Welcome to

 Mark's Lab
 Marine ecotoxicological biomarkers for a cleaner, healthier ocean environment


July 2017: Our latest paper describing a first assessment of the microplastic concentrations
found in intertidal sediments in Orkney. We are currently extending this study to the Hebrides
and Shetland Islands - watch this space.



June 2017: Congratulations to Dr Clara MacKensie who has successfully defended her PhD thesis, "Future
Vulnerability of Modiolus modiolus Reefs to Climate Change: From Mechanism to Management". 
Many thanks to the external examiner Dr Silvana Birchenough of CEFAS.


Scotsman-microplastic 250517

May 2017: THE SCOTTSMAN 25th May 2017 - link to article here. Dr Hartl is collaborating with
By the Ocean We Unite to establish whether jelly fish provide a portal for the entry of microplatic
particles into the marine food chain.
The work forms part of Ria Devereux's MSc project. More information about our Marine,
Environment and Climate Change MSc courses.


Plastic Ocean

April 2017: Dr Hartl will host a free screening of "Plastic Ocean" followed by a Q&A session 



23 March 2017: Public lecture by Dr Hartl speaking about marine litter and microplastics, and introducing
 "A Plastic Tide" at the Edinburgh Skeptics Society film night.



December 2016: At the MASTS ASM, Dr Hartl calls for a long-term monitoring programme for
micoplastics in intertidal sediments to include relatively remote locations such as Orkney



December 2016: Dr Hartl giving an invited seminar at University of Newcastle and calls for a long-term
monitoring programme for microplastic particles and fibres in intertidal sediments.



November 2016: Dr Hartl commented on a Marine Conservation Society/Greenpeace campaign lobbying
the Scottish Government to introduce a deposit scheme for plastic bottles, with the aim of reducing plastic
litter in the marine environment - STV News 14 November starts about 07:30 into the programme,…/stv-news-edinbur…/mon-14-nov-6-00-pm/


nerc cdt banner

CDT Vad 16

November 2016: PhD student Johanne Vad presents her research on deep-water sponges at the NERC
CDT Oil and Gas Confernce, Heriot-Watt, 08 Nov, 2016


MASTS ASM banner

DSC 1878s

October 2016: Dr Hartl presents his group's research on microplastic contamination of intertidal sediments
in Scapa Flow, Orkney (Collaborator: Jenni Kakkonen, Orkney Island Council)

IMG 4276s

Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Mona Connolly presents her research on the risks of engineered nanomaterials
to the marine environment (Supervisors: Prof Teresa Fernandes, Dr Mark Hartl).

IMG 4271s

Postdoctoral Researcher, Dr Simon Little presents his research on the significance of coatings for the
ecotoxicological assessment of engineered nanomaterials (Supervisors: Prof Teresa Fernandes,
Dr Mark Hartl).

IMG 4269s

PhD student Matt Wale presents his research on the application of ecotoxicological biomakers to assess the
effecs of anthropogenic noise in filter-feeding bivalves - Supervisors: Dr Karen Diele (Edinburgh Napier),
Dr Mark Hartl.

DSC 1954s 

PhD student Naif Ashri presents his research on the ecotoxicology of sediment-associated carbon nanotubes
in the marine environment (Supervisors: Dr Mark Hartl, Prof Teresa Fernandes)



July 2016: PhD student Johanne Vad (back right) on field work in Greenland studying deepsea sponges.
PhD student Johanne Vad (back, right) conducting fieldwork in Greenland, in association with the CALVE
marine project. Johanne ‘s focus was the collection of Greenland subtidal sponges during shallow water
dives within kelp forests and in the vicinity of maerl beds. The aim of the work is to collect, identify and
study sponge sensitivity to oil contaminated seawater, as interest of oil companies in offshore drilling in
Greenland is increasing.




 July 2016: Dr Karen Diele and PhD student Matt Wale (Edinburgh Napier) presnting our work on the effect
of noise on aquatic invertebrates at the 4th Conference on the Effect of Noise on Aquatic Animals, Dublin. 


SETAC Nantes2




May 2016: The CMBB Ecotox group representing Heriot-Watt at SETAC Nantes (Top); PhD student Zuzanna
Gadja-Meissner presenting her work on the effect of coatings on metal oxide nanoparticle toxicity (Middle).
PhD student Simon Little presenting his poster on metal oxide naoparticle ecotoxicology (Bottom-left).
PhD student Naif Ashri presenting his poster on the ecotoxicology of sediment-associated singe-walled
carbon nanotubes (Bottom right). You can down-load a low-res version of his poster  here.



April 2016: Our ITSNANO paper achieves highly cited status in Web Of Science - see paper here (Open Access)


 Graduation 2015-6

 March 2016: My former Hons project student, Shea Connor, BSc (hons) has been promoted to Research
Assistant at The University of Edinburgh.



March 2016: Dr Mark Hartl and Professor John Underhill (left) welcoming Bob Gatliff from BGS to the Lyell Centre
on Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh Campus, and discussing collaborative MSc projects. Links to Lyell Centre and the
Marine, Environment and Climate Change websites.


IMG 8691s


March 2016: The Scottish Microplastics Research Group out on a MASTS Stressors Forum-sponsired workshop
to develop a standardized sampling and extraction technique for  microplastic particles and fibres from intertidal
sediments. The workshop was kindly co-organized by Dr Clemens Engerlke (SEPA) and Dr Brian Quinn (UWS)
and hosted at UWS in Paisley.


SSC banner


February 2016: PhD student Naif Ashri encountered much interest in our work on the ecotoxicology of
sediment-associated carbon nanotubes at the 9th Saudi Student Conference