Every MSc student completes a research project during the final 3 months of the course, and writes up a dissertation. This provides important training in lab, field and analytical methods, and also in scientific writing skills. Students can choose from a range of projects suggested by supervisors, and also take an active role in designing their own project plan. Training in proposal writing is provided in Semester 2, during the lead-up to the project itself.

Here is a list of some of the projects undertaken by our students in recent years, and their supervisors

Bahamas May 12 057

Bahamas; photo by Yannis Papastamatiou


    • Tropical MPAs that are resilient to climate change (Mike Burrows)
    • The importance of primary production when assessing the value of a salt marsh (Rebecca Aspden)
    • Invasive species and trialing novel methods of prevention of settlement (Liz Cook)
    • Fish farm impacts and methanogenesis (Angela Hatton)
    • MPA designations and the role it plays in an MPAs success (Rebecca Aspden)
    • Methanogenesis in fisheries (Angela Hatton)
    • Prioritisation of ecological imperitaves over social and economic legislation in Barra (Tavis Potts)

St Andrews


    • Effect of acidification on Lophelia (Kim Last)
    • Modelling a possible phase shift from Minke whales to Basking sharks (Sheila Heymans)
    • Modelling Sea lice distribution in Loch Fyne (Mike Burrows)
    • Chemical cues – Urchin behaviour in response to chemical stimuli (Angela Hatton)
    • Relationship between surface pp and deep-sea macrobehtic community in Rockall trough (Bhavani Narayanaswamy)
    • Social organisation of the bottlenose dolphin community in the Sound of Barra (Ben Wilson)
    • Scale mismatches in social-ecological systems (Tim O’Higgins)
    • Deep sea benthic assemblages (Bhavani Narayanaswamy)
    • Spatiotemporal distribution of marine mammals in the Great Race off the west coast of Scotland (Ben Wilson)

EMMS students 2014/15


    • Effects of salmon aquaculture on methanogen community in surface sediment (Angela Hatton)
    • Spatial analysis of recreational fishing in Southern France (Clive Fox)
    • Erosion rates of biological and artificial mixes of cohesive sediments under various flow regimes (Rebecca Aspden)
    • Impacts of ocean acidification on the baterial oxidation of DMS (Angela Hatton)
    • Achilles heel of marine biosecurity in the Isle of Man – invasive Sargassum (Liz Cook)
    • Influence of organic material and temperature on the burial tolerance of blue mussels (Kim Last)
    • Blue build and biosecurity – invasives (Liz Cook)
    • Spatiotemporal distribution of seabirds in the Great Race off the west coast of Scotland (Ben Wilson)
    • Dissolution of metals from resuspended copper mine tailings beyond short term end points: pertilisation success of green sea urchins (Kim Last)
    • Particle and biogeochemical dynamics at Senghor Seamount (Robert Turnewitsch)
    • Anti-feeding and anti-fouling in Fucus. Implications of climate change on chemical defence mechanisms (Mike Burrows)
    • Sediment impacts on cold water corals (Kim Last)
    • Impact of salmon fish farming on interannual diversity of baterial, archaeal and methanogen communities (Angela Hatton)
    • Predicted habitat map of the Firth of Lorn (Clive Fox)
    • Methanogenesis recovery from fish farms (Angela)
    • Effect of ocean acidification on the anemone Anemonia viridis (Adam Hughes)
    • Impact of shore crab to ecosystem function (Andrew Blight)
    • Seasonal distribution and abundance of small jellyfish community in Firth of Lorn and Loch Creran (Clive Fox)

St Andrews


  • Jellyfish polyps on underside of floating marinas (Clive Fox)
  • Are invasive non native species out- pacing climate change (Liz Cook)
  • Effect of ocean acidification on the dissolution rates and microstructure of Lophelia dead skeletons (Kim Last)
  • Effect of ocean acidification on live maerl (Henrik Stahl)
  • Small-scale oceanographic features of a tidal race (Ben Wilson)
  • Performance testing IndiSeas ecological indicators in the west coast of Scotland marine ecosystem (Sheila Heymans)
  • Cumulative impacts of offshore renewables: an appraisal of relative environmental risks (Tom Wilding)
  • Evaluating performance of commercial scale IMTA on West Coast of Scotland through spatial mapping of water quality parameters (Adam Hughes)
  • Characteristics of secondary productivity around artificial reefs (Tom Wilding)
    Red Sea Corals 2015 Photo: Aziz Mulla

    Red Sea corals project 2015 Photo: Aziz Mulla

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