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Personal profile

Research interests

  • Societal benefits, restoration, ecology, biodiversity & monitoring of: 
    • Shellfish reefs, 
    • Marine Protected Areas 
    • Priority habitats of nature conservation importance, 
  • The win-win between biodiversity conservation, ecosystem function and marine development
  • Biodiversity mapping and management in Marine Spatial Planning 
  • Sustainable development and habitat use by species of high biodiversity conservation importance

Biography

Sanderson’s work concentrates on the marine biodiversity research needed to support sensitive management and sustainable development. This means Sanderson has experience and ongoing research interests in Marine Environmental Restoration and Enhancement, Marine Protected Areas, Maritime Spatial Planning and Marine Built Structures.  Biogenic reefs formed by shellfish have been a strong focus of study for more than 20 years and has led to Sanderson’s leadership of the multi-award-winning Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project with industry and NGO partners: a project that will restore 4 million oysters to the Dornoch Firth. Sanderson hosted the international NORA European Oyster Restoration conference with the DEEP team in Edinburgh in 2019. Since joining HWU Sanderson has developed programmes focused on shellfish ecosystem services, restoration, MPA designation, indicator development and the biodiversity, mitigation and enhancement of structures in the marine environment.  Sanderson led the development of a successful case study on sustainable marine management implementation in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

From 1993 to 2010 Sanderson worked in government agency research: his strategic work concentrated on species and habitats of high nature conservation importance; underpinning MPA designation, proactive management, assessment, the formation of bylaws and enforcement. Sanderson has developed multi-institutional research collaborations on the recovery of sea-ducks and benthos after the 1996 Sea Empressoil spill, forming the corner-stone of the notification of Carmarthen Bay as the UK's first fully marine Special Protection Area. He was recruited by DGXI Civil Protection to the EU Task Force during the Galápagos oil spill.

Sanderson has contributed to national state of the environment assessments, and the developing Marine Strategy Framework Directive indicators through benthic subgroup leadership on the Healthy and Biologically Diverse Seas Evidence Group. Sanderson has served on the OSPAR Benthic Specialist Group, the Interagency Marine Monitoring Group and the UK Technical Advisory Group, on methods and strategy development under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Habitats Directive and the Water Framework Directive.

Overall, Sanderson has led applied science, monitoring and academic programmes at the forefront of sustainable maritime development and conservation totalling £6m. Sanderson has authored > 80 articles, reports and a book, he has a Google Scholar profile recording 1,692 citations and an h-index of 19.

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Research Output

Forty questions of importance to the policy and practice of oyster restoration in Europe

zu Ermgassen, P., Bonacic, K., Boudry, P., Bromley, C., Cameron, T., Colsoul, B., Coolen, J., Frankic, A., Hancock, B., van der Have, T., Holbrooke, Z., Kamermans, P., Laugen, A., Nevejan, N., Pogoda, B., Pouvreau, S., Preston, J., Ranger, C., Sas, H., Strand, Å. & 2 others, Sanderson, W. & Sutherland, W., 22 Jul 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Missing the full story: First estimates of carbon deposition rates for the European flat oyster O. edulis

Lee, H., Ian, D., Baxter, J., Diele, K. & Sanderson, W., 19 May 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • NORA moving forward: Developing an oyster restoration network in Europe to implement the Berlin Oyster Recommendation

    Pogoda, B., Boudry, P., Bromley, C., Cameron, T., Colsoul, B., Donnan, D. W., Hancock, B., Tristan Hugh-Jones, H-J., Preston, J., Sanderson, W., Sas, H., Brown, J., Bonacic, K., von Nordheim, H. & Zu Ermgassen, P., 12 Jul 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Return to sender: the influence of larval behaviour on the distribution and settlement of the European oyster Ostrea edulis

    Rodriguez Perez, A., Sanderson, W., Møller, L., Henry, T. B. & James, M., 20 Jun 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    The benefits of bivalve reef restoration: a global synthesis of underrepresented species

    zu Ermgassen, P., Thurstan, R., Corrales, J., Alleway, H., Carranza, A., Dankers, N., Hancock, B., Kent, F., McLeod, I., Pogoda, B., Liu, Q. & Sanderson, W., 25 May 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Activities

    • 5 Participation in Festival or Exhibition
    • 1 Other

    Dunbar Science Festival

    William Sanderson (Participant)

    7 Mar 20158 Mar 2015

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in Festival or Exhibition

    Dunbar Science Festival

    William Sanderson (Speaker)

    22 Mar 201423 Mar 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in Festival or Exhibition

    Dunbar Science Festival

    William Sanderson (Speaker)

    16 Mar 201317 Mar 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in Festival or Exhibition

    Dunbar Science Festival

    William Sanderson (Speaker)

    10 Mar 201211 Mar 2012

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in Festival or Exhibition

    Press / Media

    Écosse: la renaissance des huîtres disparues

    William Sanderson

    21/10/18

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    Extinct oyster reef is restored (BBC Breakfast)

    William Sanderson

    13/10/18

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    Oyster reefs returning to Scottish coast

    William Sanderson

    13/10/18

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    GLENMORANGIE RESTORES DORNOCH OYSTER REEFS

    William Sanderson

    12/10/18

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research