Susan Evans

        Photo of Susan Evans SAMS

PhD student

I am a marine biologist with broad interests in marine biogeochemical cycles. My research interests include the microbial cycling of organic sulphur compounds such as dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) and the climatically active trace gas dimethylsulphide (DMS).

I am also interested in the microbiology of oxygen minimum zones and the impact of aquaculture on methanogenic Archaea.

Contact details:
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DMSO is the dominant dimethylated sulphur compound in the ocean and is important as both a source and a sink of the climatically active gas DMS. Despite several known production pathways of DMSO, concentrations of DMSO in seawater are not continually increasing.

The aim of my research is to improve our understanding of the key microorganisms involved in the production and removal of DMSO in the ocean but also to determine which environmental parameters influence the production and removal of DMSO. My research uses a multidisciplinary approach including a combination of molecular (DNA stable isotope probing) and trace gas analysis.

The main objectives of my work are to...

  • >determine if DMSO reduction, using DMSO as an alternative electron acceptor to oxygen, is a viable or key process in the marine environment
  • >investigate the environmental controls on DMSO reduction
  • >determine which microorganisms are key in DMSO reduction



Dr David Green, SAMS

Professor Angela Hatton, National Oceanography Centre

Dr Arlene Ditchfield, SAMS



Natural Environment Research Council



University of the Highlands and Islands

Conference talks

UHI Postgraduate Conference, Inverness College 4-6th November 2013

Molecular Microbial Ecology Group Meeting, Norwich


Poster presentations 

Second EMBO Aquatic Microbial Ecology conference (SAME14), Uppsala, Sweden

6th International DMS(P) symposium, Barcelona, Spain

Census of Marine Life (MAR-ECO) workshop, Kristiansand, Norway

Academic awards

2012: Prize for best Masters Dissertation project. SAMS

2009: Dean’s List for academic excellence. University of St Andrews


Travel grants

2017: Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association - £200

2015: University of the Highland and Island Conference and Training Fund - £595

2014: University of the Highland and Island Conference and Training Fund -  £393

2013: NERC support to attend SOLAS summer school - £1,670


Fieldwork experience

2009: ECOMAR JC037 cruise RRS James Cook to Mid-Atlantic Ridge (PI: Monty Priede): 47 days at sea

2013: CMORE summer course cruise R/V Kilo Moana to Station ALOHA (PI: Matthew Church): 11 days at sea. 

2016: Resolving DMS II. R/V Oceanus in the NE subarctic Pacific (PI: Ronald Kiene): 18 days at sea.


Professional memberships

Challenger Society


Oceanography Society

Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA)


Professional training courses

2013: CMORE summer course on Microbial Oceanography: from genomes to biomes. Honolulu, Hawaii

2013: 6th International SOLAS (Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study) Summer School. Xiamen, China


Teaching experience 

Reader and Scribe training

Second marker on Marine Science BSc year 3 module 'Marine Biogeochemical Cycling'

Employment history

Current: Hyperbaric chaber team member. National Facility for Scientific Diving. SAMS

2008: Summer placement in immunohistochemistry. GlaxoSmithKline



2012 MRes (with distinction) Ecosystem-based Management of Marine Systems. University of St Andrews

2010 BSc (Hons) Marine Biology. University of St Andrews