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Dr Alejandro Gallego

Oceanography  Group Leader, Marine Scotland Science

Telephone: +44 (0)131 2442697

E-mail:  a.gallego@marlab.ac.uk or alejandro.gallego@gov.scot

Address: Marine Scotland Science, Marine Laboratory Aberdeen, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen AB11 9DB, SCOTLAND

Research Interests

As leader of the Oceanography Group, I have an interest in oceanographic research and monitoring in Scottish waters.  Much of this is focused on understanding the processes that drive the circulation patterns, and the trends and variability in the environmental conditions of our seas (inshore and offshore), based on observations and models.  This research work has direct applications in aquaculture, fisheries, conservation, and marine renewable energy.  We also carry out research (especially modelling) on aspects of oil spill preparedness, both in the deep waters off the Scottish continental shelf and on the shelf seas.  Traditionally, my own research has focused on biological and bio-physical modelling of, primarily, the early-life stages of fish but also zooplankton. I have done research into the mechanisms that control growth and survival of these organisms, the population dynamics of the plankton community in general, and transport and connectivity patterns between populations and areas.  A lot of the applied work carried out by the Oceanography Group focuses on transport and connectivity (of organisms, pollutants, diseases, etc.).

External collaborations and projects

I collaborate with scientists across Scotland, the UK, Europe and beyond, in particular with colleagues involved in the following external projects, activities and groups:

  • (Relatively recently completed) TeraWatt and EcoWatt2050: EPSRC-funded projects investigating Marine Renewable Energy resources and the potential effect of MRE developments on the marine environment, largely using modelling tools.There are some other MRE-related initiatives I am currently involved in (e.g. a DST-UKIERI project on sustainable MRE developments in India).

  • AlterECO: a NERC-funded project investigating the use of marine autonomous technologies for research and monitoring (e.g. for MSFD) in UK shelf seas.

  • INTERREG-funded COMPASS (investigating connectivity for priority species and conservation areas between Ireland and Scotland) and MyCOAST (co-ordinating and developing marine observatories within the Atlantic Area).

  • MASTS (http://www.masts.ac.uk): a pooling initiative bringing together marine researchers from around Scotland, where I am a member of the Steering Group for the Dynamics & Properties of Marine Systems Theme, and have played a significant role in a number of activities (e.g. workshops) sponsored by the Theme.

  • Honorary Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen.

  • Co-supervision of students with academic partners.Currently in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen (PhD) and the University of East Anglia (PhD).


  • BSc in (Marine) Zoology, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela.

  • MSc in Fisheries Biology and Management, University of Wales, Bangor.

  • PhD, Imperial College London.

  • Diploma of Imperial College, Imperial College London.

External Committees and Responsibilities

I am a member of the ICES Working Group on Integrative, Physical-biological and Ecosystem Modelling (WGIPEM).  I am also a member of the steering group of the Dynamics and Properties of Marine Systems Theme within MASTS (Marine Alliance Science and Technology Scotland).  I participate in a number of working groups managed by Oil & Gas UK (Oil Spill Response Forum, Modelling Workgroup and various Technical Interest Groups of the latter).  I am a Contributing Editor of Marine Ecology Progress Series and have extensive experience as a reviewer for over 20 different scientific journals and some 10 funding agencies, including NERC (UK), NSF (US), The Research Council of Norway (at least annually since before 2000) and the European Commission.

Most Recent Publications

Gallego, A., Side, J., Baston, S., Waldman, S,. Bell, M., James, M., Davies., I., O’Hara Murray, R., Heath, M., Sabatino, A., McKee, D., McCaig, C., Karunarathna, H., Fairley, I., Chatzirodou, A., Venugopal, V., Nemalidinne, R., Yung, T. Z., Vögler, A., MacIver, R. and Burrows., M.  (2017) Large scale three-dimensional modelling for wave and tidal energy resource and environmental impact: methodologies for quantifying acceptable thresholds for sustainable exploitation.  Ocean & Coastal Management.

Side, J., Gallego, A., James, M., Davies, I., Heath, M., Karunarathna, H., Venugopal., V., Vögler, A. and Burrows, M. (2017)  Developing methodologies for large scale wave and tidal stream marine renewable energy extraction and its environmental impact: An overview of the TeraWatt project.  Ocean & Coastal Management.

Gallego, A., Gibb, F.M., Tullet, D. and Wright, P.J.  (2017) Bio-physical connectivity patterns of benthic marine species used in the designation of Scottish nature conservation marine protected areas.  ICES Journal of Marine Science 74 (6): 1797-1811 doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsw174

Sheehan, PMF., Berx, B., Gallego, A., Hall, R.A., Heywood, K.J., and Hughes S.L. (2017)  Thermohaline forcing and interannual variability of northwestern inflows into the northern North Sea.  Continental Shelf Research 138: 120–131.

Berx, B., Geldart, M., Lee, D. and Gallego, A. (2017) Stability of Stored Salinity Samples. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 15: 960–966.

Abascal, A.J., Sanchez, J., Chiri, H., Ferrer, M.I., Cárdenas, M., Gallego, A., Castanedo, S., Medina, R., Alonso- Martirena, A., Berx, B., Turrell, W.R. and Hughes, S.L. (2017)  Operational oil spill trajectory modelling using HF radar currents: A northwest European continental shelf case study.  Marine Pollution Bulletin 119 (1): 336-350.

Gallego A., O’Hara Murray R., Berx B., Turrell W.R., Beegle-Krause C.J., Inall M., Sherwin T., Siddorn J., Wakelin S., Vlasenko V., Hole L.R., Dagestad K.F., Rees J., Short L., Rønningen P., Main C.E., Legrand S., Gutierrez T., Witte U. and Mulanaphy N. (2018) Current status of deepwater oil spill modelling in the Faroe-Shetland Channel, Northeast Atlantic, and future challenges, Marine Pollution Bulletin 127: 484-504

Full Publications List

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Title:Dr Alejandro Gallego
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