International Day of Women and Girls in Science

February 11, 2020 by No Comments | Category Marine Directorate general, Marine Directorate Science, Marine Directorate Surveys, Oceanography, Research Vessel Surveys, Science in Government, Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths_STEM

International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an opportunity for us to put the spotlight on some of the great work that’s going on in Marine Scotland Science.

This year’s big day also marks the first since we were awarded the Bronze Award by the Athena SWAN Charter as part of our work to tackle gender inequalities in science and engineering.

The Award recognises work undertaken to address gender equality in Higher Education and Research Institutes.

Dr Carey Fraser who leads on diversity and inclusion within Marine Scotland Science said:

“It is clear that more diverse teams perform better and produce better science. The science in Marine Scotland provides key evidence, information and functions for Scottish Government.

“There is an incredibly wide range of scientific work here that requires many STEM disciplines to sample, analyse and research our seas and rivers, and the habitats, animals and plants within them. We need a diverse range of skills and people to work on research vessel surveys, at rivers, and in our laboratories, to carry out the detailed biological, chemical, physical and mathematical analysis of samples and data that provides information of international significance with direct impact on marine management in Scotland and globally.”Berit Rabe_Scotia trip

Dr Berit Rabe is a physical oceanographer who has been working in Marine Scotland for around nine and a half years.

She works with oceanographic field data and hydrodynamic model outputs to understand the dynamics and circulations of sea lochs and the coastal regions around Scotland and to investigate sea lice dispersal.  She said:

“One of my proudest moments was becoming the designated female Scientist in Charge (SiC) for the December hydrographic research cruise to the northern North Sea and the Faroe-Shetland-Channel. This involves organising logistics before and after the cruise, ensuring we are achieving our scientific objectives, and leading the scientists at sea. I’ve enjoyed this role so much I’ve now been SiC taken on this role six times.

“It’s also been really incredible to be part of the team that achieved the Athena SWAN Bronze Award. Before the Athena SWAN Working Group was established there was no clear official route for staff to take on the role as SiC or gain experience to help them progress. Now I am helping to implement a process for training and progression that is assisting junior staff members, regardless of gender, to gain the experience they need to progress in their scientific discipline.”

Dr Faye Jackson has been working for Marine Scotland Science for nearly two years after being based at the Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory in Pitlochry during her PhD.

Her work is focused on understanding and predicting river temperature to identify where our famous salmon rivers are at risk due to climate change and developing tools and advice to support management decisions.  She said:

“Working at the Freshwater Fisheries Lab is a really interesting job, I’m constantly learning and looking for ways to take what can be a complicated story and distil it down to something that is accessible to people. It involves such a broad range of skills – analysing complicated data, making maps and making visual summaries which can then help river managers and others make decisions.  One of the benefits of being a scientist in the Scottish Government is getting to work on large scale projects that do have a genuine impact and have wider policy implications. With increases in river temperatures as a result of climate change, work which can underpin evidence-based management of the freshwater environment and protect iconic fish like salmon is even more crucial.”

More reading:

Dr Jessica Craig – Fisheries Population Modeller
Dr Berit Rabe – Physical Oceanographer
Pam Walsham -Senior Environmental Chemist 
Dr Faye Jackson – Salmon Assessment Modeller
Dr Rebecca Langton – Species Distribution Modeller

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Leave a comment

By submitting a comment, you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy policy to see how the Scottish Government handles your information.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *