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Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

Aquatic Stressors Forum

Welcome to the MASTS Aquatic Stressors Forum

This Forum provides an integrated platform to promote the enhanced understanding of environmental stress, both natural and anthropogenic, on aquatic organisms and ecosystems in general. It is a centre for dialogue across the aquatic stressors community, offering expertise, knowledge exchange and resources.

Forum News & Resources
Background & Objectives

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.

  • Creating a multidisciplinary network across the MASTS community in order to prepare MASTS as partner for consortium bids, while engaging with new partners and promoting multi-disciplinary collaboration.
  • Providing 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.
  • Monitoring 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.

MASTS Annual Science Meeting 2023, Glasgow – Special Session on “Multiple Aquatic Stressors”
Take a look at last year’s conference abstracts here!

Bird view of ocean waves
Coastaline with sand dunes and mountains

Frances Orton
– Heriot-Watt University

Associate Professor | School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

Interests: Freshwater (FW) ecotoxicology & protection of FW biota from threatening processes | Use of environmentally realistic exposure scenarios

Karen Diele
– Edinburgh Napier University

Professor of Marine Ecology | Head of the ENU Centre for Conservation and Restoration Science (CCRS)

Interests: Coastal ecosystems | Benthic marine invertebrates | Responses to environmental change

Steering Group

Catriona Harris (University of St Andrews), Hannah Anderson (Marine Directorate), Mark Hartl (Heriot-Watt University), Matthew Wale (Edinburgh Napier University) and Sinead Collins (University of Edinburgh).

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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.