Katherine Whyte
Ecological Statistician // Marine Biologist
Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland


During my PhD, I was employed as a tutor and demonstrator (2017-2021) in the School of Biology at the University of St Andrews. I have experience teaching and/or marking on the following undergraduate and masters courses, in particular for quantitative skills for biologists (mathematics, statistics, and use of R statistical software):


I am delighted to be currently supervising and working with:

  • Philippa Wright, PhD Student at University of St Andrews: "The role of habitat and prey quality in marine mammal decision making within a developing offshore wind landscape". Co-supervised with Gordon Hastie (University of St Andrews) and Sophie Smout (University of St Andrews).


  • Nicole Wilson, MSc Thesis Project at University of St Andrews (2020-2021): "Where the wild seals are: using tag data to assess spatial and temporal patterns in diving behaviour of harbour seals". (Co-supervised with Gordon Hastie)
  • Robert Grisenthwaite, Undergraduate Honours Project at Heriot-Watt University (in collaboration with National Museums Scotland) (2016-2017): "A comparison of species composition in coastal saline lagoons in the Firth of Forth, south west Scotland and the Uists". (Co-supervised with Dan Harries and Fiona Ware)


I enjoy sharing my work with a wide range of audiences, both in person and online. As well as communicating my own research, I am passionate about increasing engagement with science, statistics, and nature in general.

I have experience in giving talks to the general public, leading small group activities (eg. on tours around museum collections, rockpooling explorations, activities with young people), and in particular in designing and running outreach activities at science festivals and public events. I actively share my work on Twitter (@katey_whyte), and have written several guest blog posts on projects that I’ve been involved with (eg. National Museums Scotland, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage).

I have been actively working in public engagement and outreach since 2016, and became a STEM Ambassador in 2019.

Biomusic 2019

In 2019, I collaborated with a composer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Aileen Sweeney, who composed a piece of music inspired by my research. The composition, entitled "Spindly White Flowers", was performed in November in St Andrews.

You can listen to an excerpt from the performance here:

The piece was inspired by our discussions on the effects of offshore wind farms on marine wildlife. Here, it tells the story of what may happen after the wind farm is built, as the area slowly comes back to life, building up an artificial reef and attracting larger predators. The name comes from a newspaper article describing their appearance as "spindly white flowers, planted in neat rows"- an appropriate analogy for how the turbines can become part of the environment itself.

Some Outreach Highlights:

                Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland
                James Clerk Maxwell Building, King's Buildings,
                Peter Guthrie Tait Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3FD
                Copyright © Katherine F Whyte, 2024
                All photos © KF Whyte, unless otherwise accredited