Heather Stewart

Miss Heather Stewart

Marine Geologist

Location: Edinburgh

Tel: 0131 6500 259

E-mail Heather Stewart


  •  2008 – ongoing : Marine Habitat Mapping Project Leader
  •  2001 – ongoing : Marine Geologist, British Geological Survey
  •  2000 –2001 : Marine Geologist with Caledonian Geotech
  •  1997 –2001 : BSc (Hons), University of Glasgow, Geology and Applied Geology

Research interests

  • Marine Environmental Mapping Programme (MAREMAP): Mapping the offshore sea-bed substrate, geomorphology and Quaternary Geology utilising shallow seismic, sidescan sonar, multibeam echosounder and sample data. Development/promotion of new and novel techniques for acoustic data interpretation.
  • Marine habitat mapping working with marine biologists to investigate the relationship between sea-bed substrate and associated biological communities.
  • UK involvement in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.

Professional association

  •  2002 : Fellow of the Geological Society of London

Boards and committees

  •  2012 – ongoing : MASTS Deep-Sea Forum

Current projects and collaboration

  • Marine Sea-bed Mapping Initiative focusing on the glacial geomorphology and evolution of the Firth of Forth region, East Scotland.
  • Geological interpretation of the sea-bed sediments, geomorphology and geological evolution of the Explorer and Dangeard canyons of the UK South West Approaches (UK).
  • Studies into the initiation, growth and demise of cold-water coral mini-mounds. A collaborative project (MINIMOUND) led by Prof. Dr. David Van Rooij (Universiteit Gent).
  • Modelling the distribution of vulnerable ecosystems: Ongoing research with Dr Kerry Howell (University of Plymouth, Mapping the Deep Project Video) looking at modelling the distribution of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (Annex I of the Habitats Directive) in deep-water areas west of the United Kingdom.
  • Glacistore: Understanding Late Cenozoic glaciation and basin processes for the development of secure, large scale, offshore CO2 storage (North Sea). This project has formed the basis of an IODP proposal to the Integrated Ocean Discovery Program (852-Pre).

Published outputs

Key papers

STEWART, H A, and LONG, D. In Press. Glacigenic debris flows observed from high-resolution seafloor imagery generated from 3D seismic data, Faroe-Shetland Channel, North East Atlantic. From: DOWDESWELL, J A, CANALS, M, JAKOBSSON, M, TODD, B J, DOWDESWELL, E K and HOGAN, K A (eds). Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms: Modern, Quaternary and Ancient. Geological Society, London, Memoirs. © The Geological Society of London.

STEWART, H A. 2015. What lies beneath: offshore data acquisition and how we turn those data into science. Proceedings of the Open University Geological Society, Vol. 1, 23-33. ISSN: 2058-5209. http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/510725/

PIECHAUD, N, DOWNIE, A, STEWART, H A, and HOWELL, K L. 2015. The impact of modelling method selection on predicted extent and distribution of deep-sea benthic assemblages. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

STEWART, H A, DAVIES, J S, GUINAN, J C, and HOWELL, K L. 2014. The Dangeard and Explorer Canyons, South Western Approaches UK: Geology, sedimentology and newly discovered cold-water coral mini-mounds. Deep-Sea Res. II. Vol. 104, 230-244. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.08.018

DAVIES, J S, HOWELL, K L, STEWART, H A, GUINAN, J, and GOLDING, N. 2014. Defining biological assemblages (biotopes) of conservation interest in the submarine canyons of the South West Approaches (offshore United Kingdom) for use in marine habitat mapping. Deep-Sea Res. II. Vol. 104, 208-229. doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2014.02.001

DIESING, M, GREEN, S, STEPHENS, D, LARK, M, STEWART, H, and DOVE, D. 2014. Multibeam acoustic data interpretation for seabed mapping: Comparison of manual, geostatistical, object-based image analysis and machine learning approaches. Continental Shelf Research. doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2014.05.004

PHAM, C K, RAMIREZ-LLODRA, E, ALT, C H S, AMARO, T, BERGMANN, M, CANALS, M, COMPANY, J B, DAVIES, J, DUINEVELD, G, GALGANI, F, HOWELL, KL, HUVENNE, V A I, ISIDRO, E, JONES, D O B, LASTRAS, G, MORATO, T, GOMES-PEREIRA, J N, PURSER, A, STEWART, H, TOJEIRA, I, TUBAU, X, VAN ROOIJ, D, and TYLER, P A. 2014. Marine litter distribution and abundance in European Seas, from the shelf to deep basins. PLOS ONE, Vol 9(4), e95839. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095839

STEWART, H A, and LONG, D. 2012. The timing and significance of gully incision on the eastern flank of the Faroe–Shetland Channel and its impact on seafloor infrastructure. Near Surface Geophysics, Vol. 10, 317-331. doi: 10.3997/1873-0604. 2012014

LARK, R M, DOVE, D, GREEN, S L, RICHARDSON, A E, STEWART, H, and STEVENSON, A. 2012. Spatial prediction of seabed sediment texture classes by cokriging from a legacy database of point observations. Sedimentary Geology, Vol. 281, 35-49.

HOWELL, K L, PULIDO ENDRINO, I, and STEWART, H A. 2011. When the species is also a habitat: application of predictive species modelling software Maxent to biogenic habitat distribution modelling. Biological Conservation, Vol. 144, 265-2665.

STEVENSON, A, STEWART, H and ZISKA, H. 2011. Sea-bed geology and Environment. 229-238 in RITCHIE, J D, ZISKA, H, JOHNSON, H, and EVANS, D (EDITORS). 2011. Geology of the Faroe-Shetland Basin and adjacent areas. British Geological Survey Research Report, RR/11/01; Jarðfeingi Research Report RR/11/01.

EVANS, D, ARMOUR, A, BATHURST, P, GAMMAGE, J, SWALLOW, J, GRAHAM, C, and STEWART, H. 2003. Introduction and database. 11-15 in The Millennium Atlas: petroleum geology of the central and northern North Sea. EVANS, D, GRAHAM, C, ARMOUR, A, and BATHURST, P (editors and co-ordinators). (London: The Geological Society of London.)