Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

Deep Sea Forum

Deep Sea Forum

Scotland has a vast deep-sea area stretching out to the 200 nautical mile boundary, encompassing a range of diverse habitats as well as economic resources such as fishing, oil and gas. In addition to scientific interest in the deep sea, policy makers are required to protect many of these poorly understood habitats and the often fragile ecology and biodiversity that they support. Increasing access to deep sea habitats and exposure through various media has also stimulated significant public curiosity in the life found in these deep, col, dark environments. A more holistic approach to studying the deep-sea is needed which requires engagement with researchers representing a variety of disciplines, including ecologists, chemists, physicists, modellers and climate scientists. These researchers have to be supported by technology that can operate remotely under extreme conditions. Only then can we truly begin to understand how the ecosystem functions.

The MASTS deep-sea forum has several initial aims highlighted below, which will evolve over time, to:

1) Interact with the different communities which have an interest in the deep-sea

2) Engage with new partners and promote collaboration across disciplines in order to further deep water research both at a national level as well as internationally

3) Ensure greater integration between researchers investigating deep/shallow water and the climate/atmosphere

4) Discuss and help deliver the best scientific knowledge available to policy makers

Deep sea researchers operating within the mASTS community have access to a variety of state of the art equipment, some of which has been specifically designed to operate and sample in the deepest parts of the world’s oceans. The challenge of conducting research in these extreme environments means that much of the science is by definition, cutting edge. However, use of modern technology, together with practical ingenuity is leading to novel discoveries including species and ecosytems new to science.

This forum is led by Dr Johanne Vad

Forum Co-Convenors: Dr Johanne Vad (Edinburgh University) & TBC

Steering Group: Prof Bhavani Narayanaswamy, Dr Andrew Dale & Prof Andrew Sweetman (SAMS); Dr Babette Hoogakker (Heriot Watt); Sofie Voerman (JNCC); David Stirling (Marine Scotland Science); & Heather Stewart (BGS)

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.