My outward energy, enthusiasm, and passion for science and communication permeate my work as a marine ecologist at the University of the Highlands and Islands. My current work focuses on the cues which marine invertebrate larvae use to orient themselves as they disperse, and to settle into their adult habitats, and how these cues might be changed by human activities. I am a strong advocate of public engagement with science, and highly experienced in knowledge exchange and achieving impact from research.
Post-doctoral Research Associate, Marine Energy. University of the Highlands and Islands, Inverness, UK. (2018-present).
At present, I am using a variety of laboratory and fieldwork techniques to investigate the response of invertebrate larvae to man-made underwater sound, and more specifically the responses of biofouling organisms to marine renewable energy device noise and vibrations. More widely, I apply these findings to build conceptual understanding of larval dispersal and settlement, the development of ecological communities on artificial reef structures, and the relative importance of these structures in comparison with natural reefs.
Knowledge Exchange and Communications Manager, Researcher in Industrial Impacts, Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban, UK. (2017-18)
As part of the European Union-funded Blue Action project, I translate climate science research outcomes into easy-to-understand media for a mix of audiences. A key focus is to bring climate scientists and the users of weather forecasting and climate science together to co-develop new climate services, targeted to support sustainable growth, environmental conservation, human health, and well-being.
Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Researcher, Marine Renewable Energy, Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban, UK. (2014-2017)
In this role I translated and communicated environmental research for the marine renewable energy sector, focussing on links between engineering design and environmental/policy constraints for the industry. I worked with scientists, industry, funders, civil servants, and consultants to improve science-based decision making.
Natural Environment Research Council Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Programme Intern, Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban, UK. (2014)
Working collaboratively with Carnegie Wave Energy Ltd., I assessed the Australian Perth Wave Energy Project against UK environmental impact regulations. In doing so, I established productive dialogue with Australian stakeholders relevant to the project, and developed a strong relationship with Carnegie Wave Energy, who are now undertaking project planning for a new UK-based development
Partnership Development, MEND Central Ltd., London, UK. (2006-2008)
I worked across public, private, and third sector organisations to develop new partnerships aimed at addressing childhood obesity across the UK. Produced briefings on obesity policies, organisations, and initiatives and drafted successful grant and business award applications, totalling over £500,000.
- 2009–2013 PhD Marine Science. University of Aberdeen / Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban, UK. “Offshore renewable energy structures as artificial islands: implications for dispersal, population connectivity, and biogeography of coastal species”.
- 2008-2009 M.Sc. Oceanography. University of Southampton / National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK “Investigating the community structure of scavenging amphipods form the Norwegian Basin and Faroe-Shetland Channel: a study of baited traps at oil-drilling locations”
- 2001–2005B.A. Biology, B.A. French Cultural Studies. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA. Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, GPA: 3.43 (2.1 UK equivalent).
|Numerical modelling||Development of particle tracking model routines from hydrodynamic model output (Matlab). Simulation of population dynamics, NPZD, and food-web models (PowerSim).|
|Data handling||Collation and processing of large datasets for biophysical modelling and metadata analysis (FVCOM model outputs, GIS shapefiles, UK Met Office MIDAS data, SeaWiFS ocean colour data, large multivariate field datasets).|
|Statistical analysis||Advanced statistical modelling techniques (R-software), including generalized linear modelling, linear mixed-effects modelling, generalized additive modelling. Multivariate techniques (Matlab, R, Primer), including PCA, CA, and CCA.|
|Experimental design, field techniques and husbandry||Organization and undertaking of multidisciplinary fieldwork campaigns (rocky shores, and ship-based zooplankton surveys). Protocol design for zooplankton fluid dynamics, morphology and ontogeny experiments. Algal culturing and husbandry of invertebrate larvae.|
COMMITTEES AND STEERING GROUPS
- 2016, 2018: Working Group Member, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea working group on marine renewable energy.
- 2015 – 2017: University of the Highlands and Islands Knowledge Exchange Steering Group
- 2014 – 2017 Present: Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS) Marine Renewable Energy Forum Steering Group
- 2009 – 2012: Postgraduate representative, Education Quality Assurance Committee, Scottish Association for Marine Science
- 2011: Organising committee, Univeristy of the Highlands and Islands Postgraduate Conference
PUBLICATIONS – See Publications Page Here
- 2015-present Lecturer and demonstrator, H1 Experimental Design & Statistics, SAMS
- 2013-present Lecturer IDCORE DEng programme, environmental module, and social science module (2015 only)
- 2013-2014 Occasional lecturer MSc and Undergraduate marine science programme, Scottish Association for Marine Science
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT AND OUTREACH
For details on my recent public engagement and outreach activities, please see my #SciComm and Public Speaking pages