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University Marine Biological Station Millport

University Marine Biological Station Millport
Established 1897 (as Millport Marine Station)
Type Public HE Institution
Acting Director Prof. P. Geoff Moore
Admin. staff 4
Location Millport, Great Cumbrae, Scotland
Campus Marine biological lab.
Affiliations University of London
Website Official website

The University Marine Biological Station Millport (UMBSM) was a higher education institute located on the island of Great Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland run by the University of London (of which it is a central academic body). It closed in 2013 and is now Millport Field Centre run by Field Studies Council.

Located just outside the town it has an interesting curriculum and research programme, with an influx of students throughout the academic year. A Museum and Aquarium (named after founder, David Robertson) is open to visitors.[1] In May 2003 the station took delivery of the Macduff-built, 22 metre marine research vessel, RV Aora. UMBSM also functions as a Meteorological Office Weather Station and Admiralty Tide Monitor.


  • History 1
  • References 2
  • See also 3
  • External links 4


The University Marine Biological Station Millport

The Ark, an 84ft lighter was fitted out as a floating laboratory by the father of modern oceanography, Sir John Murray. She formed the Scottish Marine Station for 12 years from 1884. In 1885 she was moved from Granton and drawn up on the shore at Port Loy, Cumbrae.[2] She attracted a stream of distinguished scientists drawn by the richness of the fauna and flora of the Firth of Clyde. The Granton station eventually closed in 1903.

In Millport, amateur naturalist David Robertson was encouraged by meeting Anton Dohrn and by the wealth of findings from the Challenger expedition. In 1894 he formed a committee to build a marine station in Millport and took over The Ark. Millport Marine Biological Station was opened in 1897 by Sir John Murray. The Ark was totally destroyed by a great storm on the night of 20 January 1900.[3]

On 21 July 1904 Scotia, the ship of Dr William Speirs Bruce's Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, returned to her first Scottish landing site, on the Isle of Cumbrae.

From this beginning the station was gradually built up to its present size. The original building proved too small for the purpose and an architectural copy was built alongside.

In December 2012, it was announced that the University Marine Biological Station Millport may be forced to close due to the Higher Education Funding Council for England withdrawing the £400,000 which it gives the University of London to run the station.[4] UMBSM closed on 31st October 2013.[2]

Ownership transferred to Field Studies Council on 1st January 2014.[2] In May 2014 a £4 million package of funding was announced that is intended to allow a comprehensive programme of development and refurbishment to be completed over a period of five years.[5]


  1. ^ "University Marine Research Station". Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "History of University Marine Biological Station Millport". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  3. ^ PG Moore & JA Gibson (January 2007). "Marine Station at Millport". The Linnean 23 (1): 31–49. 
  4. ^ "University Marine Biological Station Millport may close". BBC News. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Millport marine research station reopens". Scottish Government. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 

See also

External links

  • Official website
  • "University Marine Biological Station Millport – official website". Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  • "SAMS History". Retrieved 2008-10-19. 

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