Dr James Fishwick

Senior Technologist/Scientist

James is a highly regarded UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Senior Technologist/Scientist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) where he is Head of Technology and Operations for the Western Channel Observatory (WCO).

The WCO is a globally unique long-term monitoring programme and biodiversity reference site where James works with both academic and commercial organisations to deliver high quality scientific measurements; also developing and proving new innovative technologies across the marine sector. He has been instrumental in the technical development of the autonomous monitoring platforms and sensors and is currently leading on the delivery of an autonomous water column profiling buoy, a first for UK marine waters. These offshore monitoring platforms are complimented with a recently developed onshore ‘Smart Sound Laboratory’ at PML, designed for testing and development of pioneering scientific sensors and platforms.

In addition, to his role at PML, James heads up Smart Sound Plymouth, an academic and commercial consortium facilitating a 350 square mile, fully instrumented proving ground for innovative marine technologies; within the Marine Business Technology Centre, Plymouth of which PML is a delivery partner. He chairs the Future Autonomous at Sea Technologies (FAST – Southwest) cluster, a group of industry leading companies and organisations working towards the delivery of autonomous at sea solutions. James also sits on the national Maritime Autonomous Systems Regulatory Working Group (MASRWG), which focuses on developing the code of practice for autonomous operations at sea.

James is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) and has gained chartered status as both a Marine Technologist and Scientist. He has authored and co-authored numerous scientific papers, NASA technical reports, conference proceedings and magazine articles.  He also attends conferences and workshops internationally, giving oral presentations of his work, including conferences such as Oceanology International.
James started his career at PML as a Bio-Optical Oceanographer and participated in several field campaigns contributing to the calibration and validation of both NASA and ESA satellites. Whilst at PML he successfully completed a PhD at the University of Plymouth; investigating the biological and photo-physiological interactions between phytoplankton functional types. Prior to joining PML in August 2000 he studied Marine Biology and Oceanography at the University of Wales, Bangor.

When James isn’t busy he enjoys spending time with his family cycling, walking and visiting numerous places of interest including National Trust properties. When at home he can often be found in his workshop where he is building a replica AC Cobra car.

Head of Smart Sound Plymouth.
Head of Operations and Technology,
Western Channel Observatory,
Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

James Fishwick


Endeavour House, Oceansgate, Plymouth, PL1 4RW

01752 304802


Mon. - Fri. 9:00 - 17:00


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