Meet our new Senior Research Fellow: Dr Bryce Stewart

Three Research Fellows have been appointed to lead groundbreaking research at the Marine Biological Association (MBA).

The new Fellows bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the MBA and will be instrumental in leading research initiatives to address the most pressing challenges facing our ocean.

Dr Bryce Stewart

Searching for solutions that balance the needs of fisheries and marine conservation. This can involve everything from quite pure biological research, to working with stakeholders such as recreational and commercial fishermen and environmental groups, to developing fisheries management strategies designed to aid decision makers such as businesses and government bodies.

As a Senior Research Fellow; Dr Stewart’s goal is to maintain current research activities, while expanding into new areas and building a larger research team. He is currently working with recreational anglers to gather data on species such as pollack and blue sharks and is part of large multidisciplinary project (Pyramids of Life) aiming to develop new and more balanced ways of managing fisheries.

He has also led the monitoring of the community initiated Marine Protected Areas around the Isle of Arran since 2010. In the future, he will be working with colleagues in Australia to plan for the implementation of offshore wind farms in their waters, and expanding collaborative work with Fishtek Marine on using lights (aka scallop discos) as a novel and low impact way to catch scallops.

He reflects on some of the most memorable points in his career.

“An obvious highlight was meeting David Attenborough a few years ago. He did not disappoint! Through my fisheries policy work I have also frequently engaged with the media and given evidence in the House of Lords, House of Commons, and the Welsh, Scottish and European Parliaments on a number of occasions.”

A pivotal moment for Dr Stewart has been working with the community on the Isle of Arran. He first met the founders of the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) back in 2003 and has been actively working with them for over 15 years now.

He said: “The way the community there has successfully campaigned for better protection of their local marine environment has been truly inspirational. I was honoured to help tell their story in the paper, Marine Conservation Begins at Home: How a Local Community and Protection of a Small Bay Sent Waves of Change Around the UK and Beyond.”

Dr Stewart is excited to work at the MBA.

He said: “It is fantastic to be working by the sea once more, where we have a natural marine laboratory right on our doorstep. It is also wonderful to have such a large network of other marine scientists at the MBA and across Plymouth to collaborate with.

Not to mention the availability of our own research vessels, the RV Sepia and RV Laminaria, the aquarium facilities, and the extraordinary library. I also love the MBA’s ambition to be the ‘Voice of Marine Biology’ and its commitment to public outreach and engagement, something very true to my own values.”

Find out more about our new Research Fellows: