Visiting researcher - Dr William Sanderson (Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University/ Co-Director of Research at St Abbs Marine Station) to present research on oysters and whiskey

Start date and time

Wednesday 23 January 2019


Edinburgh Napier University (Sighthill Campus)

Dr William Sanderson is an Associate Professor in Marine Biodiversity at Heriot-Watt University and a Co-Director of Research at St Abbs Marine Station (with Edinburgh Napier’s Dr Karen Diele). His research deals with the sustainable management of habitats and species of high biodiversity conservation value and the win-wins between business, government and academia. To this end, Sanderson’s most enjoyable research collaboration is with the Glenmorangie, a company with a long term vision of a Distillery in complete harmony with its natural surroundings...

Anthropogenic pressures on the marine environment have escalated and shellfish habitats have declined substantially around the world: they are “the world's most imperilled marine habitat”. Recently, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have rapidly increased in number, as have built structures such as wind farms, but management baselines rarely account for historical conditions.

In this presentation, organised and hosted by Dr Karen Diele, the development of an innovative “triple-helix partnership” between Glenmorangie, Heriot-Watt University and the Marine Conservation society will be described, as well as the journey to search for evidence of historical native oyster (Ostrea edulis) beds. The likely ecosystem function of these habitat types is considered, and their business relevance. Progress towards the first restoration of European native oyster habitats in the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project will be presented, as well as some of the challenges and opportunities that have emerged.