Professor Mike 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.


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 (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)
Modelling seabed sediment physical properties and organic matter content in the Firth of Clyde
Pace Matthew C, Bailey David M, Donnan David W, Narayanaswamy Bhavani E, Smith Hazel J, Speirs Douglas C, Turrell William R, Heath Michael R
Earth System Science Data Vol 13, pp. 5847–5866 (2021)
Subtle differences in the representation of consumer dynamics have large effects in marine food web models
Flynn Kevin J, Speirs Douglas C, Heath Michael R, Mitra Aditee
Frontiers in Marine Science Vol 8 (2021)
A fleet based surplus production model that accounts for increases in fishing power with application to two West African pelagic stocks
Cook Robin, Acheampong Emmanuel, Aggrey-Fynn Joseph, Heath Mike
Fisheries Research Vol 243 (2021)

More publications

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


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)
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)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2024
Aggregation, production and spill-over: what are the cumulative effects of manmade structures on North Sea fish?
Speirs, Douglas (Principal Investigator) Heath, Mike (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2022
Doctoral Training Grant - Scottish Universities Partnership for Environmental Research (SUPER)
Heath, Mike (Principal Investigator) Speirs, Douglas (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2027

More projects


Mathematics and Statistics
Livingstone Tower

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