Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

Aquatic Stressors Forum

Aquatic Stressors Forum

The Aquatic Stressors Forum aims to provide an integrated platform to promote the enhanced understanding of environmental stress, both natural and anthropogenic, on aquatic organisms.

Environmental stress is any physical, chemical or biological factor that requires an energy consumptive compensation response by affected organisms, thus placing constraints on the productivity and development of ecosystems. The wide range of possible stressors, including noise, electrical fields, oil and oilfield chemicals, nanomaterials and plastic microparticles and litter, means that to understand and mitigate the impact of stress a multidisciplinary approach is required.

The main objective is to create a multidisciplinary network across the MASTS community in order to prepare MASTS as partner for consortium bids (e.g. H2020) and to provide the Scottish Government with a contact point for up to date advice on the impact of human activity in Scottish waters, the performance of existing and regulatory frameworks, as well as to inform relevant policy.

An important role of the Forum will be to monitor developments in ecotoxicological biomarkers for contaminant exposure, including the effects of climate change on the behaviour and fate of contaminants, the susceptibility of organisms, and on biomarker endpoint validation, as well as policy provisions.

An immediate task that the Aquatic Stressors Forum will take up is to determine the skills and expertise levels available across the MASTS community and link them to the MASTS Resource Map.

Need an expert in an area related to marine stressors? View the Marine Stressors Forum expertise database here. If you would like to be added to this database please contact [email protected]

Forum Co-Convenors: Dr Mark Hartl (Heriot Watt University). Dr Hartl is an Associate Professor of Marine Biology and a Marine Ecotoxicologist.

Forum Co-Convenor: Prof Karen Diele (Edinburgh Napier University) interests in climate change and multiple stressors

Steering Group: Daniel Merckel (SEPA – interests in Environmental Chemistry); Peter Tyack (St Andrews – interests in Noise); Hannah Anderson (Marine Scotland); Sinead Collins (Edinburgh – interests in environmental change and microbes); Matthew Wale (ENU – interests in noise impacts), Frances Orton (Centre of Ecology and Hydrology UK)

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.