Media Release: Oban academics recognised by university

Left to right - Dr Michele Stanley and Professor Sheila Heymans

THE University of the Highlands and Islands has recognised the work of two academics at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) UHI in Dunstaffnage, Oban.

Dr Michele Stanley, an expert in marine biochemistry and molecular biology, has been awarded the title of Reader, while her colleague Sheila Heymans, head of SAMS UHI’s science department, has been made a Professor.

Dr Stanley, from Bangor, Northern Ireland, has been part of the SAMS UHI community for over ten years.

She worked as a lecturer before becoming a senior lecturer in 2010. Dr Stanley is also an active researcher. Specialising in marine biochemistry and biotechnology, she has conducted research into topics such as the potential to use algal biomass as a source of renewable energy. She has worked on numerous international projects, secured 30 research grants worth around £8 million, published 40 scientific papers and supervised seven postgraduate student projects.

Professor Sheila Heymans, who is originally from Namibia, joined SAMS UHI as a lecturer in 2007.

She was promoted to the positions of senior lecturer and head of ecology, before taking up her current role as head of SAMS UHI’s science department in 2016. An expert in ecosystem modelling, Professor Heymans’ research focuses on the impacts manmade developments such as fisheries have on environments and the organisms within them. She has published over 90 scientific papers, contributed to major international research projects, sits on several key international advisory groups and has supervised PhD students from countries including the UK, Israel, Turkey and Spain.

Dr Stanley said: “I’m very pleased to have been recognised for my research and teaching over the last ten years linked to algal biotechnology. It’s been great also to see the developments within SAMS and the university over this time.”

Professor Heymans said: “It is a great honour to be awarded this Professorship by the University of the Highlands and Islands, one of the most dynamic and nascent universities in the UK. SAMS UHI is a wonderful place to work and somewhere you can achieve anything you put your mind to.”

Professor Clive Mulholland, principal and vice-chancellor at the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: “Readerships are reserved for academics with distinguished international reputations and professorships are the highest level of achievement in academia.

“Dr Stanley and Professor Heymans have made invaluable contributions to research and teaching at SAMS UHI and are recognised as leaders in their fields. They are a great asset to our university and we are delighted to recognise their contribution and dedication with these awards.”


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