SAMS news room

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) is Scotland’s largest and oldest independent marine science organisation, dedicated to delivering marine science for a healthy and sustainable marine environment through research, education and engagement with society.

Based near Oban on the Scottish west coast, SAMS research strengths include marine biology, marine mammals, aquaculture, marine biotechnology, robotics, marine policy, industrial impacts on the marine environment (renewables, mining, decommissioning), ocean currents, climate change, marine biodiversity, and Arctic science.

SAMS employs over 160 staff and has a number of honorary research fellows. We train around 160 undergraduate and postgraduate students in marine science.

SAMS is a charitable organisation (009206) with a membership that elects a governing non-executve Council. It is also a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in Scotland (SC 009292) and operates two wholly owned subsidiary companies: SAMS Enterprise - a specialist marine consultancy - and SAMS Ltd. SAMS is an academic partner of UHI.

For more information, including the history of SAMS, see 



Director: Prof Nicholas JP Owens 

Deputy Director: Prof Axel EJ Miller 


Mission statement

The SAMS mission is to deliver world-class marine science that supports society with innovative solutions to developing a sustainable relationship with the marine environment. We deliver this mission through research, education, services to business, learned society activities and public engagement initiatives. We strive for a global reputation for excellence in marine science.


SAMS strategy (2020-2025)

The SAMS strategy outlines the organisation's aim to help build a blue economy that considers environmental conservation and societal needs, thus promoting an ocean in balance.


Experts, and requests for interview

SAMS has a wide range of expertise in marine science topics, from algae, aquaculture, deep sea and marine mammals to oceanography, marine technology, microplastics and the Arctic. Requests for interview can be made via the SAMS media and communications manager 


Images and video

SAMS has an image and video library, which holds assets that may be used for media purposes, in agreement with the communications team. Please contact the media and communications officer to request images or video relating to SAMS' work.


Getting here

SAMS is situated three miles north-east of Oban on the west coast of Scotland (PA37 1QA). Access to the institute is through the village of Dunbeg, off the A85 road. We are a two-hour drive from Glasgow and there is also a rail link between Glasgow and Oban. There is free parking on site.


Please make yourself known at the main reception in the Sir John Murray Building and you will be met by your host who will have arranged access to filming locations and/or interview rooms.


There is a wide choice of filming locations within the SAMS site. The institute is set in a picturesque, seaside location. Modern buildings host lab space, robotics facility and lecture theatres that can be accessed with prior notice. The site includes a pontoon that gives access to a small research vessel. The pontoon is adjacent to Dunstaffnage Castle. SAMS also has a visitor attraction and outreach centre, the Ocean Explorer Centre, which provides great visuals for filming.


Your host will give you appropriate safety advice while on site but SAMS would expect film crews to have minimum public liability insurance of £5m. SAMS research vessels are registered to carry passengers and can be used for filming subject to availability and cost.


Appropriately licensed camera operators seeking to record underwater footage as part of their visit to SAMS can seek assistance from Tritonia Scientific, which is based on site. All diving at work in the UK must adhere to the 1997 Diving at Work Regulations (  Media diving has its own Approved Code of Practice: However, if filming a scientific diving operation then the scientific Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) may well be used: