Personal profile

Research interests

Professor Fernandes' research over the last few years has concentrated on addressing fundamental issues relating to the sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems. The main focus of this research has been: (1) assessment and management of eutrophication, (2) assessment and management of aquaculture impacts, (3) assessment and development of biomarkers of pollution, (4) development of a sustainable sprat fishery within the Firth of Forth, (5) study of intertidal habitats as nursery for flatfish, (6) development of approaches for the management of coastal systems, and (6) the assessment of effects and management of nanomaterials in the environment. The above have led to several publications (see below), work on projects funded by a variety of national and international organisations and invitations to speak at a variety of national and international meetings. Projects include: The development of approaches towards the sustainable management of aquaculture (EU project MARAQUA; a study of 'Undesirable Disturbance in the context of Eutrophication' ( carried out for the UK environment ministry, DEFRA; An EU FP6 project entitled “Oceanographic Applications to Eutrophication in Regions of Restricted Exchange” (OAERRE;; 2000-2003); Another EU FP6 project on the management of marine aquaculture (ECASA, Ecosystem Approach to Sustainable Aquaculture;; 2004-07); a European Project “Development of guidelines for the Management of Aquaculture in Sensitive Areas” (2005-06), Involvement in UK-Japan co-operation on research on endocrine disrupters in the aquatic environment, sponsored by DEFRA; and consultancy work (2004/05) assessing the potential for the development of development of a sustainable sprat fishery within the Firth of Forth (2004-05),  An EU FP6 project on Science and Policy Integration for Coastal System Assessment (SPICOSA, http:/; 2006-2010). More recently, Teresa's work in the area of ecotoxicological aspects of nanotechnology has led to two PhD studentships sponsored by DEFRA and by UNILEVER, and a post-doc funded by the Danish Government, which address the ecotoxicological impacts of nanomaterials on a variety of test species and endpoints. In addition, a project funded by NERC (UK) focussed on wider aspects and links between human health and environment in the area of potential impacts of nanomaterials. Currently Teresa has a range of projects on the environmental effects of nanomaterials sponsored by Industry, NERC and EU FP7 (see below for details). She also continues her research work on the management of marine coastal systems, with projects on the management of coastal lagoons (in collaboration with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) and the development of marine spatial planning approaches (in collaboration with Marine Scotland Science). Teresa has long-standing expertise in invertebrate ecotoxicology and marine ecology. Recent research projects EC FP7 funding – NanoImpactNet, Qnano, Marina. Unilever - Ecotoxicology of nanomaterials. US-UK (NERC) – Manufactured Nanomaterial Bioavailability and Environmental Exposure (NanoBee) Past Projects Assessment and development of biomarkers of endocrine disruption (Napier/RAE) Study of intertidal habitats as nursery for flatfish (Napier/RAE) Study of sprat populations in the Firth of Forth (Fife Council) Feasibility study on ecological impacts of flood defence works in the Water of Leith, Edinburgh (ARUP, Edinburgh Council). EU MARAQUA – The Monitoring and Regulation of Marine Aquaculture in Europe, funded by EU Fair Programme. EU ECASA - Ecosystem Approach for Sustainable Aquaculture, funded by EC DG Fisheries. EU Socrates Thematic Network in Aquaculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management. EU SPICOSA Project - a project on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). EC FP7 project: Engineered Nanoparticles: Review of Health and Environmental Safety (ENRHES). NERC led JEHH programme – Human and environmental effects of nanoparticle exposure”. Danish Government – Impacts of climate on the effects of stressors (e.g. metals, NPs) on the reproduction of the marine macroalga Fucus serratus. Defra – Defining Undesirable Disturbance in the Context of Eutrophication. Defra - A review of completed and near completed environment, health and safety research on nanomaterials and nanotechnology (EMERGNANO). CSL/Defra, UK – Assessment of environmental impacts of nanoparticles.


Professor Teresa Fernandes has been working in environmental science for the last 20 years. Most of her work has focussed on the effects of anthropogenic activities on marine ecosystems with a view of understanding direct impacts on single species and communities, and the recovery process. Recent work has focussed on the environmental impacts and management of diffuse pollution, the assessment of endocrine disruption in invertebrates, the effects of nanomaterials on a range of species and models, the management of aquaculture, and the development of numerical models for the management of coastal activities. She is fluent in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish. Teresa Fernandes has published over 100 scientific publications. Qualifications • BSc (Hons) Environmental Engineering, Lisbon, 1986 (1st class)• MSc (Marine and Fisheries Science), Aberdeen, 1988• PhD (Oil Pollution: Assessment and recovery in the marine benthos), Aberdeen, 1992• PGDip (Applied Statistics), Napier University, Edinburgh, 2001 (Distinction) Employment • Jan 1993 – March 1994: Higher Scientific Officer, English Nature• March 1994 – May 2000: Lecturer, Napier University• May 2000 – Jan 2003: Senior Lecturer, Napier University• Jan 2003 – Oct 2008: Reader, Napier University• Oct 2008: Professor of Environmental Science, Director of the Centre for Environment and Marine Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University.• February 2011: Professor of Environmental Science, Heriot-Watt University.

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • 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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