Dr Adrian Macleod

        Head and shoulder photo of a windswept Adrian MacLeod wearing a life vest

Macroalgal Cultivation PDRA

I am marine scientist working to develop methods and technologies necessary for the large scale cultivation of seaweed for a range of industrial applications.

I also have expertise in the management of biofouling on marine structures (e.g. marine renewable energy devices) and associated non-native species biosecurity best practise.

Contact details:

My research interests include the development of techniques to cultivate a range of seaweed species on sea-based aquaculture facilities (also known as seaweed farms). This includes researching methods to cultivate algae in the lab before seeding juvenile stages onto textile based growing systems currently being trailed at two seaweed farms operated by SAMS.

My research explores ways to optimise the growing conditions used to produce biomass for the production of bioethanol and methane whilst understanding the environmental interactions of this emerging aquaculture industry.


Current research projects

MacroFuels: this project aims to produce advanced biofuels from seaweed or macroalgae. Funded by EU H2020. 2016-19

BIOFEED: novel salmon feed by integrated bioprocessing of non-food biomass. Funded by the Norwegian Research Council. 2015-18

Peer-reviewed publications

Loxton, J., Macleod, A.K., Nall, C.R., McCollin, T., Machado, I., Simas, T., Vance, T., Kenny, C., Want, A., & Miller, R. (2017). Setting an agenda for biofouling research for the marine renewable energy industry. International Journal of Marine Energy. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijome.2017.08.006

Couttier-Cook, E. J., Beveridge, C., Bishop, J. D. D., Brodie, J., Clark, P. F., Epstein, G., Jenkins, S. R., Johns, D. G., Loxton, J., Macleod, A., Maggs, C., Minchin, D., Mineur, F., Sewell, J., and Wood, C. A. In press 2017. Non-native species. Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership: science review.

Macleod, A.K., Stanley, M.S., Day, J.G., and Cook, E.J. (2016). Biofouling community composition across a range of environmental conditions and geographical locations suitable for floating marine renewable energy generation. Biofouling 32, 261–276.

Cook, E.J., Payne, R.D., MacLeod, A., Brown, S.F. (2016). Marine Biosecurity: protecting indigenous marine species. Research and Reports in Biodiversity Studies 5:1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/RRBS.S63402

Kerrison, P.D., Stanley, M.S., Kelly, M., Macleod, A., Black, K.D., and Hughes, A.D. (2015). Optimising the settlement and hatchery culture of Saccharina latissima (Phaeophyta) by manipulation of growth medium and substrate surface condition. Journal of Applied Phycology 28, 1181–1191.

Miller, R.G., Hutchison, Z.L., Macleod, A.K., Burrows, M.T., Cook, E.J., Last, K.S., and Wilson, B. (2013). Marine renewable energy development: assessing the Benthic Footprint at multiple scales. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 11, 433–440.

Mineur, F., Cook, E.J., Minchin, D., Bohn, K., MacLeod, A., and Maggs, C.A. (2012). Changing coasts: marine aliens and artificial structures. Oceanography and Marine Biology 50, 189–234.


Other publications

Macleod, A., Benjamins, S., Allen, C. 2016 Habitats Regulations Appraisal: Screening Report for Fair Head Tidal Energy Project. A report by SRSL for Fair Head Tidal Energy Park Ltd., pp. 120.

Macleod, A., Benjamins, S., Allen, C. 2016. Environmental Statement for Fair Head Tidal Energy Project: Marine Mammals and Basking Shark. A report by SRSL for Fair Head Tidal Energy Park Ltd., pp. 74.

Miller, R.G. and Macleod, A. K. (2016). Marine Growth Mapping and Monitoring: Feasibility of Predictive Mapping of Marine Growth. A report by SAMS Research Services Ltd to the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. Glasgow, UK. 51 pp.

Macleod, A., Cook, E.J., Hughes, D. & Allen, C. 2016. Investigating the Impacts of Marine Invasive Non-Native Species. A report by Scottish Association for Marine Science Research Services Ltd for Natural England & Natural Resources Wales, pp. 59. Natural England Commissioned Reports, Number 223.

Macleod, A., Allen, C., & Cook, E.J. (2016). Assessment of the biological risks associated with the relocation of the Janice A platform. A report by SRSL for Maersk Oil North Sea UK Ltd., pp. 22

Cook, E.J., Beveridge, C., Twigg, G. & Macleod, A. (2015). Assessing the effectiveness of early warning systems for the detection of marine invasive non-native species in Scottish waters. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 874.

Benjamins, S., Macleod, A., Allen, C. & Wilson, B. (2015). Occurrence of Marine Mammals and Basking Sharks at the Proposed Fair Head Tidal Energy Project Site: Report Following 24 Months of Survey Effort. A report by SRSL for DP Energy, pp. 91.

Benjamins, S., Macleod, A., Greenhill, L. & Wilson, B. (2015). Surveying Marine Mammals in Nearby Tidal Energy Development Sites: a Comparison. Proceedings of the 11th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference 6-11th Sept 2015, Nantes, France.

Macleod, A & Jaugeon, B. (2015). A Biosecurity Plan for Lochnell Oysters: Incorporatng non-native species and diseases. A report by SRSL for Lochnell Oysters, pp. 43

Cook, E.J., Beveridge, C., Twigg, G., and Macleod, A. (2015). Assessing the effectiveness of early warning systems for the detection of marine invasive non-native species in Scottish waters (Scottish Natural Heritage).

Macleod, A. & Miller, R. (2014). Dumbarton 12" Production Riser Marine Growth Study. A report by SRSL for Maersk Oil Inventory, pp. 30

Cook, E.J., Payne, R., and Macleod, A. (2014). Marine Biosecurity Planning-Identification of Best Practice: A Review (Scottish Natural Heritage).

Macleod, A., Nickell, T. & Hughes, D. (2014). DC2 Riser Marine Growth Study. A report by SRSL for Maersk Oil Inventory, pp. 19

Beveridge, C., Cook, E.J., Brunner, L., MacLeod, A., Black, K., Brown, C., and Manson, F.J. (2011). Initial response to the invasive carpet sea squirt, Didemnum vexillum. Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report 413, 24.

Consultancy and industry experience

My research interests include the study of biofouling on marine structures and the management of risk associated with marine non-native species. Our team has provided marine biosecurity guidance to Scottish Natural Heritage and this work has been adopted by other statutory nature conservation bodies throughout the UK.

I have managed several industrial projects and provide consultancy to a range of organizations (e.g. Environmental Impact Assessment for the Fair Head Tidal Energy Project). See 'other publications'


Accessing consultancy services from SAMS

SAMS consultancy work is delivered through its wholly owned commercial subsidiary, SAMS Research Services Ltd. (SRSL). SRSL operates a comprehensive Quality Management System (QMS) that is accredited to ISO9001:2008 standard, guaranteeing that all projects deliver the best possible service to our customers. All SRSL projects are planned by a professional programme manager who oversees a team of dedicated project managers, all of whom are focussed specifically on client delivery, and have scientific experience and technical expertise in fields relevant to their assigned projects.

For further information concerning commercial enterprise opportunities at SAMS, please contact SRSL by email (info@srsl.com) or phone +44 (0) 1631 559 470.


Industrial Doctoral Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy PhD programme: Lecturer on 'Marine renewables and the environment' module, teaching about biofouling and Environmental Impact Assessment.


Internship supervision

Iskander Bond: third year student from Bangor University (duration 42 weeks)

Guillaume Brit: final year student from Bordeaux Science Agro (duration 11 weeks)


Current research students

Eleanor Wood: Developments in the production of Palmaria palmata in hatchery conditions. MSc University of the Highlands and Islands. 2016-17

Employment history

Since 2016 PDRA in Macroalgal Cultivation. SAMS

2013-16 Environmental Consultant. SAMS Research Services Ltd

2009-13 Postgraduate Research Assistant. SAMS

2008-09 Assistant Curator Marine Taxonomist. National Museum Scotland



2013 PhD 'The role of marine renewable energy structures and biofouling communities in promoting self-sustaining populations of non-native species. University of Aberdeen

2008 MSc Marine Resource Development and Protection. Heriot-Watt University

2006 BSc (Hons) Marine Biology. The University of Aberdeen