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Marine invasive species identification workshop

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This two-day course introduces you to a range of invasive species found in UK coastal waters and the various options that exist for the management and control of these species.

Presentations and practical hands-on experience in the field collection of specimens are included, alongside the use of microscopes and taxonomic keys for species identification.  Highly invasive species that are already in UK coastal waters, and those thought to be 'high risk' but not yet present Identifying Marine Aliensreceive particular attention.

The course is particularly relevant if you work in the marine environment, for example environment agencies, consultancies, the aquaculture industry, offshore renewables sector, ports and harbour authorities, undergraduate or post-graduate marine science and ecology students and any other interested parties.


What you’ll learn on the Marine Invasive Species Workshop:

Day 1 (6th October)

  • Definition of ‘invasive species’
  • Economic, environmental and societal impacts
  • Pathways of transmission: how marine aliens reach and become established in new habitats
  • Biosecurity measures for marine aliens
  • Techniques for field collection and rapid surveys

Day 2 (7th October)Searching for Invasive Species

  • Risk assessment for species and pathways
  • Strategic management of invasive species, including eradication and control methods
  • Practical identification and taxonomy of invasive species
  • Overview of existing legislation for dealing with the new arrival of a marine invasive species
  • Species distribution and recording techniques

The course is led by Dr Liz Cook; (Fellow HEA); a biologist involved in national research for the NERC Oceans 2025 project to determine the invasability of marine systems and any associated impacts for our global ecosystems and co-ordinator for the Marine Aliens programme. It is recognised by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST).  Attendance counts towards your Continuing Professional Development for both the IMarEST and The Science Council’s accolade of Chartered Scientist (CSci).

This course is always popular due to the experience gained from field collection and laboratory time, so please book early to avoid disappointment.  It’s particularly relevant if you work in aquaculture, marine renewables, marine science or any other marine environmental sector. 

Price: £375 (VAT exempt) including lectures, field trip, microscope tuition, notes and ID guides.  You’re encouraged to bring your own samples for identification if you wish.  The course begins at 9am on the 6th October and will finish at 3pm on the 7th.  (Please bring a clean lab coat with you for the practical sessions.)

Lunch can be brought with you, or purchased in our on-site cafĂ© and you may want to arrange overnight accommodation in Oban if required.  (This is not included in the course fee.)

Application Information: Reserve Your Place on our Marine Invasive Species Workshop, email or call 01631 559000.


Dr Liz Cook is a specialist researcher in the field of invasive species with over 12 years experience; particularly as they relate to climate change, aquaculture, hull fouling and the marine renewables industry.  She is co-author of the recent paper on ‘Alien Species in British brackish and marine waters’ and lead author on an MCCIP Marine Non-Natives Report Card due to be published in 2013.  Her current projects include studies for the EU COST Action ‘European Information System for Alien Species’ and she has previously led projects for NERC, EU, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and SuperGen.  Dr Cook is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a committee member of the Scottish Government’s working group on Invasive non-native species and editor for the online journal Aquatic Invasions.

Application Information: Reserve Your Place on our Marine Invasive Species Workshop, email or call 01631 559000


Contact us
Education Department
Scottish Marine Institute
Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, UK
T: +44 (0) 1631 559 000
Education @ SAMS
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