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Science Advisory Board

Marine Scotland has a Science Advisory Board (SAB) to assure the independence, impartiality and quality of science delivered by its science Division, Marine Scotland Science (MSS). The SAB comprises academics from a range of UK universities who have specialist knowledge relevant to the areas of science covered by MSS. The SAB has four principal functions, to:

  • Ensure the science undertaken by MSS is objective and transparent;
  • Comment on the quality of the science;
  • Provide input on the determination of the Scottish Government marine science priorities; and
  • Raise any issues pertaining to the governance of the science programme

Currently chaired by Prof Selina Stead, the SAB meets at least three times per year, comprehensively reviewing one of the Science Programmes as part of each meeting.

Current SAB Members are:

Selena SteadChairperson Professor Selina Stead is Director of Research in the School of Marine Science and Technology at Newcastle University. In 2010 she became the first Professor of Marine Governance and Environmental Science. She gained her BSc in Marine Biology and Oceanography, and her MSc in Fisheries Biology and Management at the University of Wales, Bangor and was awarded her PhD in Zoology from the University of Aberdeen where she later became Director for Marine Resource Management. Professor Stead's track record of publications has led to several senior appointments and her current research projects include governance of Caribbean coral reef ecosystems in the face of climate change, small-scale fisheries in the UK, Oman and the Philippines, sea cucumber biology in South Africa, Marine Protected Areas in Thailand and the UK, marine piracy in Kuwait and Somali, and shark fisheries management in East Africa.


Kenneth BlackProfessor Kenneth Black has been a researcher in marine science at SAMS since 1991 and has published 65 ISI peer-reviewed papers on topics ranging from organic chemistry to modelling environmental effects of aquaculture. He has co-ordinated or been involved in several EU projects on the effects of aquaculture and has edited/co-edited six books and contributed chapters on the subject. He has been awarded over 50 grants as PI or co-PI and has supervised 10 PhDs. His current research interests include:

  • Sustainability, energy, food, society;
  • Integration of physical and biological models;
  • Recovery processes in fish farm sediments; and
  • Indicators and models of pollution from aquaculture


Mike ElliottProfessor Mike Elliott, is the Director of the Institute of Estuarine & Coastal Studies (IECS) and Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences at the University of Hull. He is a marine biologist with wide experience but especially with interests in human consequences, marine and estuarine management and governance. He has published widely, co-authoring/co-editing 15 books and contributing to over 200 scientific publications and he has acted as an adviser on many environmental matters for academia, industry, government and statutory bodies in Europe and elsewhere.


Nick HanleyProfessor Nick Hanley is a professor of environmental economics at the University of St. Andrews. His main areas of research interest are environmental valuation, the design of Payment for Ecosystem Service schemes, and the economics of sustainable development. He is leader of the Coastal Zone Forum with MASTS (www.masts.ac.uk) and a member of Defra's Economic Advisory Panel. He works closely with marine and coastal scientists as part of his involvement with MASTS.

Paul Hart

Professor Paul J B Hart of the University of Leicester has an extensive background in Ocean Science and has submitted over 70 peer-reviewed papers in addition to co-authoring the following publications: The ecology and fisheries of seamounts, Handbook of fish biology and fisheries - Volume I. Fish biology, Volume II. Fisheries and Fisheries Ecology.


David PatersonProfessor David M Paterson has 25 years' research experience and established the Sediment Ecology Research Group (SERG) working on the dynamics and ecology of coastal systems. SERG has an international reputation and strong funding. Prof Paterson has led many successful interdisciplinary projects (EU and national) and was a theme leader in the EU MARBEF network of excellence. He has published over 140 papers and successfully supervised >20 doctoral candidates. Recent research includes policy relevant coastal science including ecosystem function and ecosystem services. He currently leads the NERC CBESS consortium.


Paul Thompson Professor Paul Thompson is a population ecologist from the University of Aberdeen and Director of the University's Lighthouse Field Station in Cromarty. Over the last 25 years his research has explored how environmental change affects the ecology of marine mammal and seabird populations, addressing issues such as interactions between seals and fisheries and the environmental effects of marine renewable energy. Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a member of the NERC Special Committee on Seals.