Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

Annual Science Meeting

5 - 7 December 2023

Technology & Innovation Centre, 99 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1RD

MASTS Annual Science Meeting


Science, Sustainability and Society – valuing and protecting our marine systems

5th-7th December at the Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

The thirteenth MASTS Annual Science Meeting will be a cross-disciplinary event that brings together members of the marine science community, with the aim of promoting and communicating research excellence and forging new scientific collaborations. The event will take place in-person in Glasgow, although we will also provide some limited online attendance options too.

The first two days will bring together expert plenary speakers and contributed talks, panel sessions and e-posters outlining the latest research and management practices that address key topics related to marine science and management in the face of global climate change and a biodiversity crisis. Alongside our general science sessions, the event includes special topic sessions, and plenty of opportunities to network. The third day is devoted to workshops.

Keynote speakers:
  • TBC (Speaker for the OSPAR Quality Status Report 2023)
  • Professor Graham Underwood (Chair of the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership and Professor of Marine & Freshwater Biology at the University of Essex) 
  • Dr Michelle Taylor (Essex University based marine biologist and President of the Deep-Sea Biology Society, a leading research charity dedicated to deep-sea research).
Call for abstracts

Abstracts for talks and posters (either paper versions or eposters*) are now invited for our general science sessions or one of our special sessions.

Talks will be followed by a live group Q&A session within which all the speakers will be panel members. All presenters are encouraged to not solely focus on past and current research but to reflect on gaps of knowledge and future research directions. Talks should be accessible to other disciplines, by avoiding jargon and keeping technical details simple.

Abstracts are invited to sessions on:

  • General Science sessions (any field of study related to marine science)
  • Multiple Aquatic Stressors
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Deep Sea
  • Climate change
  • eDNA
  • Blue carbon

You can read more about the special session topics here. The deadline for abstract submission is 16.00 on Friday 8th September 2023. Abstracts should be submitted using this form.

* An ePoster is an electronic version of the traditional poster boards, and is displayed on a TV monitor/screen. The ePoster may include text, figures and images, as well as video and animation. Read our guidelines here. Eposters will need to be submitted to [email protected] before close on 20/11/23.

We encourage all presenters to read our general accessibility guidance here to ensure our event is available to all. 

if you are interested in running a workshop as part of the ASM, please get in touch by email at [email protected] and we will do our best to help. Details of confirmed workshops are below, but keep checking back for more!

Workshop information

Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020, together with recent publications from the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership, provides a comprehensive overview of the latest evidence on the impacts of climate change in Scotland’s marine and coastal systems. However, the evidence base is continually evolving, and this workshop will seek to bring together the latest knowledge, building upon the insights shared during the preceding day’s Marine Climate Change special session.

A next stage in the workshop will involve inviting participants to define pathways for action by government, business, and researchers to inform climate change adaptation.  Following the workshop, we aim to produce a summary document for sharing with key MASTS stakeholders, including government policy makers.

This workshop will use a role play simulation board game as an experiential learning method. Attendees will take on roles as members of government, business, NGOs or community organisations involved in the planning and management of marine space. Cast instructions will be sent in advance of the workshop.

The role play will be facilitated by environmental geographer Dr Tim Stojanovic (University of St Andrews) who has a 25 year research profile in marine planning and coastal management, and is a former chair of the MASTS MPG Forum. The scenario for this simulation has been developed using imaginary geography of a large area of ocean, bordered by two coastal nations and a shared sea (see figure below). The role play also provides a useful training exercise to develop transferrable skills in analysis, communication, negotiation and team working which are important in professional practice. The simulation also enables reflection on the challenges of implementing marine planning; managing human activities and their conflicts; and achieving cooperation, integration and sustainability. It will also hopefully be fun!

Max 20 participants

This workshop will present an open-source and user-friendly machine learning tool capable of measuring surface area and species count from images. The workshop will demonstrate the tool’s key features, such as its intuitive training process, in-built metrics calculator and model-sharing capabilities. During the workshop, attendees will be guided through the installation of the tool and gain first-hand experience in training models on a practice dataset. The workshop is open to all and no previous experience with machine learning or image analysis is needed. Please bring your laptop and charger and make sure you have your institute’s permission to download software on your laptop.

By the end of the workshop, attendees will have learned how to use RootPainter to analyse still images automatically. The workshop will also help foster new collaborations between MASTS attendees on the topic of machine learning and still image analysis.

Max 20 participants

Designing experiments that measure the response of marine organisms to multiple simultaneous environmental changes requires a good understanding of how to translate questions about biotic response to multiple drivers into a tractable research question, and then how to design and analyse an experiment that actually answers the question.

This workshop is aimed at students and early career researchers new to multiple driver experiments. It is focused on the design of manipulation (laboratory or field) experiments, though many of the concepts are applicable to observational data. Participants should express interest beforehand using the form provided. Exemplar workshops can be found at The workshop is offered by the SCOR project “Changing Oceans Biological Systems” and uses the resources in the online MEDDLE resource at

Expected Outcomes/Outputs: This practical workshop will explore defining research questions, designing multiple driver experiments, and present an overview of statistical methods for analysing multiple driver experiments. Participants will work in pairs to define and design an experiment and its analysis.

Max 12 participants

This is an initial stakeholder engagement workshop for A CREW project (2022-02: The effect of shellfish, kelp and sea grass beds on flood risk and coastal erosion in Scotland).  There is great interest in biological habitats as nature-based solutions (NbS) for coastal erosion and flood prevention.  Specifically this project looks at kelp, seagrass and saltmarsh.  However, there is a lack of focal point for exchange and consolidation of information across these habitats.  The purpose of this workshop is to engage stakeholders from local authorities, government agencies, academia and others and to provide a node for input and output of information regarding the status and effectiveness of marine habitats in coastal protection.

Expected Outcomes/Outputs:

  • Listing of interested stakeholders, including suggestions of those to include not present in person
  • Agreed list of focal areas for research/information gathering
  • Dissemination of project progress so far and initial results of modelling exercise
Want to be an Exhibitor at the conference?

The facilities of the Technology & Innovation Centre are available to exhibitors during the MASTS ASM. Exhibitors will be in the main conference lobby and are expected to stay for the duration of the conference. To have a stand at the conference please contact us at [email protected].

ASM Organising Committee

The MASTS ASM is being organised by Dr Emma Defew (MASTS Programme Coordinator) & Philip Bell-Young (MASTS Comms and Outreach Officer)

If you would like to get involved or have a query, please drop us an email.

You can stay up to date by following us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Access Statement

The event will take place in a variety of rooms in the Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC). A full access guide for the TIC is here. Including information regarding accessible toilet locations, lifts and outside access. Directly from the TIC “Events in the Technology & Innovation Centre: an A–Z Guide

The event’s reception and posters will be in the main conference lobby on the ground floor at the TIC. Seating is available around the lobby, although this is limited and we ask that this is prioritised for disabled attendees. There are plenty of quiet areas around the TIC. Dietary requirements will be catered for.


Technology & Innovation Centre, 
99 George Street, 
Glasgow, G1 1RD

+44 (0) 141 444 7000

If you have any questions, requests, or concerns about access at this event, please contact MASTS at [email protected].is

Student Prizes

We are delighted that IMarEST have kindly agreed to sponsor the student prizes for the 2023 ASM.

Don’t forget to stay up to date on the ASM by following us on Twitter or LinkedIn! #MASTSasm2023

See what has featured in our previous 12 Annual Science Meetings here

Check out some of the images from the 2019 ASM on the slideshow below.

MASTS Resources

We’re working behind the scenes to bring you a suite of useful, and updateable, resources including: 

  • Find an expert
  • Find facilities & equipment
  • MASTS Publications


If you would like to be updated when the resources section is live please let us know.