MASTS & SAGES Delegate Biographies
Dr Karen Diele
Edinburgh Napier University
Email: [email protected]
Karen Diele is currently a Reader (Associate Professor) in Marine Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University and
Co-Director of Research, St Abbs Marine Station, Scotland. She gained a PhD degree in Biology in 2000 at the
University Bremen, Germany, researching for the BMBF and CNPq/CAPES co-funded 10-years BrazilianGerman project on Mangrove Dynamics and Management (MADAM). Between 2000 and 2005 she was based
in Northern Brazil as a postdoctoral fellow and then vice-coordinator of the MADAM project. Between 2006
and 2011 she was a senior researcher at the Leibniz Centre of Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT) in Bremen,
Germany, with continued projects in Brazil and in Vietnam. Karen took up her post at Edinburgh Napier
University in 2012 and is a steering group member of the Fisheries Science Forum and the Graduate School of
the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS). Karen’s research focusses on the (i)
dynamics and management of coastal ecosystems and their associated benthic fauna/fisheries resources, (ii)
linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services and (iii) life cycles, behaviour and
functional ecology of marine invertebrates, and their responses to environmental stressors (e.g. underwater
noise, climatic stressors). She has been working in mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, rocky shores and
biogenic reefs.
Professor James M Mair
Heriot-Watt University
Email: [email protected]
James Mair is a Professor of Marine Biology in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. Following
his PhD research work in Mexico (on the ecology of postlarval penaeid shrimp related to a coastal lagoon
fishery), early career activities centred on the study of ecological effects of oil industry and aquaculture
impacts on the marine environment mainly in UK waters. This involved a variety of work undertaken whilst
he was on the staff of the Institute of Offshore Engineering, an academic consultancy unit of Heriot-Watt
On becoming a full-time academic member of staff in August 1996 in the Dept. of Civil & Offshore Engineering
and subsequently in the School of Life Sciences his interest began to focus on aspects of seabed habitat
mapping and biodiversity ecology for conservation management purposes (UK and overseas) including the
development of diving, video, side-scan sonar and other remote sensing methods for studying marine
habitats. James has developed research and training links in Latin America (Panama – with the Smithsonian
Tropical Research Institute; Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Costa Rica). James has delivered 4 workshops for
oil companies and government hydrocarbon agencies in Colombia on offshore environmental impact
assessment and monitoring techniques.
James represents Heriot-Watt University on the Executive Committee of the SFC-funded marine research
pool, MASTS. Within MASTS James leads up the International Collaboration & Networking Steering Group
( James also represents Heriot-Watt University on the UK’s
Higher Education International Unit ( Latin American Community of Practice.
Professor Andy Brierley
University of St-Andrews
Email: [email protected]
Andy Brierley leads the Pelagic Ecology Research Group ( The Group carries out
research on the ecology and behaviour of zooplankton and fish in the open ocean (the pelagic realm), and
upon the higher predators that feed upon them. They are seeking to understand the way in which natural and
climate-related variability alter zooplankton/fish abundance, distribution and behaviour, and impacts that
changes in the zooplankton/fish component have on higher trophic levels (predators) and fisheries. They have
developed new instrumentation and deployed it on alternative platforms such as autonomous underwater
vehicles and moorings (in an effort to overcome limitations of conventional research vessels), and are
pioneering new statistical approaches - particularly Bayesian - to maximise the return from hard-won field
Dr Douglas C. Speirs
University of Strathclyde
Email: [email protected]
Douglas works in the Marine Population Modelling Group in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at
the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Douglas joined the faculty staff of the Department of
Mathematics and Statistics in 2007 and was appointed senior lecturer in Marine Resource Modelling in 2014.
He is also the departmental Director of Knowledge Exchange, responsible for helping colleagues develop KE
activities such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Continuous Professional Development, and consultancy.
His research involves developing computationally efficient population models of fish stocks in which
physiological structure and spatial structure and combined, and he has strong track record of widely cited
peer-reviewed publications (average of 24 citations per article, three papers with >100 citations). Douglas’
research on spatial modelling of zooplankton, as part of the NERC MarProd programme, established a new to
modelling the growth and transport by ocean currents of stage-structured populations (e.g. Speirs et al. 2006,
Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 313, 173-192). With partners at Marine Scotland Science he led the development of a
new size-structured multispecies model for fish communities (Speirs et al. 2010, Fish. Res. 106, 474-494), now
known as FishSUMS (Fish – Strathclyde University – Marine Scotland). Motivated by policy-driven concerns
about the effects of multi-species fisheries, the model has been used to explore the consequences of a range
of fisheries management scenarios. Over the last seven years Douglas has been PI or Co-I in grants totalling
over £1.3 million FEC. He is an editor for the international academic journals Ecology and the Journal of
Biological Systems, and sits on the steering groups of the Strathclyde Marine Institute and the Centre for
Mathematics Applied to the Life Sciences (CMALS). He is deputy convener of the MASTS Fisheries Forum, a
group that has representation from all major fisheries related institutes in Scotland, and covers diverse
disciplines including biology, stock assessment, ecosystem modelling, economics, and stakeholder experience.
Dr Mark James
Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for
Scotland (MASTS)
Email: [email protected]
As the Operations Director of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS), Mark is
responsible, together with the MASTS Directorate, for the day-to-day co-ordination and delivery of a £75m
Scottish Funding Council research pool involving the majority of Scotland’s marine science capacity. Our role
is to facilitate and improve co-ordination of marine science activity across 13 Scottish Universities, a
Government laboratory and a non-departmental public body (
Mark is based at the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews and although his principal role
is as Operations Director for MASTS, he maintain an active interest in a number of ongoing research projects
including co-supervision of three PhD students, Co-Investigator on two multi-partner EPSRC funded marine
renewables projects and he is Co-ordinator of a recently funded EU MARE project (FishPi) to improve regional
fisheries data collection and statistical analysis. He also leads a £1.3m European Fisheries Fund programme of
work to improve the sustainability of inshore fisheries.
Through MASTS, he interacts with a significant proportion of the marine science community within Scotland,
and in respect of his own areas of expertise, internationally. He is Chair the Science and Research Working
Group of the Ministerial Group on Sustainable Aquaculture. Recently he chaired Food Standards Agency
Scotland’s Independent Appeals Panel for Shellfish Classification Awards. He is a member of the Scotland’s
Seas Data and Assessment Steering Group which contributes to the development of the National Marine Plan.
His principal interests with respect to Brazil are to provide information on the capacity of the MASTS research
community; encourage collaboration and, in particular the development of studentship opportunities; foster
specific project level collaborations in:
Food (aquaculture and fisheries);
Energy (wave, tidal and riverine renewable energy production – O&G – decommissioning and oil spill
contingency planning);
Professor Fin Stuart
Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Email: [email protected]
Fin is head of the noble gas laboratories at SUERC and has expertise in the following fields:
 cosmogenic nuclides applied to landscape development
 low temperature thermochronology applied to reconstructing Cenozoic exhumation
 isotopes as tracers of the origin and interaction history of fluids at the Earth’s surface
Fin has collaborated with Proffessor Peter Hackspacher at Earth Sciences, UNESP (Rio Claro campus), for
several years. He is funded by CAPES as a Special Visiting Researcher at UNESP via the Ciência Sem
Fronteiras scheme. In this capacity he has spent 3 months at UNESP in the last 3 years, assisting in the
development of laboratories and training technical staff and PhD students in He thermochronology. This
has included several field trips, teaching undergraduate class and research seminars at colloquia in SP and
RdJ. SUERC has hosted two UNESP technicians for individual training in mass spectrometry and allied
chemical processing procedures, as well as instrument cross-calibration and technique development. Fin
supervises a FAPESP-funded PhD student at UNESP. He is studying long-term landscape development of the
coastal mountains between SP and RdJ and is currently based at SUERC measuring cosmogenic 10Be.
Professor John Rowan
University of Dundee
Email: [email protected]
Professor John Rowan is Chair in Physical Geography and Director of the Centre for Environmental Change
and Human Resilience, University of Dundee. His research focuses on water and sediment dynamics,
especially the sensitivity of aquatic environments to perturbations. A conscious move towards systemsbased approaches is reflected in current projects exploring natural flood management as an ecosystembased adaptation approach, developing national indicators for climate change adaptation, soil erosion and
its biodiversity impacts in agro-ecosystems and elucidating the biophysical linkages between
hydromorphological pressures and ecological response. Funding to Dundee exceeding £2.5 M has been won
from a wide range of sources including Belmont Forum, EU, RCUK, UK/Scottish Governments and
Environment & conservation agencies. From August 2015 he will be appointed Dean of the School of Social
Sciences, a major new interdisciplinary academic school within the University of Dundee. John serves on the
Directorate of the Scottish Government’s Centre for Expertise in Climate Change (ClimateXChange), where
he is co-lead of the Adaptation Workstream and lead on the Scottish Government’s Centre for Research
Expertise on Water (CREW), with a lead role on the HydroNation Scholars Programme.
Dr Antionio Ioris
University of Dundee
Email: [email protected]
Antonio Ioris is geography lecturer and director of the MSc in Environment and Development at the School of
Geosciences, University of Edinburgh.
Previous responsibilities include a lectureship at Aberdeen University, researcher at the Aberdeen Centre of
Environmental Sustainability, senior policy officer at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and project
manager with the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment. His main academic interests are in the politicised
interconnections between nature and society, in particular the affirmation of new environmental legislation
and the contested reforms of public policies and the apparatus of the state. Ioris has conducted extensive
research in several countries, using water management as an entry point into the political ecology of the
allocation, use and conservation of natural resources. Current research projects are related to the search for
environmental justice in the urban and regional context, the multiple obstacles faced by marginalised
communities to influence environmental decision-making and the politics of agriculture modernisation and
the expansion of agribusiness in central South America. His most recent books include ‘Tropical Wetland
Management: The South-American Pantanal and the International Experience’ (Ashgate, 2012), ‘The Political
Ecology of the State’ (Routledge, 2014) and ‘Water, State and the City’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). For a full
list of publications, please check the following site:
Dr Heather Price
University of Stirling
Email: [email protected]
Heather Price is an environmental scientist with interests in research at the interface between geography,
social science and biochemistry. She completed her BSc in 2007 at Cardiff University, UK, graduating with a
degree in Environmental Geoscience. Following this, she elected to remain at Cardiff University to undertake
an interdisciplinary PhD (2007 – 2011) into the health effects of air pollution exposure. Following her PhD, she
moved to the University of Hertfordshire where she worked on a project funded by the European Union (FP7)
called TRANSPHORM (2011 – 2014). This project focused on the health effects of transport-related PM and
the impacts that different policy initiatives could have on public health. Heather then moved to the University
of Southampton where she spent time in both the Geography and Environment and Social Sciences
departments (2014 – 2015). She worked on the Groundwater 2030 project (funded by the Natural
Environment Research Council [NERC], the Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC] and the Department
for International Development [DFID]), with an international team of researchers. This project investigated
the long term change in shallow well pollution, community use of water, and how water access may change
in the future in Kenya. Following this she worked on an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
(EPSRC) funded project, called ‘Energy for Development’ with an interdisciplinary team of researchers. The
aim of the project was to install a community-led solar grid and to quantify and understand the impacts that
it had on the wellbeing of the community.
Current areas of interest include:
 Air pollution and health
 Water pollution and health
 Energy-water-food-environment nexus, particularly how to measure it
 Water, sanitation and hygiene access
Heather is particularly keen to use trans-disciplinary methods to address large scale environmental issues, for
example geographical information systems (GIS), population surveys, environmental monitoring, interviews,
participatory mapping, photovoice, remote sensing etc. Heather aims to undertake research that is beneficial
for the communities with which she works, to use various methodologies to involve local people and to ensure
that the research delivers for the community.
Dr Ruth Falconer
Abertay University
Email: [email protected]
Dr Ruth Falconer is a Senior Lecturer in Simulation and Visualisation within Science, Engineering & Technology,
at Abertay University. She has an international track record in the development of integrative modelling and
visualisation frameworks applied to complex systems. These frameworks (encompassing Individual and Agent
based models, Reaction-Diffusion, 3D Interactive Visualisation and Multi Criteria Decision Analysis
approaches) have been applied to understand biophysical systems, urban and rural sustainability, heat loss
and gain from the built environment, precision agriculture and more recently the Water, Energy & Food (WEF)
nexus. Current projects include developing an interactive map of the scope and scale of Scotland’s water
sector; developing a mobile application for delivery of in-field precision agriculture data, and modelling the
WEF nexus. These projects are funded by CREW, TSB and EPSRC respectively. She graduated with a PhD in
complex systems modelling in 2006, an MSc in IT (Distinction) in 2002 and BSc in Physics in 1999. She has
advised 8 PhD students and co-authored over 30 journal articles. She is an editorial board member of Scientific
Reports (Nature Publishing group) and SSSAJ: Soil Physics.
Ruth is interested in identifying niche innovations of low-impact systems at the WEF nexus that have potential
to provide step change improvements across environmental, social and economic dimensions at other scales
by building Agent Based Models to investigate conditions for supporting such a step-change. Key to this is
engaging expert and non-expert stakeholders and encouraging dialogue. She is also interested in Interactive
Visualization and Stakeholder Engagement for Environmental Management.

Dr Karen Diele Edinburgh Napier University