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Bridging Response to Research

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

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Date:  24th January 2023 

Time: 14:00 to 15:00 GMT

Duration:  1 hour


Technical advances are often made through key industry-academic alliances in a diverse range of engineering, medical and scientific disciplines.  ​

Oil spill response studies are no stranger to research programmes and have advanced our knowledge, understanding and capability over the last 50 years.  ​

Typically, oil spill response personnel focus on the overarching operational considerations that maximise effectiveness when selecting techniques which together comprise the response strategy to mitigate any given spill scenario.  Research scientists conversely may focus on a much more detailed aspect of the spill which may have limited immediate operational relevance to the clean-up effort.  ​

Bridging this gap between operational relevance and the scientific focus can be enabled by linking response scientists with the academic research programme to inject an element of “operational realism” with the aim of producing outputs of direct relevance and application to push the boundaries of future spill response techniques and capability.

Join Rob Holland and Rhea Shears as they explore this topic in this webinar.

Meet the Presenters.

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Rob Holland

Rob holds BSc and PhD qualifications in Marine Biology and has over 30 years’ experience ranging from academic research, teaching, consultancy and the last 20 years in the oil spill response industry. Rob has worked at OSRL since 2003 and has delivered a wide range of spill response preparedness projects for OSRL members globally including oil spill response plans, capability reviews, exercises, training, spill support and secondments. 

Rob currently sits in OSRL's global Technical Department and is responsible for the development of new and novel techniques and approaches to spill response which includes the application of marine autonomous systems. He is also responsible for OSRL's outreach to the scientific research and academic community to ensure oil spill response good practice is shared.

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Rhea Shears

Rhea holds a Master of Research (Science) degree, in which she studied the effects of pharmaceuticals on the freshwater environment at the University of Portsmouth. Whilst completing my degree, she became a member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Rhea works as an oil spill responder for OSRL, helping to assist with the advisory and clean up of a spill for our clients globally. Her current role is Aberdeen Representative helping the team in the Aberdeen office and supporting UKCS members.


Previously I have worked within the health and safety sector, completing occupational monitoring to a variety of companies from construction to food processing, to ensure they are compliant with HSE regulations.