Our benthic taxonomy team

APEM’s marine invertebrate analysts have a total of 250 years’ experience in marine benthic macrofaunal sample analysis. Their experience includes specialist skills in marine and estuarine surveys, biological sample analysis, ballast water analysis and consultancy.

Our sample analysis includes marine invertebrates, meiofauna, zooplankton, phytoplankton, larval and adult fish, diatoms, seagrasses and macroalgae,

All team members are graduates with a degree in a relevant discipline and all are accomplished taxonomists. Many have published on the taxonomy of specific groups and as such are internationally recognized experts in their fields.

Our marine taxonomy services

We routinely process more than 2,500 marine samples a year, meeting deadlines even when timescales are tight and bringing forward our clients’ data delivery wherever possible.

Our marine taxonomists are trained to the highest standard in benthic analysis, and all sorting and identification is subject to rigorous in-house quality assurance that follows North East Atlantic Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control scheme (NMBAQC) best practice guidelines.

Our extensive in-house reference collection acts as a permanent record of the taxa recorded in a project and is a major aid to verifying identifications. We also maintain a large literature collection that is continually updated and expanded to ensure the accuracy of our identifications.

Our benthic experience covers the complete size range from the smallest meiobenthic organisms through to macrobenthos (both infaunal and epibiota) and megabenthos. Our benthic samples range from intertidal regions to offshore deep waters from worldwide locations and for a variety of purposes.

  • Scolelepis_squamata (polychaete worm)
  • Asterias_gibbosa (echinoderm)
  • Microscope picture of sample
  • Chaetomorpha_mediterranea (macroalgae) Chaetomorpha sp

Worldwide experience

APEM staff have analysed samples from throughout the North East Atlantic, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, Greenland, the Gulf region, the Caspian Sea, West Africa, St Helena, the Falkland Islands, East Africa, South East Asia and Hawaii.

The team has also conducted independent surveys and taxonomic studies of specific groups from numerous other locations.

The benchmark for high quality analysis

Whatever the nature or location of a project, APEM provides consistent and high-quality survey and sample analysis at competitive rates.

We are the contractor for the benthic invertebrate and particle size components of the NMBAQC scheme for 2014-2018, creating intercalibration exercises, organising taxonomic workshops and providing audit services to participants throughout Europe. APEM therefore represents the benchmark for benthic analysis.

Logo of NMBAQC scheme

The national best practice macrobenthic sample analysis guidelines were co-authored by two senior members of APEM’s marine team (Worsfold and Hall, 2010) on behalf of the NMBAQC Scheme.

Our clients

APEM is an approved supplier on sample analysis frameworks for the Environment Agency, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas).

We work for a wide range of sectors and organisations including:

  • Environment Agency, Natural England, DAERA-NI and SEPA
  • Regulatory authorities
  • Conservation agencies
  • Environmental consultancies
  • Harbour and port authorities
  • Architects and foreshore development companies
  • Water and power companies
  • Renewable energy companies
  • Oil and gas companies
  • Construction and dredging companies
  • Aquaculture
  • Aggregate extraction companies
  • Local authorities.

If you have any queries, please contact David Hall, head of marine and freshwater laboratories.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.