Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

MASTS Webinar

MASTS 2022 Webinars

Building upon two years of successful webinars series, we are back! Every last Wednesday of the month at 13:00 UK time we will bring you a free webinar with a live Q&A, speakers are exclusively MASTS members and they will be showcasing some of the fantastic work going on in our member institutions. MASTS webinars work to promote open and accessible marine science discourse.  


27 July – Kate Wade (Joint Nature Conservation Committee): Working across and in-between marine science and policy: opportunities beyond the university

Since Kate finished her PhD in 2018 she has worked for JNCC and Defra. Join this webinar as she explains the background to her roles prior to her current position for JNCC as a Marine Monitoring Manager for Wales. In this talk, Kate will outline who JNCC are, their role,  how they fit in the marine science-policy landscape and some of the latest marine work they are undertaking. The talk will also highlight Kate’s other roles following completion of her PhD and through secondments and her experience working at Defra, and how its scientific research feeds into policy making. This talk would be an excellent opportunity to learn more about research outside of academia and how organisations like Defra and JNCC assist policy makers, MASTS really recommends any marine/environmental PhDs or ECRs curious about these types of roles should be attend.  **Sign up here**

Previous webinars

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

The nature and extent of interactions between cetaceans and aquaculture are largely unexplored. In Scotland, the expanding Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) farming industry is mainly on the west coast, northern and western islands, waters that also host some of the highest densities of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in Europe. The region’s importance for the species is recognised by the Inner Hebrides and the Minches Special Area of Conservation (SAC). However, few studies to date have examined the potential interaction between porpoises and the aquaculture sector. This seminar will present the results of long-term Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) for porpoises conducted at multiple salmon farms on the Scottish west coast, to establish detection patterns and examine the factors that may have influenced their occurrence around these industrialised seascapes.

David Bailey (University of Glasgow): A seascape approach to the protection of essential fish habitat WATCH HERE

The need to protect the habitat of fish is understood and forms an essential part of fisheries management in some countries. For the last decade we’ve carried out studies of juvenile fish habitats in the South Arran MPA, using underwater cameras and traps. What we’ve discovered is that it’s not just the type of seabed that matters, but the mixture of seabed types across the seascape. This work provides new ideas about what combinations of fish behaviour and habitat availability cause bottlenecks in recruitment and should help us make better decisions on protection and restoration.

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

The aquaculture sector contributed £1.8 billion to the Scottish economy during 2016 and is targeted to double by 2030. Consenting of new marine pen fish farm sites is dependent on demonstrating, through numerical modelling, that the proposed site will comply with minimum environmental standards for the build-up/dispersion of waste products and the spatial extent and intensity of impacts. However, transport and dispersion in the coastal ocean are multi-scale process and potentially highly dependent on small scale physics; different modelling approaches may result in differing predictions of aquaculture impacts near a site of interest.

The industry is increasingly moving from sheltered and constrained inshore waters to more exposed, energetic and dispersive environments to mitigate or lower the environmental impact. The Off-Aqua project aims to evaluate the environmental conditions required for the development of offshore aquaculture and provide a better scientific understanding of its potential benefits. Here, we use a hierarchy of nested hydrodynamic model simulations to show how physical processes important for predicting aquaculture impacts are highly location specific and depend on the chosen model complexity. We model both inshore and more exposed coastal environments along the west coast of Scotland, with horizontal resolutions varying between 5 and >1000 m, and evaluate simulations against mooring deployments that resolve velocity, temperature and salinity at high temporal frequencies.

Prof David Paterson & Dr Emma Defew (MASTS Directorate) MASTS – past, present & future. WATCH HERE

MASTS has now been operational as a Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Research Pool since 2009 and over that time its membership has grown to include 18 organisations representing the majority of Scotland’s marine research capacity and training. Over the last three years, the SFC has been considering the funding for all Pools and how the Pools may need to adapt to address key challenges. Whilst remaining very supportive of the Pools, the SFC will no longer provide core funding for the Pools after January 2023. MASTS has received strong support from its Governing Council to continue as a stand alone organisation post January 2023. The presentation will outline the future operation of MASTS and the Challenge led funding streams that the SFC will be offering.

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

The University of Edinburgh and St Abbs Marine Station have signed a 5-year collaboration agreement that brings the University’s School of GeoSciences, School of Biology and Roslin Institute together with the Marine Station to promote marine research, teaching and outreach activities. The new collaboration is open to all in Scotland, the UK and internationally who want to use the St Abbs facility. As a thriving fishing community at the heart of a Voluntary Marine Reserve and a National Nature Reserve, St Abbs is ideal for interdisciplinary marine research and teaching. The station is built entirely from non-ferrous materials and operates Hemholtz coils to simulate the electromagnetic fields generated by subsea power cables. Alongside tight control of seawater temperature, pH and oxygen levels this gives researchers using St Abbs a unique opportunity to study the implications of marine renewable energy installations in context of multiple stressors including climate change.

Previous MASTS webinars

Throughout the springs and summer of 2020 and 2021 MASTS organised and hosted weekly 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 featured and to access the webinar playlists. Prof 


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?  

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