EMJMD ACES+ Consortium

Scottish Association for Marine Science & the University of the Highlands and Islands (SAMS-UHI)

SAMS-UHI is a partner of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Aquaculture, Environment and Society (EMJMD ACES+). It delivers marine research and education aimed at improving our understanding of the sustainable use of our marine environment. Established in 1884, it is a learned society that is among the oldest oceanographic organisations in the world.

We are an international marine research institute working on multi-disciplinary research themes that investigate marine renewable energy, Arctic seas, dynamic ocean processes, and marine robotics and technologies. We also provide a multitude of services to business through our consultancy subsidiary company, SAMS Research Services Ltd. We provide innovative higher education degrees and short training courses. To deliver our research and education activities we are supported by outstanding research-grade facilities, capabilities and infrastructure. During your time at SAMS-UHI you will find out more about our research activities, and we hope you will be as excited about what we do as we are!

SAMS-UHI has specialised in the environmental impacts of aquaculture for over 25 years. We have particular interests in cold water marine environments, new innovative technologies and systems to reduce this impact and coastal policy integrating natural, socio-economic sciences to implement an ecosystem approach to the planning and management of coastal environments. All senior staff members have considerable experience in influencing policy at European and international level. SAMS-UHI has also recently gained Associate Institute Status of the United Nations University and is the only institute out of 13 focusing on marine issues. This places us in a unique position to influence industry and stakeholders at a global level and provide marine-related policy advice to the UNU and other international organisations.

University of Crete, Greece

The University of Crete (UoC) is the co-ordinator of the EMJMD ACES+ and you will spend the second semester in Year 1 based at this University. The UoC has many years’ experience in supporting international students with their studies.

The UoC was established in 1973 and accepted its first students in 1977-78. It now has 16 Departments in five Schools (Philosophy, Education, Social Sciences, Sciences & Engineering, and Medicine) as well as a number of affiliated research-oriented institutions, including the Skinakas Observatory, the Natural History Museum, and the University General Hospital. Currently, over 16,000 undergraduates and 2500 postgraduate students are registered at the University. They are educated by an outward looking academic faculty of around 500 members, supported by adjunct lecturers, post-doctoral researchers, laboratory support staff and instructors, as well as around 300 technical and administrative support staff.

The international orientation of the University is reflected in its track record of collaborations with many of the leading research and educational institutions in Europe and worldwide as well as active promotion of mobility and exchange programmes.

During your time at the University of Crete, you will be based at the Department of Biology and you will work closely with a range of aquaculture organisations including the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture which is based at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR). The HCMR and a range of other aquaculture based organisations host internships for ACES+ students during Semester 2. We fully encourage you to engage with staff and researchers at the HCMR. The Biology Department is a centre of excellence focusing on fish physiology, endocrinology, behaviour, welfare, fish and product quality, as well as aquaculture-environmental interactions of Mediterranean marine species. Many of the key staff involved in the delivery of the programme have international reputations in aquaculture-related topics and also considerable experience in coordinating Erasmus placements in industry.

University of Nantes, France

The University of Nantes (UoN) is a partner of the EMJMD ACES+ specialising in shellfish biology. You will spend the first semester of Year 2 at this University. The UoN has over 45,200 students and 1,560 professor and researchers, catering for a wide range of research interests and topics.

You will be based in the Faculty of Sciences at the University (Faculty of Sciences), which has strong research links with the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER). Researchers in this faculty are internationally recognised for research focusing on shellfish biology, and physiology and coastal zone management issues related to shellfish aquaculture. Key staff have considerable international experience in shellfish-related topics, postgraduate teaching and supervision (Laboratoire Mer Molecules Sante MMS). Again, we fully encourage you to not only work hard but to explore the city and take part in the social activities organised by the University during your stay.

Radboud University

Radboud University Nijmegen has an international reputation for research and teaching on stress and welfare of aquaculture species, the effects of fish feed on bone formation and the welfare of fish in recirculating aquaculture systems. The University has considerable experience in research and teaching collaborations through Erasmus exchange programmes with Norway, Crete, Spain and France. Key members of staff also have wide ranging experience in influencing policy at European and international level. Staff at the University will be available to deliver guest lectures and seminars during semesters 1, 2 and 3 of the EMJMD ACES+ and will also be happy to host research dissertation projects during the fourth semester of the course.


The programme also has several Associate Partners that bring many benefits to the course and our students:

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) – based in Crete, the HCMR is an active government organisation in the field of marine research and provides internships for EMJMD ACES+ students, and also placements and supervisory support for research dissertations

United Nations University – The UNU IN-WEH programme will provide guest lecturers and project supervisors, bringing to the group well-established connections with partner and third country institutions throughout the UNU network. These connections will enable the course to be promoted world-wide as well as bringing highly innovative teaching and expertise to the programme based on issues that impact on these regions.

Huinay Scientific Field Station (HSFS), Chile is the only scientific field station in the vast Chilean Patagonia. It has direct access and strong collaborative links with the aquaculture industry in the region. This field station will host an optional 10 day field trip for the EM JMD ACES students,  including field visits to finfish, shellfish and macroalgal production sites. Throughout the trip, networking events will also be provided.*

*Please note that the costs of this fieldtrip are in addition to the course fees and need to be met by the student

Andromeda S.A., based in Crete

Benth’Ostrea Prod, based in Bouin in France

Biomar, based in Grangemouth, Scotland

Caledonian Oyster Company Ltd, based in Barcaldine, Scotland

European Aquaculture Society, based in Belgiu

European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform

FAI Aquaculture Ltd, based in Acharacle, Scotland

Fusion Marine Ltd, based in Oban, Scotland

Ifremer (Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploration de la MER

Jersey Sea Farms, Jersey

MOWI, based on the west coast of Scotland

Nireus AquacultureA., Crete

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd, London

Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, Scotlan

Scottish Seafarms, based on the west coast of Scotlan

SELONDA Aquaculture S.A., Athens, Greec

SMIDAP (Syndicat Mixte Aquaculture et Pêche Pays de la Loire)

UNESCO – Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

Xanthella Ltd, based in Oban, Scotland

“This proposed initiative is quite timely and spans UNU-INWEH’s research priorities around food security and integrated coastal management. It is particularly of interest because it covers a wide spectrum of stakeholders ranging from the research community down to the growers.”
Dr Z. Adeel, Director, UNU-INWEH