Marine Scotland Science: directory

Details of specialists working for Marine Scotland Science.

This document is part of a collection

Dr Pablo León Diaz 

Planning and Environmental Advice Programme
Phytoplankton Ecology Group
Plankton Ecologist


Marine Scotland Science, Marine Laboratory, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen, AB11 9DB, UK

Pronouns: he/him/his

Details of specialism

In general terms I am interested in different aspects of marine plankton ecology, with primary focus on the diversity and dynamics of the phytoplankton community in Scottish waters. I am also interested in the effects of several forcing factors, such as physical forcing and Global Change, on marine plankton.

Within the broad topic area my particular focuses currently include:

  • assessing the potential impacts of ocean acidification on plankton, particularly on calcifying groups
  • understanding the effects of changes in temperature, CO2, UV radiation increase and eutrophication in the plankton food web
  • analysing the impact of physical forcing on plankton distribution and size structure in relation to matter fluxes in the ocean

Main policy links

  • water quality
  • harmful planktonic events
  • climate change
  • marine planning (science advice)

External committees and responsibilities

  • member of OSPAR ICG on Ocean Acidification
  • member of the North East Atlantic Ocean Acidification Hub
  • member of MASTS Marine Climate Change Forum
  • invited member of steering group for Defra project on ocean acidification
  • member of Athena SWAN team

Papers of relevance

Yebra L, Espejo E, Putzeys S, Giráldez A, Gómez-Jakobsen F, León P, Salles S, Torres P and Mercado JM (2020) Zooplankton biomass depletion event reveals the importance of small pelagic fish top-down control in the western Mediterranean coastal waters. Frontiers in Marine Science 7, 608690.

Humphreys MP, Artioli Y, Bakker DCE, Hartman SE, León P, Wakelin S, Walsham P and Williamson P (2020) Air–sea CO2 exchange and ocean acidification in UK seas and adjacent waters. MCCIP Science Review 2020, 54-75. 

León P, Bednaršek N, Walsham P, Cook K, Hartman SE, Wall-Palmer D, Hindson J, Mackenzie K, Webster L and Bresnan E (2019) Relationship between shell integrity of pelagic gastropods and carbonate chemistry parameters at a Scottish Coastal Observatory monitoring site. ICES Journal of Marine Science 77 (1), 436-450. 

Bednaršek N, Feely R, Howes E, Hunt B, Kessouri F, León P and Lischka S et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis towards synthesis of thresholds of ocean acidification impacts on calcifying pteropods and interactions with warming. Frontiers in Marine Science 6, 227. 

León P, Walsham P, Bresnan E, Hartman SE, Hughes S, Mackenzie K and Webster L (2018) Seasonal variability of the carbonate system and coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi at a Scottish Coastal Observatory monitoring site. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 202, 302-314. 

Details of linked research pages

Pablo León Diaz’s ResearchGate profile



Marine Scotland Science
Scottish Government
Marine Laboratory
PO Box 101
375 Victoria Road
AB11 9DB


+44 (0)131 244 2500


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