NEW POSITION – Research Technician

NEW POST – Research Technician to support SERG and the John Templeton Foundation funded project – niche construction and evolutionary diversity in experimental communities

An exciting opportunity is available for a motivated candidate to support the work of the Sediment Ecology Research Group (SERG) as part of a major multinational, interdisciplinary research consortium.

We are seeking a versatile and computer literate candidate with good field and laboratory skills relevant to benthic ecology. We expect to attract a motivated worker with the initiative to handle fieldwork and accepting some travel and the unsociable hours (tidal cycles) that are occasionally required. The candidate will be based in the Sediment Ecology Research Group (SERG) at the University of St Andrews under the main supervision of Dr Adam Wyness and Prof. David M. Paterson. The main purpose of the role is to support the design and running of experiments using laboratory benthic mesocosms, flume system and fieldwork. Incubation of bacteria, diatoms and handling of benthic infauna will be required but training can be given.

One year position to start as soon as possible. Informal enquiries to: Prof David M. Paterson (

SERG’s Clare Maynard leads MASTS coastal forum

Scotland’s coastal zone is famous for its natural beauty but also provides important conservational value. The coastal zone acts as an important ecosystem in its own right but also as a buffer between highly valued marine and land assets, ranging from award-winning golf courses, prime agricultural land, critical industries, aquaculture and important fisheries. These transitional ecosystems are increasingly vulnerable to pressure from enhanced erosion and flooding as sea levels rise, storm impacts increase and coastal sediment supply wanes.

The adaptation and resilience of the coastline therefore is vitally important to Scotland’s future, and the way forward requires sound knowledge, cooperative research and compromise between organisations, as well as the engagement and involvement of local communities.

The MASTS Coastal Forum brings together a variety of experts in areas such as coastal processes and dynamics, management, policy, social science, biodiversity and ecology and conservation, thus providing the opportunity to interact with key decision makers, speak to experts to help solve often-complex issues and help generate leads for new projects, insights and potential contracts.

Co-Chairs: Clare Maynard (USTAN) & Jim Hansom (GLA)

Steering Group: Sue Dawson (DUN), Tim Stojanovic (USTAN), Ben Taylor (USTAN), Nicholas Williamson (Fife Council); John Black (MoD) & Janet Khan (SEPA)

If you would like advice, please complete the enquiry form and email to

If you would like to find an expert on coastal issues, check out the coastal expertise database, or to be included in this database, please contact


Congratulations Dr Cramb

Congratulations to Pamela Cramb for her successfully defended thesis entitled “The influence of coastal upwelling on the biodiversity of sandy beaches in South Africa”.

As well as the intellectual challenge, Pam has probably carried and sieved enough sand to create a reasonable beach.

Well done!

Grant award

Congratulations to Julie Hope for her successfull application to the BRITISH FEDERATION of WOMEN GRADUATES fund and who was awarded the Second Eila Campbell Fellowship of £2000 for 2014.

This will go towards additional sample processing to enhance her PhD research within the COHBED project.


Congratulations to Dr Nikki Khanna in successfully defending her thesis “Biological Response of Foraminifera to Ocean Acidification.”

She has now been hired as a Micropaleontologist for Ichron Ltd and we wish her all the best with her new job!

CBESS News: maternity cover

Meriem, CBESS’s project officer, is due to go on maternity leave on Mon 17th March until Sun 21st September 2014. we are pleased to announce that Zara Morris-Trainor will be providing maternity cover during her absence.

Zara Morris-Trainor comes to us as a recent MSc graduate in conservation biology from the University of Kent. Originally from New Zealand, she studied zoology and psychology at undergraduate level before heading to Malawi to work as a research assistant and volunteer manager at a local wildlife centre, and then to Indonesian Borneo to co-ordinate a sun bear rehabilitation project. With a growing interest in conservation management and human-wildlife conflict, Zara’s dissertation looked at the effect of large carnivores on the sheep farming industry in Norway. Wishing to further her skills and knowledge of project management, stakeholder engagement and environmental monitoring, Zara is delighted to have the opportunity to cover the role of CBESS Project Officer during Meriem’s maternity leave. She is very much looking forward to meeting the rest of the team.

CBESS news: Summer campaign in Essex

The last part of the summer campaign for the CBESS project hs taken place in Essex, with members of the SERG lab taking samples to study the sediment stability, gas fluxes and biofilm properties from several saltmarsh and mudflat sites of the Essex marshes and mudflats. This last part of the joint field campaign was very succesful as all the quadrats could be accessed. Once the team has recovered from these two weeks of crawling in mud and going up and down marsh creeks, the sample processing will be able to start!


Dr melanie Chocholek and Steve Watson sampling CO2 fluxes