Congratulations Dr Taylor

Congratulations to Ben Taylor for his successfully defended thesis entitled “Saltmarsh restoration and blue carbon dynamics in a Scottish estuary”

BLUE-coast – Morecambe winter field campaign

In February 2019, 5 members of the SERG lab completed three days of fieldwork on West Plain, Morecambe Bay for the NERC BLUE-coast project. This is the fourth of four field campaigns for the project.

Field team – David Paterson, Mel Chocholek, Irvine Davidson, Adam Wyness and Andy Blight

CSM in action, contact cores, CSM of marsh edge and shear vane of marsh edge

Contact core on saltmarsh, Hydrobia trails, contact core sample sites with Corophium holes visible in the last image

Prof. David Paterson braced for the elements.

Welcome to Dr Mel Chocholek

Welcome to new staff member Dr Mel Chocholek. Mel joins us as a Research Technician supporting the work within SERG, in particular the John Templeton Foundation and NERC BLUEcoast funded projects.

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 (

BLUE-coast – Morecambe summer field campaign

In June 2018, 4 members of the SERG lab completed four days of fieldwork on West Plain, Morecambe Bay for the NERC BLUE-coast project. This is the third of four field campaigns for the project.

CSM in action on the saltmarsh and mud flats of West Plain

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


BLUE-coast – Essex winter field campaign

In November 2017, 5 members of the SERG lab completed four days of fieldwork in the Dengie National Nature Reserve, Essex for the NERC BLUE-coast project.

CSM and Contact Cores in action on the Dengie peninsular

BLUE-coast – Essex summer field campaign

In June 2017, 5 members of the SERG lab, including Prof. Paterson, completed three days of fieldwork in the Dengie National Nature Reserve, Essex for the NERC BLUE-coast project.

CSM, Contact Cores and field spectroscopy in action on the Dengie peninsular.

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!

Congratulations Dr Maynard

Congratulations to Dr Clare Maynard who has successfully defended her thesis, ‘Saltmarshes on the Fringe: Restoring the degraded shoreline of the Eden Estuary,  Scotland.’


Dr Clare Maynard