Marine biotechnology undertakes research on marine biofouling and its control and industrial and medical biomedical applications of marine bacteria and fungi. It works to understand how marine invertebrates locate a place to settle and adhere to surfaces, which informs new environmentally benign technologies to control the fouling process.
At a more applied level, new techniques have been developed for the biological evaluation of novel polymers and nanotechnologies in close collaboration with international teams of chemists and surface scientists. Microbiological research is concerned with the nature of bacterial signalling and its effect on secondary metabolite synthesis and biofilm formation. Drug discovery is a major focus of marine natural product research.