Personal profile

Research interests

The main focus of my research group is the development and application of ecotoxicological biomarkers of exposure to aqueous and sediment-associated contaminants in the marine and estuarine environment. Of particular interest are the impacts of oilfield chemicals and engineered nanomaterials on marine and estuarine organisms, ranging from bacteria to fish. I am also interested in ecotoxicology of near-shelf deep-sea benthic organisms, the general effects of anthropogenic activity on benthic community structure and the fate of organic and inorganic pollutants in the marine and estuarine environment. Amongst other published studies are the effects of sediment-associated contaminants on juvenile turbot (Scophthalmus maximus), sediment-associated triorganotin compounds on the osmoregulation of the European flounder (Platichthys flesus) and the bioaccumulation capacity for trace metals in bivalves (Macoma balthica).


MSc in Zoology and Marine Ecology in 1996 from the University of Vienna, Austria.

Internship at the IAEA's Marine Environment Laboratory in Monaco.

PhD in Biological Oceanography in 2000 from Southampton University, UK

Postdoctoral research and from 2001-2003 University College Cork, Ireland

Temporary lecturer 2003-2006 at University College Cork, Ireland

Lecturer in Marine Biology, Heriot-Watt University 2006 - August 2013

Associate Professor of Marine Biology, Heriot-Watt University August 2013 - present

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Research Output 1998 2017

Climate Change: Implications for Ecotoxicological Environmental Impact Assessment

Connell, S. P., Fernandes, T. F. & Hartl, M. G. J. Dec 2017 In : Journal of Environmental Engineering. 143, 12, 04017078

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
environmental impact assessment
spatial analysis
flow pattern
quantitative analysis

Microplastic contamination of intertidal sediments of Scapa Flow, Orkney: a first assessment

Blumenröder, J., Sechet, P., Kakkonen, J. E. & Hartl, M. G. J. 11 Jul 2017 In : Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Spatial Analysis
Waste Water
Open Access
hazard assessment
Open Access

Neutral Red cytotoxicity assays for assessing in vivo carbon nanotube ecotoxicity in mussels – Comparing microscope and microplate methods

Miller, M. A., Bankier, C., Al-Shaeri, M. & Hartl, M. G. J. 30 Dec 2015 In : Marine Pollution Bulletin. 101, 2, p. 903-907 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Neutral Red
Carbon Nanotubes

Activities 2016 2017

  • 2 Invited talk
  • 1 Participation in conference
  • 1 Editorial activity

Marine Microplastics – Risks to Aquaculture?

Hartl, M. G. J. (Speaker)
20 Sep 2017

Activity: Invited talk

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) (Publisher)

Hartl, M. G. J. (Editorial board member)
1 Dec 2016 → …

Activity: Editorial activity

MASTS Annual Science Meeting

Hartl, M. G. J. (Speaker)
19 Oct 2016

Activity: Participation in conference

Press / Media

Microplastics in Orkney

Mark G. J. Hartl


6 media contribution

Press / Media: Research

North Sea plastic pollution goes under the microscope

Mark G. J. Hartl


1 media contribution

Press / Media: Research


Mark G. J. Hartl


1 item of media coverage

Press / Media: Other