Macrobenthic sample analysis

The analysis of marine macrobenthic samples is a specialty of the Thomson marine team.

We routinely handle large numbers of samples and have the capacity to respond to the demands of urgent projects, with the ability to meet short deadlines. In recent years we’ve processed in excess of 1000 benthic samples per year.

Expert team of taxonomists

We have a strong team of dedicated marine taxonomists, with an international reputation. Our taxonomists conduct quality assurance auditing of samples analysed by other organisations and conduct workshops and training courses in taxonomy.

Dedicated resources

Since the company first started in 1985 we have been building a reference collection of unique taxa for every project. This has now built up to over 100,000 specimens of more than 3500 unique taxa. This includes specimens from UK waters as well as from around the globe, including the Mediterranean Sea, Caspian Sea, Qatar, Brunei, southern Greenland and West Africa. This unique collection, combined with a wealth of appropriate literature and keys, enables us to make rapid and accurate identifications.

Our laboratory is well equipped to undertake all stages of sample analysis from sieving and faunal extraction to species identification. Our extensive facilities allow us to process and store large numbers of samples from multiple surveys at any one time.

We use a dedicated laboratory database system (Unicorn) to facilitate sample tracking and data management. Unicorn stores biological data and ensures standardisation in the naming of fauna, reducing the scope for errors resulting from transcribing information. Results are provided to clients in a wide-range of formats including spreadsheets, database files or user-defined layouts suitable for input into other analytical packages.

We are framework providers to the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Environment Agency (EA), Natural England (NE) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW), undertaking sample analysis of benthic faunal samples collected by these organisations. Our inclusion on these frameworks and the significant work commissioned under them is evidence of the high regard we are held in by the statutory authorities and our market leading position.

To talk to our team of experts about how our team of taxonomists can help you with your project, please get in touch today.

Further reading and related articles

Thomson Ecology Handbook

This online version of the Thomson Ecology Handbook provides a general overview of current wildlife legislation* and is aimed at helping project managers understand and plan for ecology from the start.

Find out more

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