Scottish Oceans Institute opened

A new institute to lead research into Scotland’s oceans has been officially opened in St Andrews.

Dr Louise Richardson, the principal of St Andrews University, welcomed the creation of the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI).

The SOI will bring together over 300 staff from across the university and was established in January to promote interdisciplinary marine research.

The institute will lead Scottish research of the ecology and evolution of marine life, biodiversity, fisheries, climate change, the environmental effects of renewable energy, oil and gas, shipping and related industrial processes.

Dr Richardson said in a statement: “St Andrews has a long tradition of excellence in marine science that stretches back over 120 years. The creation of the Scottish Oceans Institute opens a new chapter in the development of marine science at St Andrews and in Scotland.

“The SOI will be linked closely with other marine scientists around Scotland in a way that will ensure that Scotland remains a major contributor to the exploration of global oceans.”

Research undertaken at the SOI will help to underpin UK and Scottish government policy and provide the offshore industry with advice about the seas around Scotland.

Professor Ian Boyd, director of the new institute, said: “SOI will promote a unique combination of pure and applied research to build effective links between researchers and those who need the new information and ideas that come from the research. SOI will be structured to change quickly in its research focus to meet the needs of policy-makers, industry and the public.”

The SOI is a multidisciplinary centre involving the Schools of Biology, Geology & Geosciences and the School of Mathematics & Statistics.

Professor David Paterson, head of the school of biology, said: “This initiative presents new opportunities for researchers to work more effectively together to address current issues in marine science and will also promote the development of the next generation of highly qualified marine scientists.”