Dr Natalia Serpetti


        Dr Serpetti at sea with Rockall in the background

Ecosystem Modeller and Benthic Ecologist

Undertaking a multi-disciplinary ecosystem approach, my research interests cover a wide range of the ecosystem levels from fish and benthos ecology to nutrient cycling.

Contact details:

I am interested on understanding the processes governing the dynamics of marine ecosystems and the forces that can regulate it and affect it using modelling approaches. Modelling can give us the opportunity to understand how the ecosystem levels are interacting to simulate and predict future scenarios of the ecosystem functioning as whole. My personal specific research interests cover a wide range of the ecosystem levels from fish and benthos ecology to nutrient cycling and how to connect all these ecosystem elements using a multi-disciplinary modelling approach.


Current research project

Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP): Undertake and drive the Ecopath with Ecosim ecosystem models of the West Coast of Scotland and Celtic Sea. Funded by NERC. 2015-18

Investigation of the novel challenges of an integrated offshore multi-purpose platform (INNO-MPP): Identifying interactions between co-located marine renewable energy devices, aquaculture and the environment. Funded by EPSRC/NERC. 2017-20


Previous research projects

Benthic Biodiversity of Seamounts in the South-West Indian Ocean (SWIOR): Benthic biodiversity of seamounts in the Southwest Indian Ocean: sample collection, macrofauna taxonomy and univariate and multivariate analysis of the macrofaunal community. Funded by NERC. 2011-15

Peer-reviewed publication

Serpetti, N., Baudron, A.R., Burrows, M.T., Payne, B.L., Helaouët, P., Fernandes, P.G. , Heymans, J.J., 2017. Impact of ocean warming on sustainable fisheries management informs the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 13438, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13220-7

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

N. Serpetti, M.L. Taylor, D. Brennan, D.H. Green, A.D. Rogers, G.L.J. Paterson, B.E. Narayanaswamy. Ecological adaptations and commensal evolution of the Polynoidae (Polychaeta) on the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge: a phylogenetic approach. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography (2017), 137, 273–281. doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.06.004

Narayanaswamy, B.E., Rea, T., Serpetti, N., Lamont P. What lies within; contents of coral and carbonate rubble from SW Indian Ocean seamounts. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography (2017), 137, 157–165. doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.06.018

Heath, M.R., Sabatino, A.D., Serpetti, N. and O’Hara Murray, R.B., 2016. Modelling the sensitivity of suspended sediment profiles to tidal current and wave conditions. Ocean & Coastal Management, in press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.10.018

Serpetti, N., U. Witte and M.R. Heath. Statistical Modeling of Variability in Sediment-Water Nutrient and Oxygen Fluxes. Frontiers in Earth Science (2016), 4:65. doi: 10.3389/feart.2016.00065

Scott, E, Serpetti, Steenbeek, J., Heymans, J.J. A Stepwise Fitting Procedure for automated fitting of Ecopath with Ecosim models. SoftwareX (2016), 5, 25-30. doi:10.1016/j.softx.2016.02.002

Carpentieri, P., Serpetti, N., Colloca, F., Criscoli, A., Ardizzone, G.D. Food preferences and rhythms of feeding activity of two coexisting demersal fish, the longspine snipefish Macroramphosus scolopax (Linnaeus, 1758) and boarfish Capros aper (Linnaeus, 1758), on the Mediterranean deep shelf. Marine Ecology (2016), 37, 106-118. doi: 10.1111/maec.12265

Serpetti, N., E. Gontikaki, B.E. Narayanaswamy and U. Witte. Macrofaunal community inside and outside of the Darwin Mounds Special Area of Conservation, NE Atlantic. Biogeosciences (2013), 10, 3705-3714.

Serpetti, N., M.R. Heath, M. Rose and U. Witte. High resolution mapping of sediment organic matter from acoustic reflectance data. Hydrobiologia (2012), 680, 265-284.

Serpetti, N., M.R. Heath, E. Armstrong and U. Witte. Blending single beam RoxAnn and multi-beam swathe QTC hydro-acoustic discrimination techniques for the Stonehaven area, Scotland, UK. Journal of Sea Research (2011), 65, 442-455.

 

Book

Scientific writing for a species ID manual for divers in the Mediterranean Sea. La nuova guida al Seawatching, mare aperto e coste, 2006. MUZZIO editor.

 

Conference paper

Serpetti, Lamont, P., A.D. Rogers, G.L.J. Paterson, B.E. Narayanaswamy, 2015. Macrofauna community structure of the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge ecosystem: bottom‐up and substrate heterogeneity controls. 14th International Deep-Sea Biology Symposium, Aveiro, Portugal.

Baudron, A.R., Serpetti, N., Heymans, J.J., Fernandes, P.G., 2015. Ecosystem modelling as a fisheries management tool: the west coast of Scotland Example. ICES CM 2015/B:28

 

Report

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

Huvenne, V.A.I., Bett, B.J., Henry, L.A., Masson, D.G., Piechaud, N., Serpetti, N., Witte, U. Report on the environmental status of the Darwin Mounds, 8 years after their initial protection. HERMIONE Deliverable 4.11., 2013. http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/500724

Consultancy and industry experience

I have 16+ years of experience off-shore sailing sampling cruises. My key research skills are:

  • >Knowledge on ecosystem modelling using Ecopath & Ecosim & Ecospace
  • >Extensive knowledge of macrofaunal taxonomy: in deep knowledge of the Polynoidae family (polychaeta)
  • >Knowledge of univariate analysis. Familiarity with using linear (i.e. GLM) and general additive models (i.e. GAM) for modelling temporal and spatial processes using R statistical software
  • >Knowledge of multivariate analysis using PRIMER software
  • >Extensive knowledge of SURFER TM software

     

    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 the SRSL team by email (info@srsl.com) or phone +44 (0) 1631 559 470.

Lecturing

BSc Marine Science: Lecturing on year 4 module 'Ecosystem modelling' (Ecopath with Ecosim)

BSc Marine Science: Lecturing on year 4 module 'Deep-sea ecosystems' (deep-sea seamounts)

BSc Marine Science: Lecturing on year 3 module 'Marine zoology' (polychaete taxonomy)

Ecosystem-based Management of Marine Systems MSc: Teaching modelling 'Ecopath with Ecosim'

IDCORE: Teaching modelling 'Ecopath with Ecosim'

 

Research supervision

Supporting MSc and PhD students since 2012 regarding ecosystem modelling and benthic seamount ecology

 

Current research students

Jacob Bentley: Modelling the food web in the Irish Sea in the context of a depleted commercial fish community. PhD 2016-present. Cullen Fellowship programme: Marine Institute, Galway and hosted by UHI

 

Alumni research students

Jacob Bentley: Investigating the potential impacts of ocean warming on the Norwegian Seas ecosystem using a time-dynamic food-web model. MSc 2015-16. University of St Andrews and SAMS

Jareth David King: Using an ecological modelling approach to assess the impact of temperature upon the Irish Sea Ecosystem. MSc 2015-16. University of St Andrews and SAMS

Adam John Chivers: The Biodiversity and Ecology of Senghor Seamount (NE Atlantic). PhD 2010-13. UHI

Alex Schweizer: Macrobenthic Community Structure and Diversity in the Rockall Trough: A 30-year Time Series Study. MRes 2012-13. University of St Andrews and SAMS

Stephen Watson: Seasonal and inter-annual trends in macrobenthic community structure in the Rockall Trough, NE Atlantic. MRes 2011-12. University of St Andrews and SAMS

Research expedition

22-23 September 2015. MERP sampling cruise, Belfast, Irish Sea on the RV Coristes

May 2015. The Extended Ellett Line cruise, North Atlantic on RRV Discovery

May 2013. The Extended Ellett Line cruise, North Atlantic on RRV James Cook

Nov-Dec 2011. Benthic sampling cruise, Southwest Indian Ocean on RRV James Cook

May 2008 to July 2009, monthly coring sampling off shore Stonehaven, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK on the RV Temora

September 2008. Marine Scotland sampling off shore Stonehaven, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK on the RV Alba na Mara

April 2007. Marine Scotland sampling off shore Stonehaven, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK on the RV Clupea

July 2006. Marine Scotland sampling. Trawling for juvenile herrings in the Scottish west coast lochs on the RV Clupea

March & May 2002, “LEPTO” trawling sampling survey

July & November 2001, “LEPTO” trawling sampling survey

June 2001. “MEDIT” trawling sampling survey

October 2000 and 2001. “GROUND” trawling sampling survey

 

Public engagement / outreach

British Science Festival. Newcastle 2013

Deep-Sea Ecology Halloween Event. Ocean Explorer Centre 2014

Oban Festival of the Sea 2016

 

Awards

October 2014 - MASTS small grant: Phylogenetic analysis of Valvifera (Isopoda) from the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge (£1000)

 

Paper reviewing

Elsevier journal reviewer for Progress in Oceanography, Ecosystem Modelling and Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Inter-Research Science Centre reviewer for Aquaculture Environment Interactions

 

Employment history

2015-present: Postdoctoral Research Associate. SAMS

2011-15: Postdoctoral Research Associate. SAMS

2011: Research Assistant. University of Aberdeen

2006-07: Research Assistant. University of Aberdeen

2003-04: Research Assistant. Univerity of Rome 'La Sapienza'. Italy

 

Qualifications

2011 PhD 'Biogeochemistry/modelling and mapping the physical and biogeochemical properties of sediments on the North Sea coastal waters'. University of Aberdeen

2003 BSc (1st class) Biological Sciences. Thesis: Trophic ecology and population distribution of two coexisting demersal fish, the longspine snipefish Macroramphosus scolopax (Linnaeus, 1758) and boarfish Capros aper (Linnaeus, 1758), on the Mediterranean deep shelf. University of Rome 'La Sapienza' (Italy)

 

Certifications

2014-2015: Experience on diving in cold waters, British Sub-Aqua Club member (BSAC)

2008: Personal sea survival techniques certificate, Falck Nutec Ltd, Aberdeen

2000: Advanced Open Water Diver, Licence PADI (2nd Level)

1999: Open Water Diver, Licence PADI (1st Level)