Elizabeth Cottier-Cook is Head of the United Nations University (UNU) and Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) Associate Institute, Professor in Marine Biology, specialising in Marine Invasive Species and Biosecurity at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), Programme Leader for the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Aquaculture, Environment and Society PLUS (EMJMD ACES+) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

She has published over 75 peer-reviewed papers, including a book and 5 book chapters on a variety of topics ranging from sea urchin nutrition to environmental impacts of aquaculture to seaweed biosecurity.

She is currently leading a £6M research programme “GlobalSeaweedSTAR” funded by UK Research and Innovation – Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) involving DAC-list countries from around the world, which are involved in seaweed aquaculture and on the Steering Committee for the Lloyds Register Foundation funded ‘Safe Seaweed Coalition’. She is also a member of the UN FAO Technical Working Group on Pathway Management Planning for Aquaculture Biosecurity, UN FAO Steering Committee for the Global Aquaculture Conference 2021, ICES Working Group on Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO) and the Scottish Government Working Group on Marine Non Native Species. She is a handling editor for the journal ‘Aquatic Invasions’ and is currently a member of the expert network for the UK Commission for UNESCO.

She has also led the development of biosecurity guidance for marine invasive non-native species, which in now being used by environment agencies across the UK and has worked in collaboration with colleagues in China, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, USA, numerous countries in the Mediterranean and in the last 5 years has worked on horizon scanning projects for invasive non-native species in the UK, Europe and the UK Overseas Territories. As part of the GlobalSeaweedSTAR programme, she is currently developing a ‘Progressive Management Pathway for Seaweed Biosecurity’, in collaboration with FAO.