Welcome to The Kelpie, the official newsletter of the Marine Alliance for Science & Technology for Scotland. We welcome contributions, suggestions and ideas for future content. Please contact the MASTS Directorate on
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Successful MASTS students

Congratulations to Adam Chivers (SAMS), Enrico Pirotta (Aberdeen University) & Silje-Kristin Jensen (St Andrews). All these MASTS funded students have recently passed their vivas and we wish them the best of luck in the future.
MASTS PhD student wins National Student Awards - MASTS funded PhD student Flora Kent, based at Heriot Watt, has won the prestigious National Student Awards for her project “The use of ecosystem services to support conservation of shellfish reefs”.  The National Student Awards recognise UK students who present outstanding work that will help to protect and conserve the marine environment. Projects are chosen on their originality, environmental merit and ground breaking content.

Flora's work uses innovative techniques  to investigate the provision of ecosystem services by horse mussel reefs to support marine policy and conservation. By working with local fisherman, she has shown the value of these reefs for supporting sustainable communities.

MASTS Annual Science Meeting 2015 - Influencing our marine future

The MASTS Annual Science Meeting will be held at the Technology and Innovation Centre, Glasgow from Wednesday 30th September until Friday 2nd October. The 2015 ASM will promote the latest advancements and highlights in marine science, demonstrate the current state of knowledge, encourage global perspectives, appraise long-term data series, and explore how well we are equipped to address future research needs. Contact Dr Emma Defew if you are interested in running a special session or workshop.

MASTS Abroad

Prof Hamish Mair reports on the academic collaboration potential for MASTS in South East Asia - find out more.
Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Assessment in the Coastal Margin (BESA)

MASTS colleagues, including our own Executive Director, were busy last week teaching on the CBESS/MASTS residential training course in Morecombe Bay. The participants were guided through the initiation, planning, implementation and analysis of a major field campaign. The course was hard work but greatly enjoyed by the participants. Find out more.


Deep Sea Forum Cruise

Members of the MASTS Deep Sea Forum have been succesful in their bid to have time aboard MRV Scotia this summer. The team plan to undertake a multidisciplinary survey of the biodiversity and ecology of the Hatton-Rockall Basin MPA and putative 'cold-water seep' ecosystem. For more details contact Dr Bhavani Narayanaswamy.
New Forums

MASTS welcomes Lucy Greenhill as the Forum Convenor for the Marine Planning Forum, and Dr Jim Hansom as the Forum Convenor for the Coastal Processes and Dynamics Forum.

Nominations are now open for convenors of the “Numerical Hydrodynamic Modelling” and “Marine Stressors” Forums. Register your interest.

Technology, Platforms & Sensors Forum (TPS)

The role of Forum Convenor for the MASTS TPS Forum has recently passed from Dr Alan Jamieson to Dr Phil Anderson, and anyone interested in becoming involved with this group should contact Dr Phil Anderson. The TPS Forum had a small grants round and received ten applications. the following four were succesful:
  • TPSSG3: Understanding microbial oil-degradation procesess in the ocean using an in-situ based microbial chamber (Tony Gutierrez, Heriot Watt)
  • TPSSG4: Microarray assessment for the detection and quantification of toxin-producing phytoplankton species in Scottish coastal waters (Guillaume Hermann, MSS)
  • TPSSG6: Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) surveys in dynamic inshore coastal environments (John Howe, SAMS)
  • TPSSG10: Extending an aerial remote sensing platform using three digital sensors (Robert Schick, St Andrews)


Loch Linnhe and Firth of Lorn Workshop Output
Loch Linnhe is one of the largest sea lochs on the west coast of Scotland, and the Firth of Lorn provides a connection to the open ocean. During a MASTS workshop, a review of the current knowledge of Loch Linnhe and Firth of Lorn was undertaken in three subject areas: the physical environment, the aquatic ecosystem and the management and use. This review also identified a number of knowledge gaps and potential collaborations to address these.
Economic analysis

Report discusses the economic value and employment in the UK of activities carried out in the marine environment. Find out more

Scottish Microplastic Research Group formed

The Scottish Microplastic Research Group (SMRG) has been formed under the MASTS Marine Biodiversity, Function & Services Theme and will sit within the Marine Stressors Forum (once formed). The term microplastic refers to small pieces of plastic, generally <5 mm in size, and the impacts of these on marine organsisms is still largely unknown. The SMRG will work together for the development of a cohesive research strategy to provide authoritative advice to the Scottish Government. The group also plans to communicate effectively to avoid replication and to ensure method development, sampling strategies & locations and quality control are harmonised to produce data suitable for submission under the relevant legislative frameworks (OSPAR, MSFD, Scottish Marine Litter Strategy). Contact Dr Brian Quinn if you want to learn more.


Funding available

Studentship funding available - MASTS, in conjunction with Marine Scotland Science and Scottish Natural Heritage, is offering eight 50% funded PhD studentships, by open competition, to outstanding projects. Interested supervisors should submit an application before 16:00 on Friday 27th February 2015.

Visiting Fellowship funding - Non-UK Scientists can spend up to a maximum of six months at one (or more) MASTS institutions. Fellows can be at any stage in their careers, so both enterprising young postdoctoral researchers as well as established scientific leaders are welcome to apply. Proposals should originate in MASTS partner institutions, and multi-partner supported proposals are encouraged. Deadline for applications is 16:00 on Friday 27th March 2015
Small Grants for Sustainable Aquaculture work - £3,000 grants are available to bid for towards the costs of research relevant to sustainable aquaculture. Closing date is 16.00 on Friday 13th March 2015.
Funding Success

Fisheries Funding Success for MASTS partners - Colleagues at MASTS institutions have secured approximately £450k in funding from Fisheries Innovation Scotland.

PEER funding success - Prof. Kenny Black from SAMS was awarded a PEER (Pools Engagement in European Research) grant from MASTS which allowed the preparation of an EU proposal. This bid was successful and we look forward to hearing further details of the work on "Optimising Space for Aquaculture". Contact Prof Black for more details.
Congratulations to Sally Rouse who has been awarded funding to visit the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute for 3 months to study nearshore larval transport. Applications are open for students interested in applying for WHOI funding - find out more.


Using data-driven models to explore sea louse infestations on wild and farmed salmon. 

Dr Crawford Revie & Dr Maya Groner, Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island.

Join us for this webinar at 1pm on Thursday 5th March.



Vacancy for an electronic technician with Marine Scotland Science. More details.

MSc in the Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Systems

12 month MSc jointly delivered by St Andrews and SAMS. Gain the knowledge and skills needed to interpret multidisciplinary system data and provide a whole ecosystem approach to management and the sustainable use of marine resources. More details.
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