Professor Michael Heath

Mathematics and Statistics


Personal statement

Having graduated with a joint honors degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography, I completed a PhD on cell division phasing under light-dark cycles in populations of micro-algae, involving laboratory culturing and mathematical modelling of cell stage demography. Then in 1982 I obtained a post at the Scottish Office Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen. Initially I was researching and modelling migrations of herring using parasite fauna as natural tags, designed to improve stock assessments of herring. During the following years I led field and modelling programmes on thedispersal and survival of fish larvae, observational and modelling projects on nutrient dynamics in coastal ecosystems, and led a sequence of EU and NERC funded programmes on the population dynamics of zooplankton in the North Atlantic. These projects were designed to advise the Scottish Government on the impacts of aquaculture nutrient release on the environment, impacts of climate change on fisheries, and latterly on human and climate impacts on indices of ecosystem status.

During my time at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen I developed strong links with the Statistics and Modelling Science Department at Strathclyde, and in 2010 I was successful in obtaining a research post at the University funded by the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS), which is a SFC science pooling initiative. My current research interests are the mathematical and statistical modelling of fish populations and fisheries, and the dynanics of ecosystems.

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Can we use recovery timescales to define good environmental status?
Thorpe Robert B, Heath Michael, Lynam Christopher P
Ecological Indicators Vol 155 (2023)
Spatio-temporal variation in the zooplankton prey of lesser sandeels : species and community trait patterns from the continuous plankton recorder
Olin Agnes B, Banas Neil S, Johns David G, Heath Michael R, Wright Peter J, Nager Ruedi G
ICES Journal of Marine Science Vol 79, pp. 1649-1661 (2022)
Unconstrained coevolution of bacterial size and the latent period of plastic phage
Bonachela Juan A, Choua Melinda, Heath Michael R
PLOS One Vol 17 (2022)
The onset of the spring phytoplankton bloom in the coastal North Sea supports the Disturbance Recovery Hypothesis
González-Gil Ricardo, Banas Neil S, Bresnan Eileen, Heath Michael R
Biogeosciences Vol 19, pp. 2417-2426 (2022)
Synthetic shelf sediment maps for the Greenland Sea and Barents Sea
Laverick Jack H, Speirs Douglas C, Heath Mike R
Geoscience Data Journal Vol 10, pp. 220-230 (2022)
The response of North Sea ecosystem functional groups to warming and changes in fishing
Thorpe Robert B, Arroyo Nina Larissa, Safi Georges, Niquil Nathalie, Heath Michael, Pace Matthew C, Lynam Christopher P
Frontiers in Marine Science Vol 9 (2022)

More publications

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Research Interests

Research interests - modelling of marine ecosystems

Professional Activities

Fisheries Innovation Scotland Annual Conference
Keynote/plenary speaker
DEFRA (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (External organisation)
MASTS Annual Science Meeting 2015
MASTS Annual Science Meeting 2015
ICES Annual Science Conference 2015
To be assigned
Scottish Government (External organisation)

More professional activities


Ocean-ICU Improving Carbon Understanding (OceanICU)
Speirs, Douglas (Principal Investigator) Heath, Mike (Co-investigator) Laverick, Jack (Researcher)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2027
Ecosystem Change, Offshore Wind, Net Gain and Seabirds (ECOWINGS)
Speirs, Douglas (Principal Investigator) Banas, Neil (Co-investigator) Heath, Mike (Co-investigator) Laverick, Jack (Researcher)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2026
Art of Mapping Ocean Change
Banas, Neil (Principal Investigator) Heath, Mike (Co-investigator)
25-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2022
Shaping ecosystem based fisheries management (SEAwise)
Heath, Mike (Principal Investigator) Speirs, Douglas (Co-investigator) Laverick, Jack (Researcher)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2025
How does phytoplankton diversity affect primary production in the ocean?
Chen, Bingzhang (Principal Investigator) Banas, Neil (Co-investigator) Heath, Mike (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2024
Mission Atlantic. Towards the Sustainable Development of the Atlantic Ocean
Speirs, Douglas (Principal Investigator) Heath, Mike (Co-investigator) Laverick, Jack (Researcher)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2024

More projects

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Professor Michael Heath
Mathematics and Statistics

Tel: 548 3591