Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

MASTS Webinar

MASTS 2023 Webinars

Building upon three years of successful webinar series, we are back! From February 2023, we will bring a 30 min webinar every second Wednesday at 13:00 UK time that is free and includes a live Q&A.

For 2023, our speakers are exclusively awardees of the Saltire Emerging Researchers Scheme which was funded by a joint collaboration between the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and MASTS. Each webinar will focus on an awardee and their funded project through a 20-minute talk, plus 10 minutes for Q&A. We have a broad and varied programme lined up, and MASTS works to promote open and accessible marine science discourse.

Upcoming (previous talks listed at the bottom):



Alejandra Cabanillas (University of Strathclyde): Modelling productivity and sustainability of future macroalgae farming in the north Atlantic under various climate change scenarios

Seaweed forests are a significant feature of coastal ecosystems, playing a role in carbon capture, primary production and in creating a structurally complex habitat that enhances biodiversity. However, there are few models which describe the dynamics of forests. Here we follow a dynamic energy budget (DEB) theory approach to model the individual growth trajectory for the brown seaweed – Laminaria hyperborea. The parameterized models are used to predict the effect of changing environmental conditions on biomass. The model runs are then repeated for future environmental conditions under the IPSS RCP8.5 emissions scenario.These predictions will be of direct economic interest to local communities where aquaculture can be developed.  Physiological process-based models such as the one developed here provide a mechanistic alternative to statistical models for predicting changes in species distributions in response to climate change. 

Sign up here


Charlotte Lee (University of Stirling): Comparative Metaproteomics of the Plastispheres isolated from transparent and coloured plastic debris obtained from joint sampling programmes.

The surface of marine plastic debris is a site of immense activity and contamination. Besides the pollution it is known for, plastic itself can be fouled by microorganisms that bind to its surface, and by other chemical pollutants which are drawn to or leached from the plastic. The composition of these leachates will depend on the additives used to customise the plastic based on the manufacturer’s needs (i.e. colour, heat-resistance) so will vary between plastics. However, the impact of this variation on the ‘plastisphere’ – the community of microorganisms on plastic –, which may consist of beneficial (i.e. bioremediative) or hazardous microorganisms, is poorly understood. We have therefore studied the impact of colourants and other plastic co-pollutants on entire plastisphere communities, and individual strains to understand which microbial activities (viz. pathogenicity) are facilitated and inhibited by co-pollutants. For our community-wide survey, metaproteomics – a technique that examines a full community’s expression of proteins – revealed which organisms were most active during co-pollutant exposure, and what their activities were. Our more focussed study of Rossellomorea aquimaris – a plastic-degrading microorganism – and Escherichia coli – our representative ‘pathogen’ – was then used to predict which organisms are most likely to prosper in a highly polluted biofilm. Such an understanding of this microbial response is of critical importance for understanding the bioremediative, or potentially dangerous nature of these transient communities. 

Sign up here


Sebastien Leveque (University of Glasgow): Genetic mechanisms for acclimation and adaption to coral bleaching.

Sign up here


Alexandra Pounds (University of Stirling): Building capacity and drafting publications to bridge the interdisciplinary divides between aquatic animals, nutrition, and health outcomes

Sign up here


Emily Hague (Heriot Watt University): Sharing insights, ideas and understanding of vessel activity in coastal waterways: past, present and future

Sign up here


2 webinars for 1!

Alex Thompson (SAMS): Enhancing genomics and metabolomics capabilities for cryophilic algae

Ximena Vega (University of Stirling): Seeding collaboration to characterise the chemical and optical properties of organic carbon in Arctic glaciomarine systems.

Sign up here


Emma O’Halloran (University West of Scotland): Developing techniques to study Neoparamoeba species isolated from sea urchins

Sign up here


Encarni Medina Lopez (Edinburgh University): From the North Sea to the Strait of Gibraltar: remote sensing applications for high-resolution coastal science solutions

Sign up here


Chloe Cargill (University of Aberdeen): A pilot study towards understanding the connectivity of United Kingdom and Norwegian black-legged kittiwake populations across the North Sea

Sign up here

Previous MASTS webinars

Throughout the springs and summer of 2020, 2021 and 2022 MASTS organised and hosted marine science webinars that were publicly available. Members of the marine science community were invited to watch the highly successful MASTS webinars to learn about the latest breakthroughs, new technologies, and ground-breaking research in a broad variety of fields.

Many of the speakers were from MASTS partner institutes, however, MASTS also supported researchers from around the world with presenting their work to new audiences. Viewers joined from both within and outside the UK to listen to different speakers each week, and many would catch-up on our YouTube Channel. 

For the month of June 2021, MASTS was delighted to collaborate with EMBRC: European Marine Biological Resource Centre to provide EMBRC affiliated speakers to the series.

All talks were recorded along with their Q&A. Please check out the below lists to see who was featured and to access the webinar playlists. 

15-Feb-23 – Nick Jones (University of Bayreuth / University of St Andrews): Exploring the interacting effects of thermal fluctuations and habitat complexity on stickleback behavioural adaptation. [not recorded due to publications]

1 March – Magnus Janson (Edinburgh Napier University): Investigating the biodiversity and ecological status of natural European flat oyster beds in Sweden, using soundscape analysis and visual surveys

15 March – Irma Cascao (University of the Azores): Estimation of biomass and distribution of mesopelagic organisms around the Azores. WATCH HERE

29/6/22 Texa Sim (UHI-SAMS) How do harbour porpoises interact with salmon farms on the west coast of Scotland? WATCH HERE

25/5/22 – David Bailey (University of Glasgow): A seascape approach to the protection of essential fish habitat WATCH HERE

27/4/22 – Max Holloway (SAMS-UHI) Modelling Of Aquaculture Impacts And The Move To More Exposed Locations: What Scales Do We Need To Resolve? WATCH HERE

30/3/22 – Prof David Paterson & Dr Emma Defew (MASTS Directorate) MASTS – past, present & futureWATCH HERE

23/2/22 – Murray Roberts (University of Edinburgh) and Kevin Scott (St Abbs Marine Station) Open to all – a new strategic partnership between St Abbs Marine Station and the University of Edinburgh WATCH HERE


10/2/21 – Zoe Hutchison (Uni. of St Andrews): Subsea power cable electromagnetic fields and effects on marine species

17/2/21 – Mark Dickey Collas (ICES): ICES: ensuring appropriate knowledge for decision making

24/2/21 Brian Quinn (Uni. of West of Scotland): Developing rapid diagnostics to assess fish health for aquaculture

3/3/21 – Tom Eaves (Uni. of Dundee): Understanding and categorising ocean mixing

10/3/21 – Bryan Wilson (Uni. of Oxford): The Chagos Archipelago: A Tantalising Glimpse into the Coral Reefs of Yore

17/3/21 – Lydia McGill (Uni. of Highlands and Islands): Infaunal analyses and population connectivity of flame shell beds for monitoring and management of marine protected areas in Scotland

31/3/21 – Dan Smale (Marine Biological Association): Climate-driven shifts in kelp forest structure: implications for productivity, biodiversity and resilience

14/4/21 – Heather Stewart (BGS): Exploring the Underworld: The geomorphology and sediments of subduction trenches

21/4/21 – Dan Goldberg (Uni. of Edinburgh): Interactions between ocean and ice shelves in west Antarctica, and implications for ice-sheet stability and coastal productivity

28/4/21 – Richard Lilley (Project Seagrass): Seagrass Restoration in Scotland: Challenges and Opportunities?

5/5/21 – Kristina Barclay (Ocean Acidification Community of Practice, Canada): MEOPAR Ocean Acidification Community of Practice

12/5/21 – Marilena Oltmanns (NOC): How does the Artic Affect our Weather?

26/5/21 – Daniela Diz (Heriot-Watt Uni): The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and its Implications to International Ocean Governance

2/6/21 – Kim Praebels (UiT The Arctic University of Norway): Marine Environmental DNA in the Athropocene

9/6/21 – Helene Langehaug (NERSC, Norway): Propagation of Thermohaline Anomalies and their predictive potential in the Northern North Atlantic

16/6/21 Douglas Speirs (Uni. of Strathclyde): Modelling zooplankton and fish in space and time, and under climate change

23/6/21 – Luigia Santella (Stazione Zolligcal Anton Dhorn): What Happens when Sperm Meets Egg: A Revisitation of the Process

30/6/21 – Tamara Galloway (Uni. of Exeter): Assessing the Impacts of Plastics

1/7/21 – Marie Russel (Marine Scotland Science): Where are the floating microplastics in Scotland’s Seas?


26/08/2020 – Dr Carlos Loureiro (University of Stirling) – Stormy seas on sandy coasts: morphological impacts of exceptional storms on beaches and barriers

19/08/2020 – Nick Bibby ( Scottish Policy and Research Exchange), Mark James (MASTS) & Janelle Braithwaite (Marine Scotland) – Building relationships with policy professionals in Scotland: strategies for MASTS researchers 

12/08/2020 – Dr David McKee (University of Strathclyde) – Light in the sea: new frontiers in optics and oceanography

05/08/20 – Anna Garcia-Teruel (University of Edinburgh) – Reshaping wave energy: a method for design optimisation

29/07/2020 – Drs Lucie Novoveska & Adrian MacLeod (SAMS) – Algae treasure chest: Unlocking the potential of microalgae and macroalgae in Scotland

22/07/2020 – Dr Davina Derous (University of Aberdeen) – What is a healthy dolphin? Toward new ecological relevant health markers

15/07/2020 – MASTS & SUPER Grad School 4 x 10min “My Research” Showcase

08/07/2020 – Dr Hermione Cockburn (Our Dynamic Earth) – Discovering the Deep: Public engagement outcomes and legacy from the ATLAS project

01/07/2020 – Dr Maria Azeredo de Dornelas (St Andrews University) – Changing seas: biodiversity change in the recent past

4/6/2020 – Dr Declan Tobin (JNCC) – What’s the porpoise? Marine conservation; the species behind the policies

17/6/2020 – Dr Tania Mendo & Dr Mark James (University of St Andrews) – Understanding potential impacts and assessing possible mitigation of bycatch in an artisanal shrimp trawl fishery in Peru

10/6/2020 – Dr William Sanderson & Hannah Lee (Heriot Watt University) – The DEEP project:  Progress and challenges in oyster restoration 

02/06/2020 – Dr Christopher Sweeting (MMO) – Non-lethal deterrent options for mitigation of seal-fishery interactions at sea 

 27/05/2020 – Dr Kara Layton (Aberdeen University) – Using genomics to investigate climate change response in marine species

 20/05/2020 – Dr Clive Fox (SAMS) – Scotland’s experimental electrofishery for razor clams – developments and progress

13/05/2020 – Dr Georgios Kazanidis (Edinburgh University) – Implementing European marine policies in the deep waters of the North Atlantic 

06/5/2020 – Dr Bee Berx (Marine Scotland Science) – The Great Interactive Climate Change Quiz

 29/4/2020 – Meadhbh Moriarty (Marine Scotland Science) – Evaluation of multiple coupled biological-physical models in Loch Linnhe 

22/4/2020 – Dr Tavis Potts (University of Aberdeen) – Participatory mapping for natural capital

15/04/2020 – Prof David Paterson (University of St Andrews) -Decommissioning and the ecology of oil rigs.

 08/04/2020 – Dr Simon Waldman (University of Hull) – Future policy implications of large-scale tidal array interactions 

 01/04/2020 – Dr Leslie Mabon (SAMS) – Nine years on from the Fukushima Dai’ichi nuclear accident: how is Fukushima’s coastal fishing society faring?  

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.