The Team


Team National collaboration and world-class expertise

AlterEco combines the expertise of scientists and engineers to develop a novel monitoring framework to deliver improved understanding in time and space shelf sea ecosystem health and functioning.

National Oceanography Centre (lead)

Matt Palmer Principal Investigator

Matthew Palmer Principal Investigator and Project Leader

Matthew is interested in using ocean gliders as a novel measurement platform and integration of ocean observations and numerical models to better understand our oceans 

Russ Wynn Co-Investigator

Russell Wynn Co-Investigator

Prof Russell Wynn is Chief Scientist of Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems (MARS) at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. He will be advising on stakeholder engagement, particularly relating to defence (Dstl) and environment (Defra) interests in marine robotics.

 Alexander David Beaton Co-Investigator

Alexander Beaton Co-Investigator

Dr Alexander Beaton is an expert engineer, developing and validating next generation marine sensors and has played a central role in developing lab-on-chip nutrient sensors at NOC, applying this technology to multiple science projects studying to diverse range marine systems on a variety of platforms including ocean gliders.

Robin William Pascal Co-Investigator

Robin Pascal Co-Investigator

Robin Pascal is head of the Electronics and Software team in the Ocean Technology and Engineering Group at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton in the UK. His interests include meteorology, air-sea interaction, wave measurement and the development of sensors and systems. He has led research into development of a number of next-generation sensors for use in shelf seas and other environments.

Charlotte Anne Williams Researcher

Charlotte Williams Researcher

Dr Charlotte Williams is an Oceanographer at the National Oceanography Centre working primarily with NOC’s glider fleet. She is interested in nutrient and oxygen dynamics and fluxes in shelf seas. In Altereco Charlotte will be looking at oxygen depletion and the importance of turbulent mixing, as well as organizing the research cruises and piloting some of the NOC gliders.


University of East Anglia (UEA)

Jan Kaiser Principal Investigator

Jan Kaiser Principal Investigator

Prof. Jan Kaiser is Professor of Biogeochemistry at the Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA). His main research interests extend from the surface ocean to the stratosphere, and focus on the use of gases, aerosols and their isotoplogues to understand present and past biogeochemical and physical processes in the atmosphere and oceans. In AlterEco, he leads the research team at UEA, which is also home to a fleet of six ocean gliders of the Seaglider type.

 Karen J. Heywood Co-Investigator

Karen J. Heywood Co-Investigator

Prof. Karen Heywood is a physical oceanographer, has led a research group at UEA for 26 years and is currently leading the UEA Seaglider group. She is expert in using in situ observations, process models and satellite remote sensing to understand ocean circulation and its interactions with the atmosphere and climate.

Martin Johnson Co-Investigator

Martin Johnson Co-Investigator

Dr Martin Johnson is a marine biogeochemist and focuses on shelf-sea biogeochemistry and air-sea gas exchange. He is chief liaison for Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas (CCSUS), director of the Marine Knowledge Exchange Network (MBKEN) that will help deliver the AlterEco impact plan and was science coordinator for NERC projects QUEST and GENIE/fy.

Rob Hall Williams Co-Investigator

Rob Hall Co-Investigator

Dr Rob Hall is a Lecturer in Shelf Sea Oceanography at the University of East Anglia with expertise in internal waves, turbulent mixing, biogeochemical fluxes, and primary productivity at in regions of complex topography using a combination of observational methods and numerical modelling.


Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)

Mark Inall Principal Investigator

Mark Inall Principal Investigator

Prof. Mark Inall is a physical oceanographer with a research focus on the marine environments of shelf seas and adjacent sub-polar oceans, including sea lochs and inshore waters, the wider shelf and shelf edge, as well as process-level studies at relatively small scales using ocean gliders. He is an expert in ocean mixing processes, in particular those resulting from tidal flow over topography, and in shelf seas environments. He led the recent NERC consortium project FASTNEt, pioneering the use of MAS in examining shelf-edge exchange processes.

 Andrew Dale Co-Investigator

Andrew Dale Co-Investigator

Dr Andrew Dale is a physical oceanographer, studying flow processes at relatively small scales and working to understand their implications for the marine environment. He combines numerical modelling and observational approaches to elucidate rotationally-dominated mixing and dispersive processes. His has focussed on coastal dynamics and ecological interactions in Scottish waters and elsewhere, and has led field-oriented studies of coastal shelf dynamics.

Matthew Toberman Researcher

Matthew TobermanResearcher

Matthew Toberman is a physical oceanographer who's interest lies in the cascade and interaction of spatial scales at work in the ocean. Matthew's PhD investigated the dynamics of and the turbulence associated with very near surface gravity currents and non linear internal waves. Since then Matthew has continued to work on the physics of shelf sea mixing. Matthew's role within ALTERECO to be one of three postdoctoral Researchers, that will deploy gliders, analyze data and disseminate findings.

Estelle Durmont Researcher

Estelle Durmont Researcher

Estelle Dumont is a highly talented research assistant at SAMS trained to Masters level in Ocean Science. She is one the UK’s leading MAS operators, with 9 years of experience with ocean glider operations in the North Atlantic and UK shelf waters. Estelle works alongside senior colleagues in the analysis, interpretation and publication of MAS-derived data sets.


Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

Jeroen Kooij Principal Investigator

Jeroen Kooij Principal Investigator

Dr Jeroen van der Kooij specializes in the ecology of pelagic ecosystems, with a focus on characterizing the distribution and abundance of mid-trophic pelagic fish species in relation to the physical, chemical and biological environment. Jeroen is involved in Work Package 2 and is responsible for the deployment of broadband acoustics on the waveglider to map and quantify zooplankton and small pelagic fish during the missions.

Veronique Creach Co-Investigator

Veronique Creach Co-Investigator

Dr Veronique Creach develops innovative tools for understanding of marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and the effects of climate change and human activities and to assess good environmental status.

David Pearce Co-Investigator

David Pearce Co-Investigator

David Pearce is a senior technologist/scientist at Cefas, responsible for the delivery of Cefas’ SmartBuoy, WaveNet, Seabed Lander and Wave Glider operational programmes. As part of the AlterEco project, David is responsible for the integration of an autonomous fisheries acoustics system onto Cefas’ Wave Glider SV3 "Lyra". David will also be leading the preparation and deployment of "Lyra" from RV Cefas Endeavour for the two AlterEco Wave Glider missions.

Sophie Pitois Co-Investigator

Sophie Pitois Co-Investigator

Dr Sophie Pitois is an ecologist and has worked at Cefas Lowestoft laboratory since 2003 studying the role of zooplankton in the marine ecosystems including impact of climate change, cascading effect to fisheries, and development of new cost-efficient methods of monitoring zooplankton. She has experience in the analysis of long-term time series and is an honorary lecturer at the University of East Anglia.

Liam Fernand Co-Investigator

Liam Fernand Co-Investigator

Dr Liam Fernand is a physical oceanographer at Cefas, leading a major program to look at circulation pathways around the UK shelf and is an Honorary Lecturer at UEA. One of his research projects focused on the spatial extent of oxygen depletion in the North Sea and used gliders to investigate the mechanisms of oxygen depletion.

Tom Hull Co-Investigator

Tom Hull Co-Investigator

Tom Hull is the UEA PDRA on sabbatical from Cefas for the duration of ALTERECO supporting the buoyancy glider missions and the wave glider. Tom is a biogeochemical oceanographer interested in air-sea gas exchange, oxygen dynamics, algal fluorescence and primary production.

Naomi Greenwood Co-Investigator

Naomi Greenwood Co-Investigator

Dr Naomi Greenwood is a marine biogeochemist, tasked with ensuring that operational oceanographic networks meet the needs to UK and EU policy drivers and leads on Cefas’ sensor strategy. She joined Cefas in 2001 and has worked on a variety of projects looking at nutrient cycling in UK shelf seas. She is part of the SmartBuoy team at Cefas, deploying instrumentation for making in situ observations of the pelagic ecosystem.


Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)

 Timothy Smyth Principal Investigator

Timothy Smyth  Principal Investigator

Dr Tim Smyth is Head of Science for Marine Biogeochemistry and Observations at PML and has been the scientific leader of the WCO for the past decade and is a member of the UKIMON executive. He co-led the technical development of the WCO autonomous buoy systems. He has a background in bio-optical measurements and modelling, particularly developing primary production algorithms for use on in situ and satellite data: this has recently been adapted for use on gliders.

Ben Loveday Co-Investigator

Ben Loveday Co-Investigator

Dr. Ben Loveday is a marine earth observation scientist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory and is bringing his expertise in biophysical oceanography and in situ and satellite data processing to the AlterEco project, to derive glider based estimates of primary productivity in the North Sea.

Angus Atkinson Co-Investigator

Angus Atkinson Co-Investigator

Angus Atkinson is a senior plankton ecologist at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. He will be involved with ground truthing of acoustic data with zooplankton composition and biomass derived from net samples


University of Liverpool (UoL)

Jonathan Sharples Co-Investigator

Jonathan Sharples Co-Investigator

Prof Jonathan Sharples has more than 20 years' experience in the study of shelf sea physics. He is the Lead PI on the NERC funded consortium Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry project 'CANDY-FLOSS' and a co-PI on the NERC funded consortium FASTNEt. He has for several years led a contribution to the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership annual report card on shelf sea stratification, which provides an accessible review of the drivers and importance of shelf sea stratification and potential impact of climate change in altering stratification over the coming decades and subsequent implications

Claire Mahaffey Co-Investigator

Claire Mahaffey Co-Investigator

Dr Claire Mahaffey is a nutrient biogeochemist and Reader in Ocean Sciences at University of Liverpool. She is a work package leader on the module ‘Organic matter and remineralisation’ in the project CANDYFLOSS. Her research focuses on Spatial and temporal distribution of marine nitrogen fixation and understanding the factors that constrain the distribution and abundance of diazotrophs, using stable N isotopes as tools to decipher the source and sink of nitrogen in the marine environment.


Partner organisations



Pathways to Impact

Blue Consulting Ltd 

Katherine Kennedy Blue Consulting Ltd

Katherine Kennedy Blue Consulting Ltd

Katherine Kennedy is the Director of Blue Ltd. and Strategic Advisor to the Marine Knowledge Exchange Network (MKEN). Katherine is leading Pathways to Impact for AlterECO.

Lisa Johnson Blue Consulting Ltd

Lisa Johnson Blue Consulting Ltd

Lisa Johnson is a motivated professional with over 14 years' experience in project management. Lisa's background in environmental sciences, with a particular focus on oceanography and atmospheric sciences, has equipped her with a strong blend of analytical, numerical and IT skills alongside her organisation, communication and management skills. She has extensive experience in the Higher Education sector and is well equipped to deal with large-scale project management, involving numerous complex organisations and multiple stakeholders.

Cansu Bayindirli Blue Consulting Ltd

Cansu Bayindirli Blue Consulting Ltd

Cansu Bayindirli is an environmental scientist with over 10 years’ research experience in microbial oceanography, genetics, marine biology and conservation. She has extensive experience in field and lab-based research, experimental design and data analysis. She has a passion for science communication and knowledge transfer. She’s been working with British Science Association, University of East Anglia, John Innes Centre and Norwich Science Festival, organising public engagement events, exhibitions and training courses.




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