Professor Beth Scott

Professor Beth Scott
Professor Beth Scott
Professor Beth Scott

BSc, MSc, PhD

Personal Chair

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 273257
Office Address

Room 412 Zoology School of Biological Sciences University of Aberdeen Tillydrone Ave Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ

School of Biological Sciences

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • University of Aberdeen representative on MASTS Executive Board 2022- present
  • School of Biological Sciences (SBS) Executive and Line Management Duties 2019- Present
  • PAST
  • Centre of Energy Transition: Renewable Generation Champion 2020- 2022
  • SBS EDI Committee 2019- 2022
  • Mentoring Champion SBS 2018-2022
  • Athena Swan SBS committee -2016-2022
  • Marine Research Collaboration Forum (MarCRF) Chairperson 2012-2016
  • Member for Management Group of Environmental Food Security Theme 2012-2016
  • Member of the Steering Group of the Energy Theme 2012-2016
  • Senatus Academicus - Elected Member Sept 2013-2015
  • Athena Swan College working group 2012-2014
External Memberships


Latest Publications

View My Publications


Research Overview

I conduct multi-disciplinary research using my expertise in marine ecology, oceanography and fisheries sciences. My research identifies general rules in bio-physical oceanographic processes that lead to the creation of hotspots of predator-prey activity. Specifically, my research group defines biological and physical variables that provide the limited, patchy locations and conditions where trophic energy is transferred across trophic levels in marine food webs.

My research team using approaches ranging from the collection and use of fine scale (second by second) information throughout the water column from  as well as the analysis of large scale (100s or km) long term data sets on spatial population dynamics.  Both scales of information are used within simulation modelling methods which are agent based.

Research Areas

Biological and Environmental Sciences


Research Specialisms

  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Climate Change
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Risk
  • Marine Sciences

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

PELAgIO: Physics-to-Ecosystem Level Assessment of Impacts of Offshore Windfarms (NERC, TCE, Defra) 2022-2025.  PELAgIO will support development of evidence-based policy and marine management through interdisciplinary research that explores the consequences of offshore wind development on marine environments, marine wildlife, and wider ecosystem structures. By observing and modelling over a range of physical and biological scales, using a combination of autonomous platforms, ocean robots, research vessels and satellite observations, PELAgIO will build an ecosystem-level understanding of projected changes

EcoNex: The Marine Energy, Biodiversity and Food Nexus (UKERC) 2022-2024. The UK is current global leader in offshore wind, committed to increase capacity to 50 GW by 2030. Therefore, there is a drive to dramatically cut the approval times from four years to one year. To do this sustainably requires an understanding on the nexus of trade-offs between climate change and multiple uses of marine natural resources (energy extraction, fisheries, and marine protected areas). This project, working with renewable, fishing industries and policy bodies, will enable evidence-based decision making to balance environmental, social, and economic impacts and ensure marine net gain.

PREDICT: Predicting seasonal movement of marine top predators using fish migration routes and autonomous platforms. 2021-2024. PREDICT is an ambitious three-year project funded by Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind, and a collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at the University of the Highlands and Islands that aims to address knowledge gaps in offshore wind environmental characterisation by improving understanding of fish migration patterns and providing a vision for next-generation monitoring techniques.

MSCA-RIBES: RIver flow regulation, fish BEhaviour and Status (EU 2020-23) RIBES European Training Network (ETN) training 15 ESRs in the interdisciplinary field of eco-hydraulics to find innovative solutions for freshwater fish protection and river continuity restoration in anthropogenically (especially renewable extraction) altered rivers. 

EPSRC  Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy  (ORE) Hub. Co-Director (2018-28) Environmental Champion


Past Research

VertIBase - Supporting evidence-based decision-making on marine vertebrate interactions with wave and tidal energy. NERC KE (2016-18)  

Marine Growth Analysis on Decommissioning Offshore Installations: NERC Oil & Gas Decommissioning Innovation. (2016-17)  Applying CoralNet to survey footage from offshore platforms on the UKCS and training software to identify the main marine growth species on UKCS platforms and to calculate their percentage cover. 

CORPORATES: NERC Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) 2014-16  Cooperative Participatory Evaluation of Renewable Technologies on Ecosystem services with SAMS, MSS and JHI. Exchanging knowledge between Marine Renewable Energy Industry,  ecosystem service experts, planning and regulatory functions of Government  to co-develop a Marine Spatial Planning decision-support system. 

Knowledge Transfer Partnership with MeyGen (2015-17)The KTP will apply the knowledge, techniques and expertise for environmental monitoring around tidal turbines to the MeyGen project. 

EcoWATT 2050 EPSRC (2014-2017) Impacts of Very Large Scale Arrays and their Regulation

ecowattt Determining ways in which marine spatial planning and policy can enable the maximum sustainable level of marine energy extraction, minimizing environmental impacts. Builds  on EPSRC project (TeraWatt), extending outputs to very large scale array deployments and mixes of technologies in order to determine the limits to energy extraction, and the criteria necessary to satisfy European and UK law.


FORSITE: Modelling FORaging STrategies in high energy Environments. OPEN CASE NERC PhD studentship with CASE partners Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Marine Scotland Science (MSS)


FLOWBEC NERC (2011-2014) FLOw, Water column & Benthic ECcology 4D

flowbec NOC Liverpool, U. Bath, U. Edinburgh, U. Plymouth, Queens U. Belfast, U. Aberdeen, U. Exeter and PML. Using developments in high resolution physical modelling and state of the art observation systems, we identified the physical conditions influencing the behaviour of fish and their predators  by concurrently measuring hydrodynamics and biology at MRE test sites, EMEC, WaveHub and Strangford Narrows.


RESPONSE NERC (2011-2014) Understanding How Marine Renewable Device Operations Influences Fine Scale Habitat Use And Behaviour Of Marine Vertebrates

response SMRU, SAMS, Loughborough U., U. Aberdeen, U. Edinburgh and Cranfield U. Do marine renewables pose a real risk to marine wildlife? This project is a multi-disciplinary, multi-taxa study focussing on causal links between renewables and changes in the fine-scale distribution and behaviour of marine vertebrates. 


CMARHAB NERC (2008-2010): Critical Marine Habitat

Share the adventure of at-sea research on the James Cook see blog

Project lead by U of Aberdeen with POL, MSS, CEFAS, JNCC,  Marine

Images from CMarHab

Resource Assessment Group and the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation. 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. 



Funding and Grants

  • 2023-28 ORE SuperGen HUB:  Offshore Renewable Energy SuperGen Hub. (EPSRC)
  • 2022-25 PELAgIO: Physics-to-Ecosystem Level Assessment of Impacts of Offshore Windfarms (NERC, TCE, Defra)
  • 2022-24  EcoNex: The Marine Energy, Biodiversity and Food Nexus(UKERC)
  • 2021-24 PREDICT: Predicting seasonal movement of marine top predators using fish migration routes and autonomous platforms. Ørsted
  • 2018-22 ORE SuperGen HUB:  Offshore Renewable Energy SuperGen Hub. (EPSRC)
  • 2019-23 SMEBA: Sustainable Marine Ecosystems and Offshore Energy: A Bayesian Modelling Approach. BEIS / HartleyAnderson
  • 2018-22 PPCC: Modelling primary production in Scottish waters and the impact of large scale marine renewables and climate change. MASTS, MSS 
  • 2017-21 INDI-POP: Individuals to populations: The potential effects of large tidal arrays on mobile marine populations  (Open NERC CASE)
  • 2017-21 DEPTH: Determining the ecology and physics of tidal stream habitats. EMEC, SAMS/UHI, MSS 
  • 2016-18 Environmental Studies of the MeyGen Tidal Turbine Array:  HartleyAnderson Contract 
  • 2016-18 VertIBase  NERC KE - Supporting evidence-based decision-making on marine vertebrate interactions with wave and tidal energy.
  • 2016-17 Marine Growth Analysis on Decommissioning Offshore Installations. NERC
  • 2015-17 Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP - TSB) with MeyGen
  • 2015 NERC Marine Renewable Energy KE Internship for Benjamin Williamson.
  • 2014-16  NERC Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) grant entitled Cooperative Participatory Evaluation of Renewable Technologies on Ecosystem services (CORPORATES) with SAMS, MSS and JHI.
  • 2014-17 EcoWatt 2050 EPSRC Consortium of Universities of Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh, UHI, Strathclyde, Swansea, St Andrews, NERC and MSS
  • 2014-15 Tansley Workshop: Planet Earth-Planet Ocean,  Work of John Steele, joint with Tom Webb
  • 2013-17 NERC CASE PhD Modelling Foraging Strategies in High Energy Environments (FORSITE) CASE partner is Marine Scotland Science.
  • 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'

Teaching Responsibilities

LEVEL 5  (MSc)

Programme Coordinator MSc in Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology (AMFE): Concepts and Practices for Ecosystem-based Management from 2008-2014

Course Coordinator for 2 of following courses within MSc AMFE: 

  • ZO5012 Marine and Fisheries Ecology, Conservation and Management
  • ZO5518 Marine Spatial Management 

LEVEL 5 Post-Grad Lecturing in:

  • Z05304 Population Ecology
  • EV551 Spatial Information Analysis

LEVEL 2-4 Undergraduate Lecturing in:

  • SBS Honours Essays and Projects
  • BI25Z2 Ocean Biology
  • Z03305 Animal Population Ecology

Non-course Teaching Responsibilities

Personal Tutor to 18 UG students 


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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

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Working Papers