Heather Stewart

Miss Heather Stewart

Marine Geologist

Location: BGS Edinburgh

Tel: 0131 6500 259

E-mail Heather Stewart

ORCID: 0000000255906972


  • 2015 – ongoing : PhD Research Student (part-time) at University of Stirling
  • 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

Boards and committees

  • 2012 – ongoing : Convener of the MASTS Deep-Sea Forum
  • 2016 – ongoing : Editor Scottish Journal of Geology
  • 2016 – ongoing : Member International Scientific Committee for GeoHab

Current projects and collaboration

  • Marine Sea-bed Mapping Initiative focusing on the glacial geomorphology and evolution offshore eastern Scotland and northeastern England. This project is linked to my current PhD studies at the University of Stirling with Dr Tom Bradwell looking at the impact of glacial/interglacial cycles and ice streaming on the Quaternary landforms and sediments in the North Sea Basin.
  • Collaborative study of the deep-water environment of the Hatton-Rockall Basin with Marine Scotland Science, OceanLab (University of Aberdeen) and the Scottish Association of Marine Science. See our article on the cruise First direct evidence of a deep-water cold-seep ecosystem within UK waters.
  • Multidisciplinary study of hadal trenches including the South Shetland Trench (sub-Antarctica), Kermadec Trench (SW Pacific) and Atacama Trench (E Pacific). This work is in collaboration with Dr Alan Jamieson (University of Newcastle).
  • 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.
  • Geological interpretation of the sea-bed sediments, geomorphology and geological evolution of the Explorer and Dangeard canyons located offshore in the 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).
  • 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.
  • To better understand the seismic stratigraphy and sediments of the Malin Sea region off northwest Ireland. Collaborative project with National University of Ireland, Maynooth and the Geological Survey of Ireland.

Key papers

  • STEWART, H A and Jamieson, A J. 2018. Habitat heterogeneity of hadal trenches: considerations and implications for future studies. Progress in Oceanography, Vol. 161, 47-65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2018.01.007
  • Collart, T, Verreydt, W, Hernàndez-Molina, F J, Llave, E, Léon, R, Gomes-Ballesteros, M, Pons-Branchu, E, STEWART, H, and Van Rooij, D. 2018. Sedimentary processes and cold-water coral mini-mounds at the Ferrol canyon head, NW Iberian margin. Progress in Oceanography. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2018.02.027
  • Neat , F C, Jamieson, A J, STEWART, H A, Narayanaswamy, B E, Collie, N, Stewart, M, and Linley, T D. 2018. Visual evidence of reduced seafloor conditions and indications of a cold-seep ecosystem from the Hatton–Rockall basin (NE Atlantic). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315418000115
  • STEWART, H A, and Long, D. 2016. Glacigenic debris flows observed in 3D seismic high-resolution seafloor imagery, Faroe–Shetland Channel, NE 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, 46. © The Geological Society of London, 2016. DOI: 10.1144/M46.94
  • Amaro, T, Huvenne, V A I, Allcock, A L, Aslam, T, Davies, J S, Danovaro, R, De Stigter, H C, Duineveld, G C A, Gambi, C, Gooday, A J, Gunton, L M, Hall, R, Howell, K L, Ingels, J, Kiriakoulakis, K, Kershaw, C E, Lavaleye, M S S, Robert, K, STEWART, H A, Van Rooij, D, White, M, and Wilson, A M. 2016. The Whittard Canyon – a case study of submarine processes. Progress in Oceanography. doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2016.06.003
  • Goff, J A, Gulick, S P S, Perez Cruz, L, STEWART, H A, Davis, M, Duncan, D, Saustrup, S, Sanford, J, and Urrutia Fucugauchi, J. 2016. Solution pans and linear sand bedforms on the bare-rock limestone shelf of the Campeche Bank, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Continental Shelf Research, 117, 57-66. doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2016.02.005
  • Davies, J S, STEWART, H A, Narayanaswamy, B E, Jacobs, C, Spicer, J, Golding, N, and Howell, K L. 2015. Benthic assemblages of the Anton Dohrn Seamount (NE Atlantic): defining deep-sea biotopes to support habitat mapping and management efforts with a focus on Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. PLOS One, Vol 10(5): e0124815. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124815
  • Lark, R M , Marchant, B P, Dove, D, Green, S L, STEWART, H, and Diesing, M. 2015. Combining observations with acoustic swath bathymetry and backscatter to map seabed sediment texture classes: the empirical best linear un-biased predictor. Sedimentary Geology, Vol. 328, 17-32. doi: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2015.07.012
  • 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. Vol. 105(4), 251-261. doi: 10.1017/S1755691015000122
  • Ross, L K, Ross, R E, STEWART, H A, and Howell, K L. 2015. The influence of data resolution on predicted distribution and estimates of extent of current protection of three ‘listed’ deep-sea habitats. PLOS ONE, Vol 10(10), e0140061. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140061.
  • 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/
  • 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 L, Stephens, D, Lark, R M, STEWART, H A, 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, 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Howell, K L, Holt, R, Endrino, I P, 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.

Professional association

  • 2002 : Fellow of the Geological Society of London

Published outputs