Jacob Bentley

        Picture of Jacob Bentley

PhD student

My interest focuses on the use of ecosystem models to explore and quantify the past, present and future ecological dynamics of marine systems and to investigate the impacts of fishing, climate change and other anthropogenic threats.

I have experience with marine conservation, environmental consultancy, renewable energy and ecosystem modelling.

Contact details:

Modelling the Irish Sea food web in the context of a depleted commercial fish community

The goal of my project is to utilise ecosystem and multi-species modelling techniques to investigate the dynamics of the food web based around the commercial fish species in the Irish Sea.

Despite large reductions in fishing effort, the management of Irish Sea fisheries is currently challenged by a lack of recovery in commercial fish populations with significant changes in growth rates, productivity and maturity for various species.

We will use ecosystem models to determine the explanatory factors underpinning the recovery failure in the Irish Sea commercial fish stocks, and to propose mitigating management actions on the basis of these findings.

This project contributes towards the goals of the ICES Irish Sea working group.


Professor Sheila Heymans, SAMS

Dr David Reid, Marine Institute, Galway

Dr Clive Fox, SAMS


Marine Institute Cullen Fellowship


University of the Highlands and Islands



Bentley JW, Serpetti N, Heymans JJ. 2017. Investigating the potential impacts of ocean warming on the Norwegian and Barents Seas ecosystem using a time-dynamic food-web model. Ecological Modelling 360: 94-107

Bentley JW, Serpetti N, Fox C, Heymans JJ, and Reid DG (2019) Fishers’ knowledge improves the accuracy of food web model predictions. ICES Journal of Marine Science  doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsz003

Bentley JW, Hines D, Borrett S, Serpetti N, Fox C, Reid DG, Heymans JJ (2018) Diet uncertainty analysis strengthens model-derived indicators of food web structure and function. Ecological Indicators 98: 239-250. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.11.008

Bentley, J. W., Serpetti, N., Fox, C., Reid, D., Heymans, J. J. (2018) Modelling the food web in the Irish Sea in the context of a depleted commercial fish community. Part 1: Ecopath Technical Report. Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban. U.K. Report no. 294, p.147 https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.63


2017-present  PhD student. SAMS

2016-2017  Researcher, Offshore Windfarms. Royal HaskoningDHV

2013-2015  Lead Environmental Technician. RSK Environmental Consultancy

2014-2015  Marine Biologist. Seamarc Marine Consulting


2016  MSc Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Systems. University of St Andrews (and SAMS)

2013  BSc Marine Biology. University of Portsmouth

Teaching experience

Teaching assistant 'Ecopath with Ecosim' Introductory Course