Dr Douglas Speirs


Mathematics and Statistics

Personal statement

I joined the faculty staff of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in 2007 and was appointed senior lecturer in Marine Resource Modelling in 2014.  I am also the departmental Director of Knowledge Exchange, responsible for helping colleagues develop KE activities such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Continuous Professional Development, and consultancy. My research involves developing computationally efficient population models of fish stocks in which physiological structure and spatial structure and combined, and I have strong track record of widely cited peer-reviewed publications (average of 24 citations per article, three papers with >100 citations). My research on spatial modelling of zooplankton, as part of the NERC MarProd programme, established a new to modelling the growth and transport by ocean currents of stage-structured populations (e.g. Speirs et al. 2006, Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 313, 173-192). With partners at Marine Scotland Science I led the development of a new size-structured multispecies model for fish communities (Speirs et al. 2010, Fish. Res. 106, 474-494), now known as FishSUMS (Fish Strathclyde University – Marine Scotland). Motivated by policy-driven concerns about the effects of multi-species fisheries, the model has been used to explore the consequences of a range of fisheries management scenarios. Over the last seven years I have been PI or Co-I in grants totalling over £1.3 million FEC. I am an editor for Ecology and the Journal of Biological Systems, and I sit on steering groups of the Strathclyde Marine Institute and the Centre for Mathematics Applied to the Life Sciences (CMALS).  I am deputy convener of the MASTS Fisheries Forum, a group that has representation from all major fisheries related institutes in Scotland, and covers diverse disciplines including biology, stock assessment, ecosystem modelling, economics, and stakeholder experience.


Ecosystem approach to harvesting in the Arctic : walking the tightrope between exploitation and conservation in the Barents Sea
Heath Michael R, Benkort Déborah, Brierley Andrew S, Daewel Ute, Laverick Jack H, Proud Roland, Speirs Douglas C
Ambio (2021)
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 Discussions (2021)
StrathE2E2 : an R package for modelling the dynamics of marine food webs and fisheries
Heath Michael R, Speirs Douglas C, Thurlbeck Ian, Wilson Robert J
Methods in Ecology and Evolution Vol 12, pp. 280-287 (2021)
How is climate change affecting marine life in the Arctic?
Heath Michael R, Benkort Deborah, Brierley Andrew S, Daewel Ute, Hofmeister Richard, Laverick Jack H, Proud Roland, Speirs Douglas C
Frontiers for Young Minds (2020)
The effect of viral plasticity on the persistence of host-virus systems
Choua Melinda, Heath Michael R, Speirs Douglas C, Bonachela Juan A
Journal of Theoretical Biology Vol 498 (2020)
Trends in sandeel growth and abundance off the east coast of Scotland
MacDonald Alan, Speirs Douglas C, Greenstreet Simon P R, Boulcott Philip, Heath Michael R
Frontiers in Marine Science Vol 6 (2019)

More publications

Professional activities

5th International Zooplankton Production Symposium in Pucon
Invited speaker
University of Glasgow, DEEB seminar “Cod in a web: modelling multi-species length-structured interactions in a North Sea fish community”, 2nd December 2009.
Invited speaker
Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (External organisation)
Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (External organisation)
EUR-OCEANS (External organisation)
Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Biological Systems
Editorial board member

More professional activities


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
MEESO - Ecologically and Economically Sustainable Mesopelagic Fisheries
Speirs, Douglas (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2023
Microbes to Megafauna Modelling of Arctic Seas (MiMeMo)
Heath, Mike (Principal Investigator) Speirs, Douglas (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2021
Mechanistic understanding of the role of diatoms in the success of the Arctic Calanus complex and implications for a warmer Arctic
Banas, Neil (Principal Investigator) Heath, Mike (Co-investigator) Speirs, Douglas (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2023

More projects


Mathematics and Statistics
Livingstone Tower

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