Blogs and News from Partners

Celebrating Science and Year of the Young Person with Andronikos Kafas

Marine Scotland Blog - Thu, 2018-02-22 10:00

As mentioned last month, 2018 is both the Year of the Engineer and the Year of the Young Person. This month’s blog is about one of our many colleagues who are inspiring the next generation with their Outreach work.

This is Andronikos, one of our marine renewable energy scientists. To see what he does, in this universe, please read on…

 

Who are you and what do you do?
I am Andronikos Kafas, a Greek national who joined Marine Scotland Science in 2012 as a Research Scientist in Offshore Renewable Energy based in Aberdeen. My role is to provide scientific advice to the Licensing Operations Team by assessing Environmental Impact Assessment documentation submitted in support of applications for offshore renewable energy developments. I also provide specialist advice to Marine Planning and Policy Division on interactions between the marine environment and the marine renewable energy industries.

 

Why is what you do important?
There are a number of domestic, European and international commitments to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Part of the solution includes the increased energy generation from renewable sources. My work contributes directly to this and from a local point of view, contributes towards Scottish Government’s aspiration for 100% electricity production from renewable sources by 2020.

 

What’s your career path been – how did you get here?
I hold a BSc (Hons) in Marine Science from the University of Aegean in Greece. I have graduated with a MSc in Applied Marine Ecology from the University of Aberdeen and I am currently undertaking a part-time PhD in Marine Renewable Energy and Marine Spatial Planning with the same university. Aberdeen University’s postgraduate programme originally attracted me to the North East of Scotland. A postgraduate placement with Marine Scotland during my degree intrigued me to apply for the role I currently have.

 

If you weren’t doing this, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
During my undergraduate degree, I was working as a part-time freelance graphic designer. During my conscription, besides military training, I served for the last couple of months as a musician (playing the Greek musical instrument Bouzouki). I believe somewhere in a parallel universe, I am following a career as a graphic designer or a professional musician.

 

What’s your favourite fishy fact?
As part of my research I study commercial scallop fisheries. Did you know that scallops are unique among bivalves in their ability to ‘swim’? Scallops are free-living active swimmers who can propel themselves through the water through the use of the adductor muscles to open and close their shells. Swimming occurs by the clapping of valves for water intake. They use this primarily as an escape mechanism to escape predation and for habitat selection. It is unlikely that swimming is used for efficient long-distance movement.

 

Can you tell me one fun fact about yourself?
I quite like coffee! As a diligent coffee enthusiast, I often experiment with out-of-the-ordinary flavoured coffee. This month, my selected coffee varieties include “crème brulee”, “Oreo cookies & cream”, and “French-cream donut” (is that even a real thing?!)

 

What made you decide to be involved in Outreach?
A genuine interest to engage and offer back to younger fellas, the opportunity to simplify my research to the general public, and the wonderful satisfaction one can get by wowing a crowd with his knowledge.

 

What do you enjoy most about doing Outreach?
Thinking back to my school time, I realised that I loved (and hated) certain subjects based on how much I liked (or disliked) the teacher. Hoping that the outreach activities I have engaged were fun and informative, I hope I made a difference to a small group of people who might chose to follow the domain of marine sciences in the future.

 

Would you encourage others to get involved in Outreach too?
If you are having a stressful period at work or you are feeling you’ve lost some of the enthusiasm you had in the past, I would certainly encourage you to consider getting involved in Outreach activities. There is nothing better than a cheerful, curious, information-hungry crowd of young people waiting for you to wow them!

 

Further Information

The post Celebrating Science and Year of the Young Person with Andronikos Kafas appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland Photos - Tue, 2018-02-20 10:48

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2018

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland Photos - Tue, 2018-02-20 10:48

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2018

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland Photos - Tue, 2018-02-20 10:48

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2018

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland Photos - Tue, 2018-02-20 10:48

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2018

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland Photos - Tue, 2018-02-20 10:48

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2018

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland Photos - Tue, 2018-02-20 10:48

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2018

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland Photos - Tue, 2018-02-20 10:48

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2018

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland Photos - Tue, 2018-02-20 10:48

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2018

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland Photos - Tue, 2018-02-20 10:48

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Winter at Loch Faskally

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2018

MRV Scotia Survey 0318S Programme

Marine Scotland Blog - Fri, 2018-02-16 13:48

Duration: 15 February – 7 March 2018

Fishing Gear: GOV Trawl (BT 137) fitted with ground gear D.

Objectives:

  1. Demersal trawling survey of the grounds off the north and west of Scotland in ICES Subarea VIa.
  2. To obtain temperature and salinity data from the surface and seabed at each trawling station.
  3. Collect additional biological data in connection with the EU Data Collection Framework (DCF).
  4. Opportunistic completion of zero hours hauls to assess unquantified time spent by the trawl on the seabed
  5. Opportunistic retrieval/replacement of Compass moorings deployed in November 2017.

Procedures:

General

Scotia set sail on the morning of 15 February.  A training haul was undertaken during the passage north to ensure all fishing gear/sensors were working effectively. Scotia has began fishing operations on predefined stations off the north Scottish coast and west of 4’W; weather conditions will thereafter determine the route taken on the survey.

Trawling

This is a random-stratified survey design with trawl stations being distributed within ten predefined strata covering the sampling area shown in Figure 1, right.  0318S – 2018 ICES Subarea VIa Survey Strata showing primary and secondary stationsA total of 64 primary and 45 secondary stations have been generated.  The intention is for 64 trawls to be undertaken on suitable ground as near to the specified primary sampling positions (Table 1) as is practicable, and where possible within a radius of five nautical miles of the sampling position.  In the event that trawling is not possible within 5 nm of any primary station then the nearest appropriate secondary station will be used.  Hauls will be of 30 minutes duration unless circumstances dictate otherwise.  Where possible, fishing operations will be restricted to daylight hours.  Exact start and finish times will, however, vary slightly according to geographical location.  The Scanmar system will be used to monitor the headline height, wing spread and door spread for each haul.  Bottom contact data from each trawl will also be collected using the NOAA bottom contact sensor which will be mounted on a bar in the centre of the ground-gear.  In addition to the routine sampling, biological data will be collected for target species in line with the EU data regulation.  All fish will be processed in accordance with the protocols as described in the Manual of the IBTS North Eastern Atlantic Surveys: Series of ICES Survey Protocols SISP 15.

Subsequent to discussions at the ICES International Bottom Trawl Working Group (IBTSWG) in 2017 regarding the potential inter-vessel variability in unquantified trawl time, additional information on trawl deployment and retrieval will be recorded to better understand variability and provide an accurate estimation of the total time required for each vessel to successfully complete a 30 minute tow. Further to this and if time permits, Scotia will also undertake several zero-hour trawls, defined as starting the retrieval (hauling) process of the trawl at the exact moment that the net has settled and therefore the haul commences, hence it has zero duration. Zero-hour deployments will be completed in sets of three along a single extended and bathymetrically similar trawl track. The intent Location and positions of Compass mooringsion is, if time allows, to repeat this process on several different tracks covering a range of depths.

Hydrography

A CTD cast will be taken at each trawl station, weather permitting.

Compass Moorings

Six acoustic moorings were deployed at sites within the 0318S survey area in November 2017. If time allows and it is convenient to do so then Scotia will attempt to retrieve some/all of these moorings during the survey.  An acoustic release system together with release codes and protocols for the retrieval of the moorings will be provided to the Scientist in Charge prior to the survey’s departure. A map displaying the mooring locations together with their positions is provided in Figure 2 (shown to the right).

Further Information:

Table 1: 0318S – Positions of primary sampling stations.

Table 1 0318S

 

The post MRV Scotia Survey 0318S Programme appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Iambic Pentameter Meets the ICES North Sea Lemon Sole Benchmark

Marine Scotland Blog - Wed, 2018-02-14 10:00

Last year we introduced you to our Sea Fisheries Programme Manager, Dr Coby Needle. When he isn’t dealing with fish stock and assessment, or even sometimes when he is, he also writes. So here, in something a little different, we introduce you to the work of the ICES Benchmark Workshop on North Sea Stocks in poetry.

Attend, good sirs and ladies, while I tell,
Of Microstomus kitt, the lemon sole,
I’faith a shortish tale it is, I own,
So best to hear it partial not, but whole.

We met one morn in coldest København,
Avowed the seek the truth by hook or crook,
‘Twas yet the first of benchmarks for the stock,
For useful data did we search and look.

Alas, alack, the ages’ samples sought,
Were few and far between, though try we may,
Forsooth, the surveys seemed the safest bet,
And survey-based assessment ruled the day.

A SPiCT assessment did not pass the test,
The IBTS survey was too brief,
And lackéd contrast in the index seen,
Much work was lost, yet gave we not to grief.

So SURBAR cameth forth, as well it might,
The status of the stock did it suggest,
Advice be based on rule of 3-to-2,
A valid scheme for kitt from east to west.

And finally to homeland we were bound,
A useful ICES venture once again,
The fate of lemon sole looks safe enough…
Till meeting May in Belgian town Ostend.

Further Information

The post Iambic Pentameter Meets the ICES North Sea Lemon Sole Benchmark appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy – Marine Ornithologist (closing date 6 March 2018)

Marine Scotland Blog - Fri, 2018-02-09 11:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Marine Ornithologist within Marine Scotland Science (MSS) based in Aberdeen. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

The Marine Ornithologist will work alongside the Ornithology Specialist at MSS to contribute to achieving Scottish Government goals for marine renewable energy and for protecting the marine environment. This will be achieved through the provision of specialist advice to the Marine Scotland Licensing and Operations Team on interactions between marine birds and the emerging marine renewable energy industries, and to the Marine Scotland Planning and Policy Division on marine bird conservation issues. This advice will be placed into the context of the interactions of marine bird populations and marine renewables, and of the legislation and regulatory processes that are relevant to marine birds in Scotland.

 

Qualifications Required

A minimum of a BSc. degree. Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable. If you are in any doubt please contact the Resourcing Officer named at the end of this advert to discuss.

 

Essential Criteria

  1. A good understanding of seabird biology and regulation, legislation and research relating to marine birds in Scottish or European waters.
  2. Demonstrable data analysis and statistical skills, using specialist statistical software, such as R, Genstat or Matlab.
  3. The ability to work independently with good organisational skills and effectively manage projects.
  4. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to explain scientific concepts to varied audiences.

 For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Dr Jared Wilson or call 0131 244 9103.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the resourcing team on 0131 244 5597 or via Recruitment.

Further Information

The post Vacancy – Marine Ornithologist (closing date 6 March 2018) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy – House Team Coordinator (closing date 5 March 2018)

Marine Scotland Blog - Thu, 2018-02-08 12:00

We are currently seeking applications for a House Team Coordinator within the Marine Laboratory based in Aberdeen. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

The team is based within the offices of Marine Scotland Science (MSS) at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen.  Its main priority is to support and facilitate the business of MSS whilst simultaneously managing the estate and the associated planned and reactive maintenance. In addition, the team provides a wide range of services to MSS including provision of Reception service, liaison with security, Sodexo (catering provider), Mitie TFM, fire management and processing of all incoming and outgoing mail.  The team also acts as a liaison between the various contractors who are regularly on site.  The range of duties the team provides on a daily basis makes this a very challenging and varied post.

Qualifications Required

For jobs in Bands A, you must hold a minimum of 5 Standard Grades (grades 1-3) or Ordinary Grades (grades A-C) including English and a numerical subject. Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact the Resourcing Officer named at the end of this advert to discuss.

Essential Criteria

1. Strong organisational abilities and decision making skills.
2. Pro-active approach with the ability and drive to deliver excellent customer service.
3. Excellent interpersonal and team working skills.
4. Strong communication skills.

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact by email  Rae Diaper or call on 01312 242606.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact Craig Purves on 0131 244 0639 or via EMAIL at Recruitment.

Apply for this job

You should read each of the Essential/Desirable Criteria and think about a time or an example that can help demonstrate your knowledge/skills. Remember, this must be evidence based and your answers should be clear, concise and reflect what actions you undertook. You may want to use the STAR(R) approach to respond to each criterion.

Further Information

The post Vacancy – House Team Coordinator (closing date 5 March 2018) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy – Marine Mammal Biologist (closing date 6 March 2018)

Marine Scotland Blog - Wed, 2018-02-07 11:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Marine Mammal Biologist within Marine Scotland Science (MSS) based in Aberdeen. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

The Marine Mammal Biologist will work alongside the REEA staff at MSS to contribute to achieving Scottish Government goals for marine renewable energy and for protecting the marine environment. This will be achieved through the provision of specialist advice to MS-LOT on interactions between marine mammals and the emerging marine renewable energy industries, and to MPPD on marine mammal conservation issues. This advice will be placed into the context of the interactions of marine mammal populations and marine renewables, and of the legislation and regulatory processes that are relevant to marine mammals in Scotland.

Qualifications Required

A minimum of a BSc. degree. Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact the Resourcing Officer named at the end of this advert to discuss.

Essential Criteria

  1. A good understanding of regulation, legislation and research relating to marine mammal species, populations and trends in Scottish or European waters.
  2. The ability to work independently with good organisational skills and effectively manage projects.
  3. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to explain scientific concepts to varied audiences, particularly in a professional context.
  4. A good understanding of the impacts of underwater noise and other key issues to marine mammals and other marine species and methods to assess these impacts.

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please email Dr Jared Wilson or call 0131 244 9103.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the resourcing team on 0131 244 5597 or via Recruitment.

 

Further Information

The post Vacancy – Marine Mammal Biologist (closing date 6 March 2018) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Celebrating the Year of the Engineer – Meet Neil Collie

Marine Scotland Blog - Tue, 2018-02-06 10:00

Neil Collie

As we mentioned in our blog in January, 2018 is the Year of the Engineer as well as the Year of the Young Person. Over the course of the year, we’ll be introducing you to some of our incredibly talented engineers, as well as showing your some of their work. Next up, we hear from our Engineering Group Leader, Neil.

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Neil Collie, and I’m the Engineering Group Leader at Marine Scotland Science, based in the Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen. I manage a highly skilled team, and we provide specialist engineering, underwater observation and net-rigging services to support the needs of our scientific colleagues.

Why is what you do important?

My team of qualified engineers undertake the design, construction and operation of custom-built equipment, applying their expertise in the application and fabrication of electronic and mechanical systems (you can read about one of them, ARIES, in January’s blog). The Net Riggers ensure that trawls and other equipment are available for MSS to meet national and international obligations. This work helps to provide robust research and advice underpinning the management of Scotland’s marine and freshwater resources.

What’s your career path been – how did you get here?

I was born in Stonehaven and left Mackie Academy just before my 16th birthday and started as an apprentice electrician with the Property Services Agency based at the Marine Laboratory. The PSA were a government agency who looked after a number of buildings throughout Aberdeen (this work is now carried out by Mitie) but most of our work was at the Lab or at Torry Research Station. After finishing my apprenticeship, I applied for an Electrical Technician post with the The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland (DAFS) and started work in February 1984. During this period I spent a lot of time either at the lab sites on the West Coast, on occasional sea trips or in the workshop in Aberdeen. In 1986, I moved into the Instrumentation Section and since then, working my way from my entry level grade of PTO IV to management, I’ve taken part in almost 200 surveys on both commercial and research vessels.  During this time I’ve also managed to get married, have three kids and pick up an honours degree with  the Open University on the way!

What’s your proudest achievement so far?

In 2015 I had occasion to participate in a diverse piece of research when I provided engineering support in a joint venture between MASTS partners (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland) to locate a cold seep ecosystem west of Rockall. Our VMUX chariot was to be used in 1200m deep water trench and I was tasked with flying the frame, collecting HD camera footage and CTD (conductivity, temperate and depth) data in the area of the seep. Despite us being informed prior to the cruise that it would be like “looking for a needle in a haystack” we located the seep and obtained valuable HD footage of this unique phenomena.

What would you say to any aspiring young engineers?

The engineering profession seems to get a hard time from some sections of society. People seem to think it’s a job for men in boiler suits and hard hats. This isn’t always the case. Engineering is for people who are interested in how things work, love problem solving and enjoy communicating with others. If a young person is interested in technology and new developments there will be a sector of engineering for them.

And one fun fact about you?

Although I can’t play a note and my wife would say I’m tone deaf, I’m a bit of a music geek. I got my first record player at 10 and since then I’ve collected around 600 albums and around about 1000 cd’s. I’m a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to downloads!

If I ever win the lottery, I’ll be in a corner shop near you listening to music!

 

The post Celebrating the Year of the Engineer – Meet Neil Collie appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy – Head of Licensing Operations Team (closing date 01 March 2018)

Marine Scotland Blog - Fri, 2018-02-02 11:20

We are currently seeking applications for a Head of Licensing Operations Team within the Marine Scotland based in Aberdeen. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments. This is a full time vacancy, however applications from people wishing to work an alternative working pattern will be considered. Based in Aberdeen, although travel around Scotland, including to remote locations where public transport may not be available, will be expected.

Marine Scotland is looking for an experienced leader who will ensure the team is well placed to meet the current and emerging priorities.

The Licensing Operations Team in Marine Scotland provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for marine licences and consents in Scottish Waters. The successful post holder will be responsible  for leading and directing a team of approximately 35 licensing, consenting and support staff. You will provide a high quality service to both Ministers and stakeholders in a dynamic fast paced and evolving environment. You will make a key contribution to the achievement of the 2020 National target relating to renewable energy generation. Working in a high pressure/profile environment dealing with a cross section of stakeholders including senior Government officials, Industry Leaders, Ministers and the media, this role is key in delivering  Marine Scotland’s marine licensing and consenting output in accordance with published targets and associated legislation.  You will also have responsibility for the operational response to Offshore Oil and Gas and maritime incidents.

Qualifications Required
A minimum of a good honours degree or equivalent in science, engineering, planning or law but in exceptional circumstances relevant and specific experience may be considered. Preference will be given to applicants who hold a professional qualifications, such as IEMA or similar. Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact to discuss.

Essential Criteria
1. Proven senior professional leadership skills in delivering results in high profile and fast paced environments, motivating a team of specialist and administrative staff to high standards of delivery.
2. Excellent programme and project management skills aligned to experience of working within planning and consenting frameworks.
3. Experience of working with Ministers, senior leaders and stakeholders, handling politically sensitive issues and providing advice and direction on the interpretation of international, UK and Scottish legislation and guidance.
4. Experience of balancing a number of competing agendas sensitively including resolving conflict between partners drawing on the expertise of specialist staff as appropriate.

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below.

To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Helena Gray on 0131 244 6014 or at Helena.gray@gov.scot.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the Resourcing Team on 0131 244 5175 or via recruitment@gov.scot.

Further Information

The post Vacancy – Head of Licensing Operations Team (closing date 01 March 2018) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Careers Event - Breadalbane Academy

Marine Scotland Photos - Thu, 2018-02-01 17:38

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Careers Event - Breadalbane Academy

31 January 2018

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2017

Careers Event - Breadalbane Academy

Marine Scotland Photos - Thu, 2018-02-01 17:38

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Careers Event - Breadalbane Academy

31 January 2018

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2017

Careers Event - Breadalbane Academy

Marine Scotland Photos - Thu, 2018-02-01 10:41

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Careers Event - Breadalbane Academy

31 January 2018

Marine Scotland

:copyright: Crown copyright 2017

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