MASTS is made by and for its members
Close this search box.

Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland


Current studentships

To see the SUPER DTP student cohorts, please head to the SUPER page here

We do not currently have any open opportunities to apply to MASTS for studentship funding, but we will alert you to any opportunities should they become available.

If you are interested in funding a studentship via MASTS, please get in touch via 


MASTS Studentships

  • Silvia Malagoli, University of Strathclyde: Developing a length-based stock assessment methodology for Firth of Clyde finfish and scallops.
  • Andrew Smith, University of Aberdeen: Mapping, monitoring and modelling coastal habitats with UAVs.
SAIC Studentships
  • John Phelan, SAMS: Dynamic spatial modelling and forecasting of sea lice abundances
  • Chelsea Broughton, University of Stirling: Spat mortality in Farmed Scottish Blue Mussels
  • Noemi Lorenzo, University of Aberdeen: Photoperiod and immune function, how critical life cycle events in salmon impact on disease response and post smolt performance
  • Toni Dwyer, University of Glasgow: Environmental DNA for low-cost monitoring of disease in Salmonid aquaculture
Associate Student Members
  • Naomi Kennon, Heriot Watt University. Started Oct 2020. Biodiversity and restored fisheries habitat.
  • Hannah Wyles, University of St Andrews. Started Oct 2020. The ecology of Weddell seals in relation to the seasonal ocean dynamics of the Amundsen Sea Embayment, Antarctica.
  • Kevin McKinley, Edinburgh Napier University. Started Oct 2020. Developing gregarine apicomplexans as aquatic symbiosis model systems
  • Alex Robertson, Heriot Watt University. Started August 2022.
  • Michael Vail, St Andrews University. Started Sept23 (3.5yrs). Multiple stressors effects on benthic microorganism structure and function.
  • TBC, University of Glasgow. Start Oct 2024 (4yrs). Climate Change Impacts to Marine Ecosystems in UK Regional Seas.

Below we list our MASTS Graduate School alumni with their thesis title and what they got up to post-PhD.

  • Jacopo Agagliate, Strathclyde University. Developing in situ flow cytometry for optical characterisation of suspended particles in marine ecosystems. Passed viva Sept 2017. In 2019, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research.
  • Allan Audsley, University of Stirling: Scotland’s Pockmarks: understanding the link between gas-escape features and buried carbon in fjordic systemsFind out more. Passed viva April 2022.
  • Andisheh Bakhshi, Strathclyde University. Size-Structured Models and Fisheries Assessment Methods. Now a teaching fellow in School of Engineering and Computing at UWoS.
  • Cecilia Biancacci, SAMS. Establishment of red seaweed mari-culture. IBioIC studentship. Passed viva Dec 2019. Now a PDRA at Deakin University, Australia.
  • Lauren Biermann, University of St Andrews. The biophysical breadcrumb trail: how a new generation of animal-borne sensors elucidate hidden biological richness at the surface and at depth. She joined CEFAS in 2015, in 2018 she joined Plymouth Marine Laboratory as an Earth Observation Research Scientist.
  • Edward Bolger, Edinburgh Napier University: The effects of underwater sound on the early life-stages of marine invertebrates. Viva in Jan 2022 and working as a Marine Environmental Consultant at Royal Haskoning DHV.
  • Luis Jose Perez Calderon, University of Aberdeen. Hydrocarbon transport in marine sediments and the role of chemical dispersant on oil-sediment interactions. A past associate student. Passed viva 2018. Working as a consultant at Genesis Oil & Gas.
  • Adam Chivers, SAMS. The biodiversity and ecology of the Senghor seamount. Passed viva January 2015. First job after PhD was as a scientist at Sellafield.
  • Ana Couto, University of Aberdeen: Determining the ecology & physics of tidal-stream habitats. Submitted thesis July 2022. Now working as ecological statistician at BioSS)
  • Fiona Cunningham, University of St Andrews:  Climate change impacts and adaptation in island communities. Passed viva November 2017 and working as Lab Manager for a geoscience company called Heath & Hardie Geosciences Ltd.
  • Simon Dailey, University of St Andrews: Transcriptomics and gene expression during amphioxus regeneration. Passed viva March 2017. Was a post-doc at St Andrews, now a senior scientist at GeneFirst.
  • Penelope Donohue, Glasgow & Heriot-Watt Universities: The Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Calcifying Organisms. Initially worked at Glasgow University. Final submission March 2015. Now working as a statistician for the Forestry Commission.
  • Alice Doyle, Stirling University. Defining the driving mechanisms of maturation (puberty) in gadoid species through novel molecular approaches. Now working as a Marine Support Officer for JNCC.
  • James Dunning, University of Aberdeen: Making use of new broadband acoustic technology: size discrimination and high resolution fish counting in support of fisheries management. Now working as Fisheries acousticican for the Marine Directorate of Scottish Government (prePARED project).
  • Ewan Edwards, Aberdeen University. Do commercial fisheries influence the distribution and dynamics of northern fulmars? Passed viva June 2015. Worked at Marine Scotland before moving to Genesis Oil & Gas Consultants as a Senior Environmental Consultant. Now back at Marine Scotland.
  • Charlotte Francoz, University.of Glasgow: Assessing saltmarsh resilience in a changing climate. Now at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.
  • Scarlett Ferrinho, University of St Andrews: Sustainable production of marine cyanobacterial products (sustainable C Products): discovery, scale-up and maintenance. IBioIC studentship. Passed June 2023. Now working as an OMICS Research Scientist (KTP Associate) at the University of Surrey.
  • Emily Gal, University of St Andrews. Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of submerged island landscapes and communities. Submitted thesis June 2019. Project Coordinator at University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Soizic Garnier, University of Strathclyde: Optimal-detail circulation models for fjords and sea lochs. Oct 2020 – secured job with Marine Scotland Science working as a sealice modeller.
  • Joly Ghanawi, Stirling University. Direct and indirect ecological interactions between coastal aquaculture activities and marine fish communities in Scotland. Passed viva in April 2018. Worked as a fish technician with the Becker group at the University of Edinburgh, and is currently a volunteer for CAMARADES, Center for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh  
  • Joanna Gosling, SAMS. Biogeochemistry of highly reducing sediments. Passed viva May 2018 and now working as the ARCH-UK Coordinator based at Stirling University.
  • Pauline Goulet, University of St Andrews: NEXUSS studentship. Working at the French National Centre for Scientific Research.
  • Madjid Hadjal, University of Strathclyde: Automated classification of ocean colour remote sensing for environmental monitoring and legislative compliance applications. Datalab studentship. Submitted thesis October 2022.
  • Leigh Hickmott, University of St Andrews: Behavioural adaptations and social dynamics of beaked whales. Now a Whale Biologist | Scientific Consultant | Lead scientist at Open Ocean Consulting | Antarctic Killer Whale Specialist – BBC Frozen Planet II | Whale Scientist – EpicAdventuresWithBertieGregory | Advisor BPIII & NF Oceans.
  • Corallie Hunt, University of St Andrews: Sedimentary Blue Carbon: A national inventory in Scottish territorial watersFind out more. Now working for NatureScot (full time from Feb 2022). Submitted thesis March 2022.
  •  Silje-Kristin Jensen, University of St Andrews, Marine Scotland and SAMS. Is biotoxin exposure from harmful algae the reason for the decline in harbour seal populations in Scotland? A view through a food chain study. Viva passed February 2015. Now working as an environmental advisor to fish farms in Norway.
  • Niels Jobsvogt, Aberdeen University. What is the value of the Deep Sea? Measuring changes in ecosystem services for the deep sea. Final submission January 2015. Now in Germany working for ATTAC Berlin.
  • Petronella Johansson, Aberdeen University. Characterising dendritic cells in fish. Working as a Lab Technician at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Daniel Johnston, ERI, UHI. Ecology of black guillemots in relation to marine protected areas and marine renewable energy developments. Submitted Thesis end March 2019. Works for BTO.
  • Marios Katsakioris, Heriot-Watt University. Data driven techniques for interaction with autonomous vehicles. Datalab studentship. Passed viva May 2022.
  • Georgios Kazanidis, Aberdeen University. Climate change, carbon cycling and ecology of deep-sea ecosystems. Feb2016 – 10 month PDRA contract with University of Aberdeen working on Arctic benthos biology. Feb ’17 – have 3 yr post-doc working on ATLAS project and then the iAtlantic Project, University of Edinburgh. March ’22 was appointed Offshore Industries Advice Manager / Senior Executive Officer
    at JNCC. 
  • Flora Kent, Heriot Watt University. The societal benefits of biogenic structures and their value within MPAs and a Marine Spatial Planning Context. Now working for SNH.
  • Anna Kintner, University of St Andrews and SAMS. Impacts of Hydrozoan Jellyfish on Scottish Mariculture: Ecology and Strategies for Mitigation. Since then, she has consulted with various aquaculture companies and worked as the laboratory manager for Europharma Scotland. From 2018, she is a consultant for Hydrozoan Scotland and is a freelance scientific writer.
  • Nicola Lacey, Aberdeen University. Scavenging fauna of the hadal zone. Worked at Marine Scotland before moving to a permenant position with an environmental consultancy Xodus Ltd.
  • Edward Lavender, University of St Andrews. Habitat use of the critically endangered flapper skate in relation to an MPA. A state of the art modelling approach. Submitted viva July 2022. Now working as data analyst at CABI.
  • Joshua Lawrence, Aberdeen University. Studies of cetaceans and their prey; combining passive and active acoustics. Now an acoustic engineer at EMEC Ltd.
  • Hannah Lee, Heriot Watt University & Edinburgh Napier University: Blue carbon and shellfishHannah’s research gate. Working on public engagement for Dynamic Dunescapes.
  • Lilian Lieber, Aberdeen University and St Andrews University. The application of molecular ecology and hydroacoustics to understand spatiotemporal patterns of seascape use of a planktivorous shark, the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus). Passed viva Nov 2015, then joined the research expedition to Chagos before starting work at Queens University Belfast as a post-doc.
  • Katherina Lefering, Strathclyde University. Characterisation of a Point-Source Integrating Cavity Absorption Meter for applications in optical oceanography. Completed October 2016. First pole post-PhD was as a post-doc at Strathclyde University.
  • Thomas Linley, Aberdeen University. Novel technology for biological research at hadal depths. Passed viva July 2016. Now working as a post-doc at Newcastle University.
  • Marlene Lorgan, Aberdeen University. The molecular basis of migrations and life history strategies in Atlantic salmon. A Research Fellow at Aberdeen University.
  • Jennifer Loxton, Heriot Watt University. The impact of Ocean Acidification on Scottish marine Bryozoa. Passed viva May 2014. Was NERC Research Fellow at UHI, then at University of Edinburgh. Jen is now at Kings College London.
  • Mairi MacArthur, Glasgow University: Geodiversity and marine biodiversity interactions: enhancing ecosystem service provision on rocky and engineered coastsFind out more and even more here! Passed viva June 2019. Now a healthy streets officer for Sustrans in London.
  • Alan MacDonald, Strathclyde University. Modelling the availability of small pelagic fish to birds and marine mammal predators off the east coast of Scotland. Passed viva July 2017. Now working as a Research Assistant at Strathclyde University.
  • Fiona Macintyre, Aberdeen University. The Development of Underwater Visual Surveys to Support Environmental Monitoring and Fisheries Management. Viva passed December 2014. Worked at Marine Scotland before setting up Greyhope Bay initiative.
  • Francesca Mancini, Aberdeen University. Managing the wildlife tourism commons. Now working at CEH as a Research Associate Ecological Modeller.
  • Matteo Marasco, ERI, UHI. Structure and coherance of flow througha tidally energetic channel measured by HF Radar. Submitted April 2020. Sept 2020: Data Steward at Socib.
  • Clare MacDowall, UHI: The effects of wave-current interaction on marine energy generation under high wave conditions. Had viva in December 2021. Continuing teaching at UHI.
  • Jenny McLeish, Edinburgh Napier University. Aquatic non-native species: a closer look at their parasite fauna. Passed viva October 2017 and will be working as an aquatic ecologist for Jacobs.
  • Lauren McWhinnie, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University & Marine Scotland Science. Developing and testing approaches for Marine Spatial Planning: the case for aquaculture. Passed viva April 2015 and now working in MEOPAR Canada.
  • Hoa Nguyen Thi Thai, University of Strathclyde: Biogeochemical modeling of fjords and sea lochs. Passed viva November 2020.
  • Agnes Olin, Strathclyde. Past and future links from climate to kittiwakes via zooplankton and forage fish: a mechanistic model synthesisFind out more. Passed viva August 2020. Next step is to work as a postdoc in Stockholm working on the spread of sticklebacks in the Baltic Sea.
  • Joe Onoufriou, University of St Andrews: Effects of tidal turbines on the movements of marine predators in tidally energetic areas. Passed viva January 2020. Now working as a post-doc at SAMS.
  • Matthew Pace, Glasgow & Strathclyde Universities: Modelling the fishing activity patterns required to meet ecosystem service goals in the Firth of Clyde under changing environmental conditions. Submitted thesis Oct 2020. Passed viva 19/3/21. Now working for CEFAS.
  • Kaitlin Palmer, St Andrews University & MSS. Marine mammal habitat use along the east coast of Scotland using passive acoustic monitoring. Previously a post-doc at San Diego University, in Dec 2020 she joined the MSRU Consulting North America team in their Canada office.
  • William Paterson, University of St Andrews . The energetic cost of human disturbance to UK seals. Passed in 2018. Now Lead PSO/Ecologist at Saudi Archirodon (SARCO). 
  • Enrico Pirotta, Aberdeen University and University of St Andrews . Assessing the population consequences of disturbances caused by human development on marine mammal populations: a case-study on bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation (Scotland). Viva passed February 2015. Was a postdoctoral researcher position at Washington State University working on the investigation of the cumulative impacts of human disturbances on blue whales and elephant seals. Jan 2022: research fellow at CREEM, University of St Andrews 
  • James Rimmer, University of St Andrews: The cumulative effects of multiple stressors on estuarine systems. Submitted thesis June 2023. Appointed to postdoc at University of York from Jan24.
  • Heather Ritchie, Aberdeen University. Ecological genomics of hadal amphipods. Now a Research Fellow at Aberdeen University.
  • Ana Rodriguez, joint student between Heriot Watt & St Andrews: Shellfish restoration: Marine protected areas and built structures. Find out more. Passed viva 22/10/19. Will be with the European Commission as an intern in the Nature Protection unit of DG Environment from March 2020 for 5 months. 
  • Sally Rouse, SAMS and Heriot Watt University. Understanding benthic productivity on artificial structures: maximising the benefits of marine renewable energy devices. Submitted April 2016. Now working at Marine Scotland Science.
  • Amy Scott-Murray, Aberdeen University and Marine Scotland. Marine taxonomy in the 21st Century: embracing digital opportunities. Now working as the Manager of the 3D Scanning and Visualisation Laboratory Imaging and Analysis Centre at The Natural History Museum, London. 
  • Ben Scoulding, Aberdeen University. The acoustic properties of mackeral: target strength modelling and field studies. Now employed as a Fisheries Acousticican at CSIRO in Hobart Tasmania.
  • Texa Sim, SAMS, Changes in Marine Mammal habitat use relative to fish-farm scarer-noise off western Scotland. Passed viva February 2022.
  • Cornelia Simon-Nutbrown, Heriot-Watt University: Recommendations For Improving Maerl Bed Protection, Informed By A Combined Genetic, Physiology And Modelling Approach. Now a post-doctoral researcher at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh working on the Biodiversity Genomics Europe project. 
  • Hazel Smith, University of Strathclyde. Norway lobster and Hematodinium sp. in the Clyde: modelling the population dynamics of a commercially important parasite-host systemFind out more. Submitted thesis Jan 2021. Passed viva March 2021. In 2022, working for Community Association of Lochs and Sounds (CAOLAS) and Lochaline Native Oyster Project
  • Craig Stenton, Napier & HW Universities, Effects of combined aquatic noise and chemical pollution on early stage marine invertebrates in different temperature contextsFind out more. Submitted thesis July 2022. Working for OSC Ltd.
  • Jenny Stergeon, University of Aberdeen: Spatial demography in a marine top predator: linking spatial distribution with survival and population recruitment in juvenile European Shags. Now a professional musician.
  • Thitiya Summathed, Aberdeen University. The effects of clinical nutrition on fish immune status and resistance to viral infection.
  • Alice Tagliati, Heriot Watt University. Ecotoxicology of sunscreen on tropical corals in a changing ocean. Passed viva Oct 2019. Now an environmental fate modeller and risk assessor at Enviresearch.
  • Ben Taylor, St Andrews University. Restoration of saltmarsh areas subsidised by a clue carbon market. Find out more. Viva passed May 2019. Working with MMO, then moved to IFCA.
  • James Thorburn, Aberdeen University. Movements, areas of importance and sustainability of Scottish Elasmobranchs. Viva passed December 2015. Worked with Heriot Watt University before taking a post with Marine Scotland, then a PDRA at St Andrews University. Then a Post-Doc at Queens University Belfast. Now lecturer at ENU.
  • Matthew Toberman, SAMS. Thin Surface Layers – New perspectives on ocean mixing and colour. First job after PhD was post-doc at SAMS.
  • Kristina Ulrich, Stirling University. Evolution of Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus (IPNV). Passed viva May 2018. Now junior consultant at Arcondis Group.
  • Nienke Van Geel, SAMS. Understanding Scottish bottlenose dolphin movement patterns: Can visual and acoustic cues be used to ensure that dolphins and construction of marine renewable don’t coincide. Passed viva March 2016. Now a NERC-funded PDRA at SAMS working on the potential for autonomous systems in long-term environmental monitoring pre- and post-decommissioning.
  • Kate Wade, St Andrews University. Intertidal ecosystem health and resilience through managed salt-marsh regeneration. Viva scheduled for March 2018. Now working for JNCC.
  • Matthew Wale, Edinburgh Napier University. Effects of underwater sound on aquatic invertebrates. Passed viva October 2017. Now working as PDRA at ENU.
  • Kamila Walicka, SAMS. Impacts of basin scale forcing on the circulation of the Faroe Shetland Channel. CXC studentship. Passed viva November 2018. Working for BODC.
  • Danielle Whitlock, Edinburgh Napier University: Understanding the drivers of, and threats to, carbon sequestration in Scottish seagrass. Passed viva September 2021 and now working for Fidra.
  • Chad Widmer, St Andrews University & SAMS. Effects of climate variability on benthic life history stages of some commercially significant jellyfish from British waters. Passed viva October 2014. Now working in the US.
  • Laura Williamson, Aberdeen University. Spatio-temporal variation in harbour porpoise distribution and activity. Passed viva 2018. Working as a research analyst at Ocean Science Consulting Ltd.
  • Robert Wilson, Strathclyde University. Spatial Modelling of Marine Zooplankton Population Dynamics. Passed viva October 2015. Now working as a postdoc at Strathclyde University.
  • Joanna Wilson, Stirling University. Investigation into the genetic origin of Mytilus species spat circulating in Scottish aquaculture.
  • Cathy Winterton, SAMS. A 100 year record of changing toxic algae in Scottish coastal waters related to change in land use and temperature. Submitted thesis May 2022.
  • Deborah Wood, Stirling University. Linking carbon and iron cycles by investigating transport, fate and mineralogy of iron-bearing colloids from peat-draining rivers – Scotland as a model for high latitude rivers. Passed viva March 2020. Now Associate Lecturer at the Open University.
  • Julia Wouters, Aberdeen University, Developing an evidence base and methodology for the assessment of fish and shellfish stocks using Remote Electronic Monitoring dataFind out more. Handed thesis in in November 2021. Now a lecturer (mat leave cover) at Aberdeen University.
  • Koji Yamamoto, University of Stirling: Targeting surveillance in Scottish aquaculture using reported mortality and transmission network structure to minimise impacts of infectious diseases.
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.