SCOTTISH OCEANS INSTITUTE (SOI) | Assemble+

SCOTTISH OCEANS INSTITUTE (SOI)

Overview

The mission of the SOI is to bring together the people, interdisciplinary skills and supporting scientific services necessary to deliver world-class research in marine sciences. The scientific staff includes research-active principal investigators, research fellows and assistants, technicians and engineers, PhD and MSc students plus other support staff. SOI hosts the Directorate of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS), and is a founding partner in the European Marine Biology Resource Centre (EMBRC). Our research programme addresses some of the challenges in marine science of high importance to society at large, including climate change, food security, biodiversity and ecosystem services, marine noise and marine mammal conservation. The SOI has particular enabling strengths in the design and manufacture of animal-borne sensors and instrumentation and in the development of statistical methods in ecology.  The research undertaken by individual staff members is described under the themes of “Developmental & Evolutionary Genomics”, “Ecology, Fisheries & Resource Management”, “Global Change & Planetary Evolution” and “Sea Mammal Biology”. 

SOI offers TA services for ASSEMBLE Plus and USTAN is an associated British partner in the consortium.

Ecosystems

  • North Sea rocky shore, sandy beach and estuarine mudflats, saltmarsh, seagrass and freshwater habitats

 

Ecosystem access

  • Coastal research vessels
    • Including daily use of a specialist, highly robust (6-m aluminium-hulled) vessel for operation in shallow waters at high speeds. The vessel has been designed and equipped to capture seals
    • St Andrews Bay and related North Sea sites, including artificial hard substrates
    • Research vessel including daily use of 5-m RIB equipped with hydrophone capability for tracking whales and dolphins in coastal regions
  • Sampling equipment
  • Local access to estuaries, and sandy and rocky coasts

 

Biological resources

  • Species collected upon request
    • Intertidal flora and fauna
    • St Andrews Bay and related North Sea sites, including artificial hard substrates

 

Experimental facilities

  • Aquaria and tanks
    • Seal Pool, RAS, Benthos, Algae,
    • photobioreactor, climate rooms, and temperature- and light-controlled incubators
    • disease challenge facilities
  • Dry labs
    • Seal Pool, RAS, Benthos, Algae,
    • photobioreactor, climate rooms, and temperature- and light-controlled incubators
    • disease challenge facilities
  • Wet labs
    • Seal Pool, RAS, Benthos, Algae,
    • photobioreactor, climate rooms, and temperature- and light-controlled incubators
    • disease challenge facilities
  • Marine, freshwater and brackish aquarium facilities for holding and /or experimenting on algae, invertebrates and fish
  • Provision of satellite and GSM relayed data loggers for deployment on marine mammals or gliders including measurement of pressure, salinity, temperature, fluorescence, turbidity depending up the configuration.
  • Passive acoustic tags for marine mammals
  • Passive acoustic monitoring equipment for remote monitoring of marine acoustic environments and real-time transmission of data to a ground station via GSM or satellite
  • 8 m seawater flume supported by ADV and PIV systems
  • Field equipment and operators for sediment geotechnical and ecological survey (GIS mapping, side-scan sonar, sediment stability, invertebrate biodiversity, microphytobenthos diversity and biomass (fluorescence techniques).
  • Holding and experimenting on seals. Daily use of the whole facility with access to up to 6 animals, held to appropriate standards. The facility carries a licence to operate as a European animal experimental facility.
  • The use of a modern 100 m2 laboratory with access to advanced microscopes (light, confocal, ambient and cryo-SEM) and equipment for molecular biology and biochemical analysis.
  • Bacterial and biofilm studies, supported by molecular capability
  • Replicated mesocosm systems for medium term incubation of bacteria, foraminifera, microphytobenthos etc.

 

Technology platforms

  • Structural and chemical analysis
    • Crystallisation
    • Gene expression
    • Identification of crystalline materials using x-ray diffraction

 

Supporting faciltites

  • Library services

 


Local accommodation and student residences available. Advice on request.
 

Acronym: 
SOI
Address: 
Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews
East Sands
St Andrews
KY16 8LB
United Kingdom
E-mail: 
Liaison officer: Jane Williamson (jmcw@st-andrews.ac.uk), cc to: assembleplus@sams.ac.uk

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