Dr Beth Scott
BSc, MSc, PhD
Find out more about our MSc/MRes in Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology at http://www.abdn.ac.uk/clsm/graduate/prospective-students/masters/tmp/marfish/introduction/
Share the adventure of at-sea research on our NERC CMARHAB Project on the James Cook http://cmarhab.blogspot.com/ See our work highlighted in the EU Projects magazine 'A pragmatic approach to defining marine habitat'.
See how science is advanced by clever collaboration in the 'Great Minds' travelling exhibition (from Dynamic Earth Edinburgh, to Satrosphere, Aberdeen) of the research project on tidal renewable energy and seabird behaviour that Alan Owen (RGU) and I are currently running.
Marine ecosystem studies focusing on the functional linkages between oceanographic processes, flexible individual life history traits and population dynamics. In particular using Individual Based Models (IBM) as tools that explore the variation in individual growth, maturation and reproductive output with temporal and spatial overlap in food resources. Identifying the critical life history stages and marine habitats where predator and prey species overlap and focusing on the physical features (or anthropogenic factors) that can enhance or destroy these linkages.
3 Main Research Themes
1. Individual Based Modelling (IBM) and full life cycle effects of climate change (food and temperature) on daily/seasonal fish growth and annual reproductive potential.
2. Identifying and defining characteristics for spatially distinct limited areas of sub-surface production that are likely to be highly influential on trophic linkages from physics (winds/ temperature / sunlight) through primary, secondary production. Understanding the exact mechanisms allows exploring the links between the growth and reproductive capacity of most important commercial / or key prey fish species to the physical aspects of these areas
3. Understanding the detailed temporal and spatial characteristics of the usage of these areas by frequent foraging of top predators. This will be pursued using concurrent sub-surface structures and surface or tagged animal observation. The sub-surface structures are linked to the understanding of detailed vertical water mass characteristics needed for the tidal renewable industry and hence most of this work is in collaboration with RGU engineers.
Theme 1: Impact of temperature on overwinter condition and reproductive potential of sandeel. This is a Marine Scotland and NERC (PhD) funded grant. The project will establish the necessary parameters for an individual based model for sandeel (Ammodytes marinus) growth, this project involves the estimation of resting metabolic rates and the relative energy investment between soma and gonads over a natural range in temperature.
Theme 2 & 3: Using oceanographic characteristics and predator-prey behaviours to define critical marine habitats. This NERC funded project brings together University of Aberdeen with Proudman Oceanographic Laboratories, Marine Scotland Science, CEFAS and JNCC as well the Marine Resource Assessment Group and the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation and will be a participant of the NERC Oceans2025, Shelf Seas Process, on board the new RRS James Cook in the Celtic Sea during the summer of 2008. The success of the Ecosystem Approach, the sustainable use of fishing areas and the delineation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) all require a fundamental understanding of the mechanistic links between oceanographic properties, fish, top predators and fisheries activities. This requires multi-disciplinary, multi-trophic research to define critical marine habitats where multiple species of predators (including fishermen) are most likely to forage for their prey. This project tests two hypotheses concerning the underlying mechanistic forcing that may be occurring in newly identified areas with disproportionately high abundances of top predators (seabirds, marine mammals and fishing activity) and high levels of sub-surface chlorophyll. The identification of a sub-surface feature that correlates with predator (marine mammal, seabird, fish and human) activity would have important implications as it would allow predictive definitions of spatial (and temporal) locations where higher prevalence of top predators and fish were expected. This level of understanding will allow more precise spatial (and temporal) management of fishing effort, a decrease in the variance of fish abundance estimation, and increased knowledge for the locations of MPAs. To test these hypotheses we will use a unique survey framework which can provide the synoptic measurement of many components of the ecosystem. This approach requires departure from standard survey methods and validation of the new survey designs.
Theme 3: Ecological Impact of Small Scale Tidal Renewable Devices. Through a NERC PhD and funding from SNH this project began in Oct of 2008. It is calculated that 34% of the UK's electricity demand could be generated from tidal currents alone. However, there are two major stumbling blocks to achieving these targets, First, the environmental impacts of tidal stream energy extraction are not yet understood (Scott 2007) and second, the expense of large projects and lack of transmission infrastructure availability are stalling any progress. Our research addresses both these issues by simultaneously testing the efficiency of a small scale tidal device which requires no foundations, developed by Robert Gordon University (Owen & Bryden 2005), while recording the flow characteristics of tidal currents and observing possible positive, negative or neutral relationships with the associated marine wildlife (seabird, seal and cetacean) behaviour.
See the summary of our workshop: Tidal Energy and the Marine Environment.
Prof. Jonathan Sharples, NOC, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratories
Dr. Peter Wright, Marine Scotland (FRS Marine Lab Aberdeen)
Dr. Alan Owen, Robert Gordon University
Dr. Paul Bell, NOC, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratories
Dr. David Thompson, SMRU
Dr. Ben Wilson, SAMS
Prof. George Smith, University of Exeter
Dr. Ricardo Torres, PML
Dr. Philippe Blondel, University of Bath
Dr. Simon Jude, Cranfield University
2011-14 NERC Marine Renewables, Flow, Water Column and Benthic Ecology 4D (FLOWBEC). Consortium grant with NOC Liverpool, Uni. Bath, Uni. Edinburgh, Uni. Plymouth & PML, Uni. Exeter and Queens Uni. Belfast.
2011-14 NERC Marine Renewables, Understanding how Marine Renewable device operation influences habitat use and behaviour of Marine Vertebrates (RESPONSE). Consortium grant with SMRU, Uni. St Andrews, Uni. Loughborough, Uni. Edinburgh, Uni. Cranfield.
2008-14 Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) 'Potential Ecological Impact of a Small Scale Tidal Renewable Device on the Isle of May'.
2008-10 NERC Sustainable Marine Bio-Resources (SMB) Grant 'Do oceanographic characteristics and predator-prey behaviours define critical marine habitats?' (CMarHab).
2007-08 Scottish Executive & FRS Grant 'Impact of temperature on overwinter condition and reproductive potential of sandeel'
2005-06 SHEFC Knowledge Transfer Grant 'Sensitivity of ecosystems to tidal renewable energy extraction'
Programme Coordinator MSc/MRes in Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology: Concepts and Practices for Ecosystem-based Management http://www.abdn.ac.uk/clsm/graduate/prospective-students/masters/tmp/marfish/introduction/
Lecturing Z03508 Marine Ecology and Ecosystems
Lecturing Z03303 Animal Population Ecology
Lecturing Z04808 Marine Benthic Ecology
Lecturing Z04518 Marine and Fisheries Biology
Member of the DEFRA Science Advisory Panel to assist the work of selecting Marine Conservation Zones in England and Wales.
Member of Marine Ecosystems Working Group, NERC.
University representative for the enhancement of collaborative research programmes with Marine Scotland.
Scientific Advisory Committee of Scottish Natural Heritage
Current Post-Docs / PhDs and MSc/MRes
Dr. Benjamin Williamson. NERC FLOWBEC.
Current PhD Students
J. VanderKooij, CEFAS (part-time) Jan 2005-
C. Beattie (NERC) Oct 2007 -
R. Langton (Marine Scotland Science, MSS) Oct 2009-
E. Philpott (NERC) May 2010-
J. Waggitt (NERC CASE with OpenHydro) Oct 2011-
Past Post-Docs/PhDs and MSc/MRes
Dr. Phil Boulcott (Marine Scotland, Aberdeen)
Dr. Bruce McAdam (Postdoc in Iceland)
Dr. James Oprwood (Marine Scotland, Pitlochry)
Past PhD Students
I. Katora (Marie Currie) Oct 2006 - Nov 2009 (Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada)
J. Brown (Falkland Island Fisheries Department) Jan 2008-Dec2010 (Falkland Island Fisheries Department)
James (Jim) Elliot 2004-05 (British Antarctic Survey, BAS)
David Vale 2005-06 (HartleyAnderdson)
Sarah Dolman 2006-07 (Whales and Dolphin Conservation Society, WDCS)
Emma Hazard 2007-08 (English Nature)
Tamsin Smith 2008-2010
Rebecca Lowe 2009-2010 (JNCC)
Marie Taylor 2009-2010
Chelsea Bradbury 2010-1011
Samatha Cox 2010-1011 (PhD Plymouth University)
Contributions to Journals
- Scott, BE., Embling, CB., Illian, J., Armstrong, E., van der Kooij, J., Sharples, J. & Camphuysen, K. (2012). 'Investigating fine scale spatio-temporal predator-prey patterns in dynamic marine ecosystems: A functional data analysis approach'. Journal of Applied Ecology, vol 49, no. 2, pp. 481-492.
[Online] DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02114.x
- Katara, I., Pierce, GJ., Illian, J. & Scott, BE. (2011). 'Environmental drivers of the anchovy/sardine complex in the Eastern Mediterranean'. Hydrobiologia, vol 670, no. 1, pp. 49-65.
[Online] DOI: 10.1007/s10750-011-0693-5
- Van der Kooij, J., Kupschus, S. & Scott, BE. (2011). 'Delineating the habitat of demersal fish assemblages with acoustic seabed technologies'. ICES Journal of Marine Science, vol 68, no. 9, pp. 1973-1985.
[Online] DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsr124
- Langton, R., Davies, IM. & Scott, BE. (2011). 'Seabird conservation and tidal stream and wave power generation: Information needs for predicting and managing potential impacts'. Marine Policy, vol 35, no. 5, pp. 623-630.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2011.02.002
- Scott, BE., Sharples, J., Ross, ON., Wang, J., Pierce, GJ. & camphuysen, CJ. (2010). 'Sub-surface hotspots in shallow seas: Fine scale limited locations of marine top predator foraging habitat indicated by tidal mixing and sub-surface chlorophyll'. Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol 408, pp. 207-226.
[Online] DOI: 10.3354/meps08552
- van der Kooij, J., Scott, BE. & Mackinson, S. (2008). 'The effects of environmental factors on daytime sandeel distribution and abundance on the Dogger Bank'. Journal of Sea Research, vol 60, no. 3, pp. 201-209.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.seares.2008.07.003
- Katara, I., Illian, J., Pierce, GJ., Scott, B. & Wang, J. (2008). 'Atmospheric forcing on chlorophyll concentration in the Mediterranean'. Hydrobiologia, vol 612, no. 1, pp. 33-48.
[Online] DOI: 10.1007/s10750-008-9492-z
- MacLeod, CD., Santos Vazquez, MB., Reid, RJ., Scott, BE. & Pierce, GJ. (2007). 'Linking sandeel consumption and the likelihood of starvation in harbour porpoises in the Scottish North Sea: Could climate change mean more starving porpoises?'. Biology Letters, vol 3, no. 2, pp. 185-188.
[Online] DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2006.0588
- Greenstreet, S., Armstrong, E., Mosegaard, H., Jensen, H., Gibb, I., Fraser, H., Scott, BE., Holland, G. & sharples, J. (2006). 'Variation in the abundance of sandeels Ammodytes marinus off southeast Scotland: an evaluation of area-closure fisheries management and stock abundance assessment methods'. ICES Journal of Marine Science, vol 63, pp. 1530-1550.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.icesjms.2006.05.009
- Sharples, J., Ross, ON., Scott, BE., Greenstreet, SPR. & Fraser, H. (2006). 'Inter-annual variability in the timing of stratification and the spring bloom in the North-western North Sea'. Continental Shelf Research, vol 26, no. 6, pp. 733-751.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2006.01.011
- Scott, BE., Marteinsdottir, G., Begg, GA., Wright, PJ. & Kjesbu, OS. (2006). 'Effects of population size/age structure, condition and temporal dynamics of spawning on reproductive output in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)'. Ecological Modelling, vol 191, pp. 383-415.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2005.05.015
- Hedger, R., Mckenzie, E., Heath, M., Wright, P., Scott, BE., Gallego-Fernandez, J. & Andrews, J. (2004). 'Analysis of the spatial distributions of mature cod ( Gadus morhua ) and haddock ( Melanogrammus aeglefinus ) abundance in the North Sea (1980-1999) using Generalised Additive Models'. Fisheries Research, vol 70, pp. 17-25.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2004.07.002
- Daunt, F., Peters, G., Scott, BE., Gremillet, D. & Wanless, S. (2003). 'Rapid-response recorders reveal interplay between marine physics and seabird behaviour'. Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol 255, pp. 283-288.
- Scott, BE., Marteinsdottir, G. & Wright, P. (1999). 'Potential effects of maternal factors on spawning stock-recruitment relationships under varying fishing pressure'. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, vol 56, pp. 1882-1890.
- Ollason, J., Bryant, AD., Davis, PM., Scott, BE. & Tasker, M. (1997). 'Predicting seabird distributions in the North Sea: the consequences of being hungry'. ICES Journal of Marine Science, vol 54, pp. 507-517.
- Heath, M., Scott, BE. & Bryant, AD. (1997). 'Modelling the growth of herring from four different stocks in the North Sea'. Journal of Sea Research, vol 38, pp. 413-436.
- Scott, BE. (1995). 'Oceanographic features that define the habitat of Pacific Ocean Perch (Sebastes alutus)'. Fisheries Oceanography, vol 4, pp. 147-157.
- Scott, BE. & Marlieave, JB. (1995). 'Habitat shifts in late-stage Pacific Herring Larvae: Associations with shoreline fronts'. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, vol 2060, pp. 69-75.
- Lambin, X., Krebs, CJ. & Scott, BE. (1992). 'Spacing system of the Tundra vole (Microtus oecomonus) during the breeding season in Canada's western Arctic'. Canadian Journal Of Zoology/Revue Canadien De Zoologie, vol 70, no. 10, pp. 2068-2072.
[Online] DOI: 10.1139/z92-278
Comments and Debates
- LAMBIN, X., KREBS., CJ. & SCOTT, B. (1992). 'SPACING SYSTEM OF THE TUNDRA VOLE (MICROTUS-OECONOMUS) DURING THE BREEDING-SEASON IN CANADA WESTERN ARCTIC'. Canadian Journal Of Zoology/Revue Canadien De Zoologie, vol 70, no. 10, pp. 2068-2072.
- Wanless, S., Frederiksen, M., Daunt, F., Scott, BE. & Harris, MP. (2007). 'Black-legged kittiwakes as indicators of environmental change in the North Sea: Evidence from long-term studies'. Progress in Oceanography, vol 72, no. 1, pp. 30-38.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.pocean.2006.07.007
Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings
- Scott, BE., Sharples, J., Wanless, S., Ross, O., Frederiksen, M. & Daunt, F. (2006). 'The use of biologically meaningful oceanographic indices to separate the effects of climate and fisheries on seabird breeding success'. in IL Boyd, S Wanless & CJ Camphuysen (eds), Top predators in marine ecosystems: Their role in monitoring and management. Zoological Society of London Conservation Biology Series, vol. 12, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, pp. 46-62.
- Daunt, F., Wanless, S., Peters, G., Benvenuti, S., Sharples, J., Gremillet, D. & Scott, BE. (2006). 'Impacts of oceanography on the foraging dynamics of seabirds in the North Sea'. in IL Boyd, S Wanless & CJ Camphyusen (eds), Top Predators in Marine Ecosystems: Their Role in Monitoring and Management. Conservation Biology, vol. 12, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 177-190.
[Online] DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511541964.013
- Camphuysen, K., Scott, BE. & Wanless, S. (2006). 'Distribution and foraging interactions of seabirds and marine mammals in the North Sea: multi-species foraging assemblages and habitat-specific feeding strategies'. in IL Boyd, S Wanless & CJ Camphuysen (eds), Top Predators in Marine Ecosystems : Their Role in Monitoring and Management. Zoological Society of London Conservation Biology Series, vol. 12, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, pp. 82-97.
- Scott, BE. (2007). 'A Renewable Engineer’s Essential Guide to Marine Ecology'. in Oceans 2007 Europe International Conference. vol. 1-3, pp. 157-159.
[Online] DOI: 10.1109/OCEANSE.2007.4302218
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