A Career in Focus

Dr Lois Calder, Dean of the MASTS/SUPER Graduate School, has interviewed people across industry and academia at different career stages to gain their perspective on transitioning into the workplace from education, what their current job entails, and what it’s like to work in their sector. The interviews have been collated below so you can watch them at a time that suits you.

Aquaculture and fisheries
A Career in Focus: Dr Philip Gillibrand, Oceanographer and Hydrodynamic Modeller at Mowi Scotland Ltd.
Phil shares their initial resistance to leave academia, and how fulfilling the career they have found in applied science is.
A Career in Focus: Dr Ashleigh Currie, Technology Application Specialist at Cargill (previously FiiSK).
Ashleigh discusses their career to date, including their struggle to get their first sector-relevant job. Plus, an additional interview focusing on Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WISA), in particular, their mentoring programme.
A Career in Focus: Dr Adam Hughes, Reader at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).
Adam shares their journey as a researcher, through aquaculture to the Blue Economy, and how they now work closely with industry to make their science relevant.
A Career in Focus: Dr James Rimmer, Postdoctoral Researcher (and MASTS graduate) at the University of York.
James, who recently completed their PhD, talks about their new role in fisheries modelling. James also gives their thoughts on how to secure your first position post-PhD.
A Career in Focus: Alexander Gilliland, Senior Policy Officer in Scottish Government.
Alex shares their love of the big picture and how they have found a role where they can use their skills effectively.
A Career in Focus: Dr Reaenne Miller, Senior Marine Environment and Consents Manager at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Transmission.
Raeanne describes their exciting and challenging job and how their varied background has equipped them.
A Career in Focus: Dr Richard Wakefield, Early Opportunities Manager at Flotation Energy Ltd.
Richard shares how they have found a role where they can work collaboratively with industry and researchers, to bring research into the renewables sector.
A Career in Focus: Beth Scott, Professor of Marine Ecology at the University of Aberdeen.
Beth shares their experiences, from commercial fishing to marine researcher, and talks about their unique perspectives in applying research to current challenges in marine ecology, including marine renewables.

A Career in Focus: Dr Elizabeth Masden, Research Fellow at the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) [transcript only].
Liz shares the work they do now, including their motivations, the importance of relationships, and knowing and valuing your own skill set.

Policy, management, and conservation
A Career in Focus: Dr Ruth Paterson, Marine Data Adviser at NatureScot.
Ruth describes their ‘squiggley career’, acquiring a broad skill set as they moved from research, to consultancy, to eventually a technical and creative career in marine data management with Nature Scot.
A Career in Focus: Dr Chris Leakey, Marine Sustainability Manager – Planning & Policy at NatureScot.
Chris describes their career from Shetland to Plymouth, from on-the-ground conservation to policy and planning. They also highlight the benefits of internships and discuss the diversity of options for PGRs today.
A Career in Focus: Elena Balestri, Senior Fisheries Policy and Science Manager at the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation.
Elena shares their motivations for working for the SFF, and the breadth of collaboration entailed.
A Career in Focus: Rona Sinclair, Marine Mobile Species Monitoring Adviser at NatureScot.
With a background in behavioural ecology, Rona shares their career journey, their love of data, and bringing science and policy together to protect and restore marine systems and species.
A Career in Focus: Dr Kelly James, Benthic Ecology & Modelling Adviser at NatureScot.
Kelly talks about their love of diving and how it led them to a career in marine systems and data, how internships helped them, and how advances in AI and statistics are changing marine conservation.
A Career in Focus: Helen Lillis, Marine Mapping Manager at JNCC.
Helen, who is returning to work from maternity leave in 2024, talks about moving from a geophysics degree into a career in data, whilst managing their life commitments.
A Career in Focus: Dr Texa Simm, Community Led Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Project Officer at NatureScot.
Texa highlights that you never know where opportunities may lead, and how a part-time opportunity led her to a passion for community engagement and a job with NatureScot.
A Career in Focus: Dr Kate Wade, Marine Monitoring Manager at JNCC.
Kate shares their career journey through research and policy, and the benefits of trying different roles to broaden your experience.
Climate change, Blue Carbon, and challenged environments
A Career in Focus: Mark Hartl, Associate Professor of Marine Biology at Heriot-Watt University.
Mark shares their passion for research, the rewards they get from their career, and how they are learning every day.
A Career in Focus: Dr Max Holloway, Climate Scientist & Ocean Modeller at Brilliant Planet.
Max discusses their decision to move from research to industry, and how they feel they are making a difference through modelling ocean acidification.