Dr Kate Gormley

Dr Kate Gormley
Dr Kate Gormley
Dr Kate Gormley

BSc, PhD

Interdisciplinary Fellow

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 272693
Office Address
103 National Decommissioning Centre North Building
National Decommissioning Centre Campus
AB41 6AA

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More Contact Information
School of Biological Sciences


Kate is an interdisciplinary researcher specialising in coastal and marine environmental management. Her extensive work encompasses a wide range of areas including offshore renewables, oil and gas, decommissioning, marine and coastal conservation, marine spatial planning, ports and shipping, marine and coastal visualisation and participatory planning with stakeholders.

Kate has worked with the marine energy industry, with a focus on environmental impacts through various industry roles, industry working groups, placements and academic positions, and is highly skilled in industry/academic knowledge exchange and understanding research impact.

Kate’s current research focusses on the development of tools for marine energy decision making (e.g., vessel analysis for decommissioning); and visualisation tools for stakeholder engagement (e.g., participatory planning apps for coastal land use change and green port transitions).

External Memberships

  • Member - JNCC's Big Picture Working Group
  • Member – Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) Salvage and Decommissioning Committee
  • Member – SUT Decommissioning Working Group
  • Member – Productive Seas Evidence Group (UK Marine Science and Coordination Committee)
  • Member - MASTS Oil and Gas Environmental Research Forum
  • Member - MASTS Planning and Governance Forum



Research Overview

Kate's research interests include environmental aspects of the offshore energy industries (particularly environmental monitoring, policy and decommissioning); cumulative and environmental impact assessment; Marine Spatial Planning; GIS and spatial analysis; habitat mapping; Marine Protected Areas and Priority Marine Habitats management.  Kate also has an interest in participatory mapping, and the development of mapping tools for use by a range of stakeholders and the development of visualisation tools.

Kate has an offshore energy industry background with over 20 years' experience, working directly within the industry operators, consultancies and regulators, and academia. Kate is particularly interested in Knowledge Exchange between industries, academia and the engagement of stakeholders.

Current Research

Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship, (2023-Present), University of Aberdeen: "Energy Transition" and "Environment and Biodiversity" Themes. Designing and developing practical visualisation tolls to support and improve decision making for marine and coastal environments.

Data for Net Zero, (2022-Present), Scottish Government/NZTC: Working across the project work packages to procure, process, analyse and visualisation environmental and marine energy related data, particularly shipping AIS data.

Past Research

Connectivity of Hard Substrate Assemblages in the North Sea (2020-2023), NERC/INSITE: The aim of this project is to enhance our understanding of the connectivity of epifauna populations across artificial substrata in the North Sea. The CHASANS Project will deliver improved larval connectivity models necessary to provide guidance on decommissioning and derogation of artificial structures in the North Sea. Ground-truthing studies will be employed to validate models by collecting data on larval behaviours, including transport, seasonality and life-cycling, and settlement succession from several epifaunal species, and to assess genetic connectivity between hard substrata populations.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

“Enhanced Physical Internet-Compatible Earth-frieNdly freight Transportation answer (ePIcenter)”, (2020-2023), Horizon 2020: study of the impact of shipping on marine mammals in the Arctic. The “Arctic" Demonstrator focuses on Wildlife-Friendly Arctic Shipping & Sustainable New Logistics Routes, testing the ePIcenter methodologies and solutions that reduce impact of logistics operations on the environment from increased understanding driven by AI and Big Data technologies.

“Scanning the Horizon: identifying challenges, knowledge gaps and opportunities for sustainable development of port infrastructure for the Arctic’s Shipping Routes” Scottish Government Arctic Connections Fund 2021-2022.

Knowledge Exchange Fellowship (2014-22), NERC: Kate's fellowship will look at the challenges currently facing the offshore oil and gas industry and how environmental data generated by both academia and industry can be managed effectively. Kate is also involved in number of industry and academic knowledge exchange activities, particularly focussing on decommissioning challenges and environmental management, through membership of various industry and academic working groups.  Kate hosted a Design for Decommissioning workshop in 2018 and she will be aiming to host more industry/academic workshops in the future.  Kate has recently completed work on an online mapping portal for offshore environmental surveys, Oil & Gas Environment Interactive.

Marine Growth Analysis on Decommissioning Offshore Installations (2016-17), NERC Oil & Gas Decommissioning Innovation: This project is a scoping/proof of concept study and aims to use the method developed by the CoralNet project and applying it to survey footage from offshore platforms on the UKCS.  The aim of the project is to train the software to identify the main marine growth species on UKCS platforms and to calculate their percentage cover. 

Atlantic Innovation (2014-15), Heriot-Watt University, NERC Innovation: Environmental data management, specifically look at environmental monitoring and management issues to the west of Shetland.

North Sea Interactive (2014), Heriot-Watt University,  NERC Innovation: North Sea Interactive translated marine environmental data into GIS Shapefiles for use by industry and academia. 

Funding and Grants

2020-23 Connectivity of Hard Substrate Assemblages in the North Sea, NERC/INSITE

2016-17 Marine Growth Analysis on Decommissioning Offshore Installations, NERC (CO-I)

2014-22 Knowledge Exchange Fellowship (Oil and Gas), NERC (PI)


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