Research students from three universities – Heriot-Watt, Robert Gordon, and UHI – share news of the progress of their work, hosted by Dr Mike Bell of Heriot-Watt University’s International Centre for Island Technology in the Stromness campus with its views out across the harbour to Graemsay, Hoy and Scapa Flow.
Mike Bell is a marine biologist with particular interests in sustainable inshore fisheries and their interactions with marine renewable energy.
There’s a richly varied mix of topics and interests, with the sea running through many of them, for instance in the work of Agung Iswadi at ICIT, who’s studying the impact of biofouling and corrosion on marine energy structures. He’s comparing Orkney’s temperate waters with the tropical waters of Indonesia to see if experience from Orkney can provide insights for Indonesia’s growing marine renewable sector.
Rebecca Ford of UHI’s Institute for Northern Studies is looking at the relation of marine renewables to the community, to see how the new emerging developments of the “islands of energy” fit with the long tradition of stories and storytelling, highlighted by writers like George Mackay Brown.
The work of Beta Rodrigues at ICIT focuses on creel fishing and its impact on the marine ecosystem as a whole, and the question of how best to maintain a healthy and sustainable habitat in which the industry and its marine environment can both flourish together.