Researchers form marine alliance

Ten of the country’s leading research institutions have joined forces to establish the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS).

MASTS will aim to place Scotland at the leading edge of international marine research by coordinating the work of the country’s 700 marine-research staff and will have a £74m combined budget. The Scottish Funding Council is backing the partnership with £17.4m of investment.

Chaired by Prof Ian Boyd from St Andrews University, the alliance members include Aberdeen University, Marine Scotland (Science), Glasgow University, Heriot-Watt University, University Marine Biological Station Millport, Edinburgh Napier University, the Scottish Association for Marine Science (UHI), and Stirling and Strathclyde Universities.

The formation of MASTS will create eight professorships and 13 lectureships/readerships.

A graduate academy will be at the core of the MASTS initiative, offering advanced postgraduate training in marine sciences to attract and retain talented young scientists.

The work of MASTS will cover nine distinct themes: biodiversity and ecosystem function, coastal zone, marine predators, sustainable mariculture, genomics, fisheries, physical oceanography, modelling, and platforms and sensors.