First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened the new Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI) building at the University of St Andrews.
The SOI is a world leader in interdisciplinary research studying the marine environment which forms a key focus for research excellence in the marine sciences.
SOI develops scholarship, commercialisation of research and advanced-level teaching delivered through contributing academic schools at the University of St Andrews.
The SOI is located on the site of the original ‘Gatty Marine Laboratory’ by St Andrews’ East Sands which was opened in 1896. The Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) transferred to St Andrews in 1996 and SOI was formed in 2009.
The new £16.5m SOI building incorporates a state-of-the-art aquarium as well as researching and teaching facilities.
This will create a global hub for marine research by bringing together research colleagues in one building and will also accommodate visiting scientists and enhance facilities for outreach work. The centre will also house a visitor centre.
Ms Sturgeon said: “St Andrews has an excellent reputation for world class research and developing international collaborations.
“The Scottish Oceans Institute very much helps reinforce that reputation and its work on marine science will help ensure that our marine environment continues to be well managed while sharing learning and best practice.”