• EH14 4AS

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am interested in any PhD topic that fits the general area of marine sustainability with a focus on conservation, seafood production, capture technology and social and economic aspects of these issues. I collaborate extensively with other supervisors and hence will be happy to build an appropriate team of supervisors to accommodate the needs of a project.

1991 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses on topics at the interface between human impacts on the marine environment and conservation, with an emphasis on techniques to achieve sustainable use of the marine environment, with a particular emphasis on developing techniques to minimize ecological impacts of fisheries and aquaculture, and research to underpin the appropriate use of marine protected areas. I am interested in the recovery and dispersal dynamics in seabed communities and integration of spatial social and economic valuation of marine biodiversity. My research has informed international and national fishing and conservation policies and I work extensively with the seafood industry to find technological solutions that will improve sustainable practices. 


Michel Kaiser is the Heriot-Watt University’s Chief Scientist and is a Professor of Fisheries Conservation at The Lyell Centre, Heriot-Watt University. He chairs the ‘Future of Our Inshore Fisheries’ initiative and is a Member of the IUCN-CEM-Fisheries Expert Group. He chaired the International Scientific Advisory Committee for the pulse trawling project (Holland) from 2015 - 2020. He co-convened the 6th World Fisheries Congress in 2012. He has served on the boards of several public bodies including Seafish and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. He recently sat on the Cabinet Office review committee of Highly Protected Marine Areas. After gaining his Ph.D. in 1991, he joined CEFAS to lead research on the effects of human activities (fishing and aquaculture) on the marine environment. He was at Bangor University for 20 years where he was awarded a personal Chair in 2006. He was the Marine Stewardship Council’s Science & Standards Director from 2018 - 2019. Michel was awarded the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) medal in 2004 for his contribution to fish and fisheries research. He has authored over 200 peer reviewed publications and has written or edited 6 books, of which the textbook Marine Ecology: Processes, Systems & Impacts is widely adopted and now in its third edition. He is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Fish Biology.

Key Research Words/Phrases

Sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas, conservation, human impacts, fishing communities, management, innovation

Roles & Responsibilities

Chief Scientist - Heriot-Watt University

Professor of Fisheries Conservation

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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