Past Students

Andrew Mathews

MSc Student

Andrew has a BSc in Marine and Freshwater Biology from Aberystwyth University and is now studying for his MSc in Managing the Marine and Freshwater Environment, also at Aberystwyth.  Andrew’s marine interests cover evolutionary biology, conservation and ecology; he is currently narrowing this towards intertidal and shallow water ecology.   During his BSc he worked on a project that investigated the impacts of climate change upon the phenology of two congeneric limpets.  The data obtained now contributes to the much wider ‘Euronads’ project, this collaborative project spans 14 partners from 8 countries and builds on the previous research of his supervisor, Dr Pippa Moore. 
Now, for this MSc thesis, Andrew is working in the Falkland Islands and is supervised by Dr Pippa Moore (Aberystwyth University) and Dr Paul Brickle (South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute).  This work, using data collected by the Shallow Marine Surveys Group, will analyse the species richness and percentage density coverage of 559 photo-quadrats.  Analysing this data against the environmental conditions inherent to each site, such as salinity, depth, substrate and distance from kelp stipes, Andrew hopes to uncover the underlying determinant s of benthic ecology of the Falkland Islands .  This project is especially exciting as it will contribute directly to baseline data which, in turn, will inform the Falkland Island Government’s environmental management strategies. 

Alexandra Mystikou

PhD Student

Alexandra joined SAERI in October 2012 as a shared PhD student with the University of Aberdeen, co-supervised by Prof. Frithjof Kuepper, Prof. Pieter van West (University of Aberdeen) and Dr Paul Brickle (SAERI). She is in the third year of her Ph.D. project which explores the seaweed biodiversity around the Antarctic Convergence in the South Atlantic. Her research is fully funded with a scholarship from the University of Aberdeen and the Falkland Islands Government. Among the main objectives of her Ph.D. research is a first-ever inventory of the macroalgal species of the Falkland Islands which are an underexplored hotspot of seaweed biodiversity and to close important gaps of the Falklands’ deep-water brown algal flora. The Ph.D. project involves molecular identification of macroalgae, cataloguing seaweed herbarium specimens and culturing of live isolates. In general her scientific interests focus on the molecular biology, ecology and physiology of macroalgae and marine angiosperms.


Before coming to Aberdeen in September 2011, she started her Bachelor’s degree in Marine Sciences at the University of the Aegean in Greece in 2007 which she finished with scholarships awarded from the Scholarship Foundation of the Greek State and the John S. Latsis Foundation in 2011. Her undergraduate thesis was an environmental impact assessment study of the extension of the 'Macedonia' Airport runway in Thessaloniki. In 2010 she undertook a summer internship with the Greek Fisheries Research Institute and was employed as a research assistant. Her study there focused on the Mediterranean marine angiosperms Cymodocea nodosa and Zostera noltii. In 2012 she got her MSc degree “Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology” at the University of Aberdeen. The subject of her MSc project led up to her current work and explored affinities between the seaweed flora of different areas in the sub-Antarctic region and the Antarctic Peninsula.