Dr John Howe

Scottish Association for Marine Science
Scottish Marine Institute
PA37 1QA

tel: +44 (0) 01631 559257

Available to talk to the media about

  • Marine Geology
  • Scottish Geology and Landscape
  • Submarine features, diving, marine habitats, glaciation, fjords, polar science

In these languages



  • BSc (Hons) first class Geology University of Derby 1991
  • PhD Marine Geology University of Southampton 1994
  • Marine Geologist, British Antarctic survey 1994-1998
  • Scottish Association for Marine Science, Marine Geologist Lecturer 1998-2009
  • Scottish Association for Marine Science, Marine Geologist Senior Lecturer & Head of Department of Biogeochemistry and Earth Science 2009
  • Fellow of the Geological Society of London 2002

Current research

  • Quaternary glaciation of Scotland's offshore shelf seas
  • Geomorphology of UK continental shelf
  • Sediment records of environmental change

Selected publications

Arosio, R. and Howe, J.A., (2018) Late glacial and Holocene palaeoenvironmental change in the Muck Deep, offshore western Scotland. Scottish Journal of Geology

Smeaton, C., Cui, X., Bianchi, T., Cage, A.G., Howe, J.A. and Austin, W.E.N. (In Prep) Climatic and human drivers of Holocene carbon burial along the North Atlantic margin.

Arosio, R., Dove, D., O’Cofaigh C. and Howe, J.A., (2018) Submarine deglacial sediment and geomorphological record of southwestern Scotland after the Last Glacial Maximum. Marine Geology

Al-Qasmi, H., Law, G.T.W., Fifield, K., Howe, J. A., Brand, T., Cowie, G., Law, K. & Livens, F. (2018) Deposition of artificial radionuclides in sediment of Loch Etive, Scotland. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 187, 45-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.02.001

Vare, L.L., Baker, M.C., Howe, J.A., Levin, L.A., Neira, C., Ramirez-Llodra, E., Reichelt-Brushett, A., Rowden, A.A., Shimmield, T.M., Simpson, S.L. and Soto, E.H. (2018)  Scientific considerations for the assessment and management of mine tailing disposal in the deep sea. Frontiers in Marine Science 5:17  doi:10.3389/fmars.2018.00017

Tierney, K., Muir, G., Cook, G. T., Heymans, J.J. MacKinnon, G, Howe, J.A., Xu, S., Brownlow, A., Davison, N.J., Doeschate, M., and Deaville, R. (2017) Nuclear reprocessing-related radiocarbon (14C) uptake into UK marine mammals. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 124, 15, 43-50 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.07.002

Smeaton, C. Austin, W.E.N., Davies, A.L., Baltzer, A., Howe, J.A and Baxter, J. (2017) Scotland’s forgotten carbon: A national assessment of mid-latitude fjord sedimentary carbon stocks. Biogeosciences, 5663–5674, 2017 https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-5663-2017

Tierney, K. M., Heymans, J.J., Muir, G.K.P., Cook, G.T., Buszowski, J., Steenbeek, J., Walters, W.J., Christensen, V., MacKinnon, G., Howe, J.A., Zu, Z., (2017) Modelling trophic transfer of radiocarbon (14C) from a nuclear facility. Environmental Modelling and Software (submitted)

Arosio, R., Crocket, K.C., Nowell, G.M., Callard, S.L., Howe, J.A., Benetti, S., Fabel, D., Moreton, S. and Clark, C. (2017) Weathering fluxes and sediment provenance on the SW Scottish shelf during the last deglaciation. Marine Geology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2017.08.017

Fairchild, I.J., Spencer, A.M. Dilshad O. Ali, D.O., Anderson,R. P., Anderton, R., Boomer, I., Dove, D., Evans, J.D. Hambrey, M.J., Howe, J. Sawaki, Y. Shields, G.A. Skelton, A. Tucker, M.E., Wang, Z., Zhou Z. (2017) Tonian-Cryogenian boundary sections of Argyll, Scotland Precambrian Research, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2017.09.020

Tierney K.M, Muir G.K.P,  Cook G.T, MacKinnon G, Howe J.A, Heymans J.J, Hughes D.J, Xu S. (2017). Ecosystem uptake and transfer of Sellafield-derived Radiocarbon (14C) Part 2. The West of Scotland. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 115, 57-66. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.11.014  

Macdonald, F., Howe, J.A., Jones, S., Weeks, R.J., and Houpert, L. (2016) The Scottish Marine Robotics Facility: Use of unmanned vehicles for environmental measurement, monitoring and decision making. IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-23 482-485

Smeaton, C. Austin, W.E.N., Davies, A.L., Baltzer, A., Abell, R.E. & Howe, J.A. (2016) Substantial stores of sedimentary carbon held in mid-latitude fjords. Biogeosciences. 13 (20), 5771

Muir, G.K.P., Tierney, K. M., Cook, G.T., MacKinnon, G., Howe, J.A., Heymans, J.J., Hughes, D.J. & Xu, S. (2017) Ecosystem uptake of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon (14C) Part 1: The Irish Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin 114, 792-804

Tierney, K., Muir, G., Cook, G. T., MacKinnon, G., Howe, J.A., Heymans, J.J. & Xu, S. (2016) Accumulation of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon (14C) in Irish Sea and West of Scotland intertidal shells and sediments.  Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 151, 321-327 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.10.029

Hughes, D.J., Shimmield, T.M., Black, K.D & Howe, J.A. (2015) Ecological impacts of large-scale disposal of mining waste in the deep sea. Nature Scientific Communications. 5:09985 | DOI: 10.1038/srep09985

Audsley, A., Arosio, R., and Howe, J.A. (2016) A geomorphological reconstructing of the deglaciation of Loch Etive during the Loch Lomond Stadial. Scottish Journal of Geology, doi:10.1144/sjg2015-004

Harland, R., Polovodova Asteman, I, Morris, A., Harris, A. and Howe, J.A. (2016) Latest Quaternary palaeoceanographic change in the eastern North Atlantic based upon a dinoflagellate cyst event ecostratigraphy. Heliyon 2, e00114 http://dx. doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2016.e00114

Dove, D., Arosio, R., Finlayson, A., Bradwell, T., Howe, J.A. (2015) Submarine glacial landforms record Late Pleistocene ice-sheet dynamics, Inner Hebrides, Scotland. Quaternary Science Reviews, 123, 76 – 90 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.06.012

Dove, D., Finlayson, A., Bradwell, T., Howe, J.A., Arosio, R. (2016) Deglacial landform assemblage records fast ice-flow and retreat, Inner Hebrides, Scotland. From: Dowdeswell, J. A., Canals, M., Jakobsson, M., Todd, B. J., Dowdeswell, E. K. & Hogan, K. A. (eds) 2016. Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms: Modern, Quaternary and Ancient. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 46, 135–138, http://doi.org/10.1144/M46.144

Howe, J.A., Gatliff, R. and Stevenson A.G. (2015) Seabed mapping for the 21st Century – The Marine Environmental Mapping Programme (MAREMAP): Preface.  Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Available on CJO 2015 doi:10.1017/S175569101500016X

Howe, J.A., Anderton, R., Arosio, R., Dove, D., Bradwell, T., Crump, P., Cooper, R. Cocuccio, A. (2015). The seabed geomorphology and geological structure of the Firth of Lorn, western Scotland UK: as revealed by multibeam echo-sounder survey. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Available on CJO 2015 doi:10.1017/S1755691015000146