Dr David Smyth
Room: 2nd floor, Marine Centre Wales Phone: +44 (0) 1248 388603
I graduated in Marine Biology from Queen’s University Belfast in 2002. After which I undertook a PhD in stock enhancement strategies for the native oyster Ostrea edulis at Queen’s Marine Laboratory Portaferry between 2003 and 2006. I remained at Queens in a post-doctoral position for a further three years managing a project which investigated restoration techniques for damaged Modiolus modiolus reefs. I then accepted a two post in 2010 as the Field Diving Officer with the British Antarctic Survey based at Rothera Research Station. After Antarctica I returned to Queen’s University and undertook a post-doc investigating the impact of marine renewable arrays on benthic community structure. I then moved to Qatar University as an Assistant Professor of Research managing a hawksbill turtle conservation programme and researching the impact of static fishing gear on pearl oyster beds from 2014-2017. I then returned once again to Queens where I investigated the rate of epibiotic successional recovery after sub-sea construction and associated kite energy harvesting activity.
I am a marine environmental ecologist with a keen interest in habitat restoration and enhancement through the use of bio-engineering bivalves primarily the European native oyster Ostrea edulis. Particular areas of interest in this field include the population dynamics of a recovering O. edulis stock and its associated flora and fauna. Identifying a restoration blueprint which will transform a functionally extinct O. edulis region into a self-sustaining recognised biotope is one of my major research components. I am also focused on developing an approach to O. edulis fishery management which will meet the environmental demands associated with an OSPAR and UK Biodiversity Action Plan species while accommodating the needs of the fishing community. I employ an empirical approach to my research using long-term in-situ monitoring, hatchery experimentation and field surveys.