WATER samples from the Brightlingsea coast will form part of a global study into what lives in our oceans and sea.

Marine biology students from the University of Essex joined 184 other scientific teams from across the world for Ocean Sampling Day.

As part of the project, they took a water sample on the day of the summer solstice to identify the microbes in it.

Ocean Sampling Day is the biggest ever marine research project to have taken place on a single day.

The Essex students filtered their Brightlingsea water sample to extract all the DNA, then sent it to scientists in Bremen, Germany, leading the project.

Dr Michael Steinke, from the university’s school of biological sciences, said: “The vast data set from this project will be incredibly valuable for marine scientists as it gives a greater understanding of the biodiversity of our oceans and seas.

“As part of this project water samples were taken from as far afield as the Arctic, New Zealand, Africa and Hawaii and we are glad that Essex is in there too.”