Operations Director – MASTS, University of St Andrews
As the Operations Director of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS), Mark is responsible, together with the MASTS Directorate, for the day-to-day co-ordination and delivery of a £75m Scottish Funding Council research pool involving the majority of Scotland’s marine science capacity. Our role is to facilitate and improve co-ordination of marine science activity across 13 Scottish Universities, a Government laboratory and a non-departmental public body (Website: http://www.masts.ac.uk).
Mark is based at the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews and although his principal role is as Operations Director for MASTS, he maintains an active interest in a number of ongoing research projects including co-supervision of PhD students, Co-Investigator on two multi-partner EPSRC funded marine renewable energy projects and he is currently the Principal Investigator and Co-ordinator of a recently funded European and Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) project – Scottish Inshore Fisheries Integrated Data System (SIFIDS). This £1.3m project is designed to develop a suit of open source systems and processes to improve fisheries management data collection and to provide relevant fisheries data to inform marine planning decisions.
Through MASTS, he interacts with a significant proportion of the marine science community within Scotland and, in respect of his own areas of expertise, internationally. Mark led two aquaculture workshops in South East Asia in collaboration with the UK Science and Innovation Network (UKSIN) and the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia –Pacific. He led a similar British Council/Connected Scotland mission to Brazil and more recently took part in UKSIN mission to India. He Chaired the Science and Research Working Group of the Ministerial Group on Sustainable Aquaculture and the Local Organising Committee for the 2016 European Aquaculture Society Conference in Edinburgh. He is a member of the Scotland’s Seas Data and Assessment Steering Group which contributes to the development of the National Marine Plan.
With respect to the aquaculture and fisheries sectors he has established longstanding relationships at a senior level with the main industry trade bodies and relevant regulators and NGO’s. In 2013 he was commissioned by Scottish Government to establish Fisheries Innovation Scotland as an independent non-profit distributing company and charity that brings together Government, the fishing industry, processors and retailers to support applied research in fisheries management. In addition to being a Vice Chair of the European Marine Board he also attends the Scottish Government’s Marine Strategy Forum as a MASTS representative and in 2014 he was appointed as a non-executive member of the UK Marine Science Co-ordination Committee (MSCC).