Marine Scotland Science (MSS)

Marine Scotland Science (MSS)

Research Infrastructure affiliation: EMBRC
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Website address:
Local Access Officer: Dr. Iveta Matejusova (



MSS is governmental laboratory providing the evidence to support the policies and regulatory activities of the Scottish Government through a programme of monitoring and research. MSS provides expert scientific, economic and technical advice and services on marine and freshwater fisheries, aquaculture, and the aquatic environment and its flora and fauna. The science programmes monitor the aquatic environment and improve knowledge of marine and freshwater ecosystems and the life they supports. Our long-term time series (one dating back to 1893) are essential for understanding natural variation and, ultimately, human induced changes in our seas.

MSS science activities are enhanced by an engineering section and fishing net store w hich allow MSS to design and build specialist marine samplers, fishing gear and other equipment. MSS has a bio-secure facility dedicated to aquatic animals with a containment level that allows working on any exotic host/pathogen species.


High containment aquarium is composed of 3 independent units that can house any combination of tanks. Each room/system can be independently controlled and run on seawater/freshwater and temperature control (5 – 25 °C), feed regime. The lighting system can simulate lighting conditions anywhere in the world by inputting longitude and latitude. Fish behaviour unit can house a variety of marine species and uses natural seawater maintained in a recirculation system of approximately 400m3. The water is double filtered and passed through UV prior to entering the system, the recirculation system comprises of biological filtration, pressure sand filtration, fluid sand bed filters, UV, Ozone, and cooling. MSS has two marine research ships which enable to study both our near shore and offshore ecosystems, including the deep waters. MSS has a dedicated ecosystem monitoring site in North Sea which provides samples/data for environmental assessments and marine biodiversity. MSS laboratories cover areas including analytical chemistry (contaminants, nutrients, ocean acidification, micro-plastics), biology, ecotoxicology, acoustics, virology, bacteriology, parasitology, pathology, molecular biology, physics, ecology, plankton, otolith reading, fish scale reading, fish house and engineering and electronic workshops. MSS statistical team provides statistical consultancy for variety of experimental designs and statistical analysis of experimental and observational data.


The high containment disease aquarium unit support all research areas of fish and shellfish infectology, vaccinology, treatment and prophylaxis for fish and shellfish diseases . The unit can provide a combination of large (1,000 l) or small (350 l) tanks as well as a post mortem area/room and surgical procedures areas. The Fish Behaviour Unit houses a concrete annular tank (10m diameter) with a rotating gantry which provides excellent acoustic properties. The annular tank can be used for a variety of work from swimming energetics to marine renewables and sound/lighting experiments. Other part of the unit offer a range of smaller tanks which can be temperature controlled. Molecular biology unit offers wide range of activities including high throughput nucleic acid purification, PCR, real-time PCR, and can handle genetically modified organisms. The microscopy unit houses a range of microscopes such as Olympus SZ-CTV, Nikon CFW15X Optiphot, Olympus BX41, BX50 and BX60, Zeiss Imager M1 and Leica DMLB fluorescence microscope, Zeiss Observer Z1 with Vivatome, Evos FLC fluorescence microscope . The histopathology unit offers tissues processing, staining, and embedding and houses Leica RM2245 and RM2155 microtomes, R.A.Lamb Stainmate, Olympus DotSlide virtual slide scanning system.

Support offered

TA-users have access to lab and aquarium space, to standard disposables and administrative and logistic support and to the services in the units listed above, including troubleshooting with, and basic training in, the use of platforms. Other amenities include an in-house cafeteria. MSS does not provide lodging, but restaurants, hotels and B&Bs are nearby.

Reimbursement procedures

Download here the guide for reimbursement procedures for travel and subsistence in place at MSS.
Reimbursement procedures will be specified in the User Access Contract. National and institutional rules apply. 
Please contact Dr. Iveta Matejusova ( for further info.