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 Francis Neat

Francis Neat

Honorary Associate Professor




I'm a fish biologist with a broad research background in freshwater and marine ecosystems and species. My PhD was on fish behaviour and I undertook post-doctoral research in Zambia, Mexico and Italy. I then spent the best part of 15 years as a researcher (fisheries ecology) at the Scottish Government’s Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen. There I led research on deepwater marine ecosystems, and the migration patterns and population structure of fish. During that time I was chair of the International Council for the Exploration of Sea’s Working Group on Deep-water Ecology and was involved in establishing a network of Marine Protected Areas for Scotland’s seas. I am now professionally based on London and work for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)  – the world’s most prominent standard setter for sustainable fisheries. The MSC uses market-based mechanisms to incentivise fisheries to become sustainable. I lead a programme of research, monitoring and evaluation of the global impact of the MSC. I work in collaboration with staff and students at #Exeter Marine and the Environmental Sustainability Institute in Falmouth. Current research projects focus on issues such as by-catch in MSC fisheries and analysis of how MSC creates more sustainable fisheries around the world.

Broad research specialisms

Fisheries Management

Certification of sustainable fisheries

Fisheries Ecology

Deepwater Marine Ecosystems

Fish stock structure and migration

Fish tracking and tagging

Marine Protected Areas and Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems


BSc (Edinburgh: Zoology), PhD (Glasgow)


Research interests

I focus my research on aspects of marine and freshwater biology related to fisheries and human impacts, but deep-down I’m fundamentally curious about the extraordinary diversity of fishes that have evolved on this planet. I have a particular interest in deep-water ecosystems and the spatial ecology (movements) of fishes and other aquatic animals. My fish research has spanned Cichlid fishes in the African great lakes, Blennies in Mediterranean, Cod in the North Sea, fishes of the deep north Atlantic and sharks and skates off the Scottish west coast. The research we do at the MSC can be found here. Broader links to my full research background can be found at: ResearchGate: and Google Scholar.


Lecturer on Masters in Marine Conservation Biology

Supervision / Group

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