Our aim is to present cutting-edge research currently taking place across Scotland. Collaborative working will ensure exciting and fresh content for events and exhibitions. One example is the research currently being undertaken by Dr Lea-Anne Henry, Chancellor's Fellow at University of Edinburgh.
Dr Lea-Anne Henry
Lea-Anne is an ecologist with broad interests in biodiversity, biogeography and ecosystem function. Her work focuses on ecological structure and functioning of marine habitats; impacts of human activities and climate change on ocean ecosystems; and ecology of the marine Hydrozoa (very small, predatory animals most living in salt water).
SIORC is an ongoing community project with MASTS to research sharks, skates and rays (elasmobranchs) around Scotland’s coastline. Unknown to many, there are 66 known species (and counting) 25% of which are on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species (that’s more than the global average of 17%). Long-term changes in the character of Scotland’s sharks have occurred, a combination of climate change and human pressures having significant effects. The full project name is: Sharks, skates and rays In the Offshore Region and Coastal zone of Scotland.
Lea-Anne is working with Scottish sea anglers, government scientists and Scottish universities to undertake shark tagging programmes that reveal the importance of Scotland’s seas for shark mating and nursery grounds.
Exploration of the deep-sea using video cameras, seafloor mapping and oceanographic instruments has also revealed the importance of Scotland’s cold-water coral reefs to sharks and skates for spawning grounds. It has been found that some species are even returning to the same reefs to lay their eggs year-after-year.