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Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

Dynamics and Properties of Marine Systems

Dynamics and Properties of Marine Systems

The DPMS Theme addresses the complex physical, chemical and biological interactions within dynamic marine systems. Marine physics, biogeochemistry, coastal dynamics and oceanography come together to provide a process-resolving, quantitative description of the marine system which requires the understanding of past conditions, the characterisation of present conditions and the prediction of future changes to the dynamics and properties of the system. Technological developments that allow improved characterisation and interpretation of marine systems are integral to this Theme. The effect of climate change on marine systems and the effect of changes in the marine system on the wider earth system fall within this theme.
Observing, modelling, quantifying and, ultimately, understanding marine systems is key to understanding their response to a changing Earth’s climate. Beyond their immediate domain, the oceans determine the character, variability and trend of local, regional and global climate by their long-term storage and transport of heat and carbon and dominance of the global fresh-water cycle. A critical challenge is to integrate our knowledge of ocean systems at different spatial and temporal scales and across disciplines, and to understand how these systems interact. Advances in technology, particularly the development of new observing platforms and novel sensors will enable sustained and highly resolved observations of physical, chemical, biological and geological properties, and so play a critical role in this. Development and application of appropriate modelling tools, in conjunction with high quality observational data, are crucial for transforming data into information that can be used to inform society and policy making, and to support key user groups in the sustainable exploitation of marine resources.

This theme hosts expertise from the MASTS community in four fora: Technology, Platforms & Sensors, Numerical & Experimental Hydrodynamic Modelling, Marine Biogeochemistry and Marine Climate Change.  Each is integral to our theme by allowing improved interpretation of marine systems from novel observing platforms and sensors, modelling and quantifying ocean processes integrated across physical, chemical, biological and geological properties, and describing the present and past ocean climate and investigating how it is changing and the effects this may have on habitats and ecosystems.   In our DPMS Theme Case Studies, topical cross-disciplinary challenges are addressed.  These evaluate and explore our current knowledge and pool scientific expertise across the Theme and wider MASTS community.

MASTS also has links with the SAGES research pool which has shared interests in the dynamics and properties of marine systems.

Theme Objectives

The DPMS theme will

  1. Sponsor, review and co-ordinate the activities of relevant fora, which provide the thematic granularity appropriate to the Theme’s remit.
  2. Communicate the activities of the sponsored fora to the MASTS Executive Committee.
  3. Propose and conduct activities relevant to the overall Theme remit, beyond that of its individual fora, such as dissemination sessions at the MASTS Annual Science Meeting.
  4. Host Case Studies, topical cross-disciplinary challenges which address specific areas of importance or knowledge gaps of relevance to the Theme.
  5. Communicate and collaborate with external initiatives with shared interests such as other research pooling initiatives, thematic networks, marine co-ordination initiatives, partnerships, etc.
Theme leader: Dr Alejandro Gallego (Marine Scotland Science)
Deputy Leader: TBC

Steering Group: 

  • MASTS Marine Climate Change Forum Convenor: Dr Bee Berx, Marine Scotland Science
  • MASTS Numerical Hydrodynamic Modelling Forum Convenor: Rory O’Hara Murray, Marine Scotland Science
  • MASTS Marine Biogeochemistry Forum Convenor: TBC
  • MASTS Technology, Platforms & Sensor Forum Convenor: Dr Lars Boehme, University of St Andrews
  • Dr David McKee (MASTS Lecturer, University of Strathclyde);
  • Dr Seb Hennige (Heriot Watt University);
  • Dr Ted Schlicke (SEPA);
  • Dr Marie Porter (SAMS);

Associated Forums

Marine climate Change Forum
Toxic water. Ecology world problem.
BioGeoChemistry Forum

Related case studies for Marine Systems

Minugulay Reef Complex

Loch Linnhe and Lynn of Lorn

Sullom Voe

Extended Ellet Line

Loch Etive

Faroe-Shetland Channel & West of Scotland MPA

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.