Meet the 2020 SAIC summer interns

SAIC is delighted to introduce you to our 2020 summer interns: Lisa McLean, Marnie Davidson, Lori Smith and Jim Cameron. This year, we have taken on four young people, each doing a 10-week internship. Based in Shetland, the Trossachs, Paisley and Edinburgh, the interns will have the opportunity to work alongside our team as well as with the wider industry - online and, where possible, face-to-face.

Lisa McLean:

“My name is Lisa and I am from Paisley. I am a student from the University of Stirling, studying a BSc in Environmental Geography. My university course is where I first learned about aquaculture and since then, I have had a desire to learn more and gain experience within the industry; leading me to apply for this internship. Aquaculture is so important for Scotland and I admire the work that SAIC does in order to tackle industry challenges and promote good welfare for marine life. As a geographer, I am very excited to be working for an industry that is aiming towards a more sustainable future; whilst researching into future threats that Scotland specifically faces. I think food security is a very important global issue requiring new ways of innovation and research, in order to secure a better future for everyone. I want to help promote this and make people more aware of the threats and challenges that aquaculture faces; allowing more people like myself to become part of the fight against climate change and food insecurity. I am excited to now be a part of SAIC and I look forward to learning more about the amazing work that is in progress.”

Marnie Davidson:

“I am Marnie and I am originally from Edinburgh. I have just graduated from the University of Glasgow with a first-class degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology. During my degree, we were taught very little about the aquaculture industry; but thankfully, I was luckily enough to have a supervisor who was very knowledgeable about the subject and encouraged me to do some additional research around the industry. Subsequently, in my final year, I chose to focus my dissertation on whether e-DNA metabarcoding could be used in aquaculture as an effective early warning for harmful organisms, which I found so fascinating! This inspired me to decide that I want to pursue a career in aquaculture; as I hope that the industry will play a role in conserving and protecting the depleted wild-stocks - replacing wild-caught fish with farmed fish. I feel very lucky to have gained a place on the internship programme with SAIC. I believe that their visions of improving sustainability, fish welfare and reducing environmental impacts will massively benefit the industry and it is something I am very excited to get involved in!”

Lori Smith:

“My name is Lori Smith and I was born and raised in the Shetland Islands, where aquaculture is one of the core industries. Being surrounded by aquaculture and knowing the value it holds in my local area, I have always been interested to learn more about it and figure out if it is something I could be part of. I had just completed my third year at Robert Gordon University studying Forensic and Analytical Science when I saw that SAIC was offering an aquaculture internship. Immediately, I was excited as this presented an opportunity to gain more knowledge about an industry that is so valuable and important to our local economy. Our home in Shetland sits right next to the shore, where we can see several mussel and salmon farms along with local creel boats. While growing up, I passed the farms regularly when travelling out the voe on our family boat and I always thought it was really interesting. I think aquaculture is vital for our future and I am so excited to be given this opportunity with SAIC.”

Jim Cameron

“Hello everyone! My name is Jim and I am proud to be a member of the SAIC 2020 internship team. I am a student at the University of Glasgow and I am just about to start my 4th year of studying Marine and Freshwater Biology. I have always been extremely fascinated by Scotland’s outstanding natural environment and I think the way in which aquaculture utilises these aspects and brings economic benefits to Scotland is amazing; whilst making efforts to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. I think sustainability is so important in creating a secure future for Scotland. The reason I like SAIC is, whilst producing these benefits, they are also considerate of the natural resources Scotland has to offer and are keen to protect them. I was drawn to this internship opportunity as I am very passionate about raising awareness of this and promoting environmental sustainability in the Scottish industries. Scottish aquaculture is a great outlet for these visions, and I am motivated to get actively involved to help make a difference.”

We are all extremely excited to be part of the SAIC internship programme and look forward to learning more about the industry and meeting everyone on the amazing SAIC team! – Lisa, Marnie, Lori and Jim