Jason Salt

        Photo of SAMS PhD student Jason Salt

PhD student

I am facinated by the variation of predator-prey interactions and interested in how to quantify these. I have previously investigated temperature and fragmentation impacts on the population dynamics of a model protozoan predator-prey system (Didinium & Paramecium).

For my PhD I am exploring the potential of various types of marine robotics to quantify the importance of oceanic zooplankton in the North Atlantic with regards to how they impact the blooming of phytoplankton.

Contact details:
  • Jason.Salt@sams.ac.uk
  • +44 (0)1631 559000

Quantifying the spatial and temporal variability of phytoplankton productivity from mobile autonomous platforms

The ability of remotely operated vehicles such as gliders and AUVs to combine physical data with information from biogeochemical sensors offers a potentially powerful, but currently under-evaluated tool, to understand complex physical-biogeochemical interactions controlling key processes such as carbon export to the deep ocean, controls on hypoxia and harmful algal blooms. Furthermore, these high-resolution datasets allow for the determination of process rates from state variables. This capability presents opportunities for monitoring the health of the marine ecosystem from the ‘bottom up’; which is valuable to policy makers and implementing bodies in marine monitoring (for instance ensuring ‘good environmental status’ under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in European waters); and relevant to future potential commercial initiatives to monitor the seas to ensure compliance with such legislation.


  • >Collect and analyse oceanographic data from a variety of sources: EEL Seaglider data, CEFAS Waveglider, Autonomous Smartbouys
  • >Compare methodologies of each data collection method
  • >Evaluate the indirect determination of physical controls of phytoplankton bloom initiation
  • >Gain an understanding of a blooms distribution, water column biogeochemical characteristics
  • >Get estimates of Net Community production from oxygen measurements

So far, I have found hydrodynamic parameters (lift, drag etc) assumed constant throughout glider missions to be highly variable in shallow diver, with noticeable impacts on the processing of raw Seaglider data. I found that the use of a MATLAB piloting toolbox to get a better estimate of these indeed improves the smoothness of the data collected.

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Professor Keith Davidson, Director of Studies (SAMS)

Dr Martin Johnson, Supervisor (UEA / CEFAS)

Dr Stefan Gary, Supervisor (SAMS)


Project funder

NEXUSS - Next Generation Unmanned Systems Science (NERC)



University of Highlands and Islands

Career history

2013-2015 Research Assistant. Unstitute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool


2016-present PhD student. SAMS UHI

2011 - 2014 BSc (Hons) Zoology - first class. University of Liverpool