book called Ocean Drifters, a secret world beneath the waves that aims to interest all ages of the public in the plankton.
In addition to his science, Richard’s is also well known for the beautiful images that he takes of the plankton he studies, which he uses to engage people with his science world. Richard’s plankton images have appeared at science festivals, exhibitions and he features regularly in the national and international press.