4 Oct 2018 L-R: Professor Richard A. Williams, Steph Weir, Richard Lochhead MSP and Liam McArthur MSP Heriot-Watt’s Year of the Sea celebrations continued this week at a packed reception at the Scottish Parliament. MSPs, industry collaborators, education partners, representatives from the voluntary sector and the University, gathered together to learn about Heriot-Watt’s leading research in the field of marine ecology, technology and conservation. Guests enjoyed speeches from Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science; Stephanie Weir, Final Year PhD student at Heriot-Watt’s Orkney Campus; and Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. We are proud of our community partnerships and how these active engagements help shape our priorities for research and teaching to ensure to that all we do is well aligned to the future needs of society. Sponsored by Liam McArthur MSP, the event showcased a range of distinctive Scottish and international projects and highlighted what a precious resource the marine environment is, both for Scotland and globally. Exhibits covered the environmental impact of plastics in our oceans, scientific diving in Malaysia, underwater sensing sonar and a groundbreaking initiative to restore Native European oysters to the Dornoch Firth. Liam McArthur MSP with Dr Mark Hartl, Associate Professor of Marine Biology at Heriot-Watt Professor Richard A. Williams said, “This year, our Year of the Sea celebrations have raised the awareness of the sea and the potential benefits of researching the blue economy with schools, the public, industry partners, funders and policy makers. We continue to highlight the work of our researchers across all of our global campuses in areas including marine energy, conservation, reducing pollution, sustainable seafood and blue carbon. “We are proud of our community partnerships and how these active engagements help shape our priorities for research and teaching to ensure to that all we do is well aligned to the future needs of society.” As a uniquely global university, with five campuses in three countries, the international theme was very much alive at the event with Provosts Mushtak Al Atabi from the Malaysia Campus and Ammar Kaka from the Dubai Campus also in attendance. Throughout 2018, Heriot-Watt is celebrating its Year of the Sea, engaging with government, schools, families, business and the third sector. More than 17,000 members of the public have attended a series of events, lectures and activities aimed at raising awareness of marine related research to people of all ages. This research and engagement showcase continues next week at the House of Commons.