School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

David Whitaker

Biological Lab Research Team Leader



Originally from Whitley Bay I went to university in Stirling to study Aquaculture (BSc and MSc). After graduating from Stirling Univeristy I worked at the UK's first commercial Cod hatchery in Machrihanish, Scotland. I moved back to Newcastle when I took the post of Teaching and Aquarium Technician on August 1st 2004.

After working as a Technician and Lab Manager in Marine Science until 2017, I am now the Biological Research Labs Team Leader in the School of Natural and Environmental Science

Roles and Responsibilities

I am responsible for the Biological Research Laboratories team, incorporating research labs and aquarium facilities within the School. Although primarily based in the Ridley Building on campus, we have facilities in the Devonshire and Agriculture Buildings. I also am involved with the facilities at the Dove Marine Lab and the Blyth Marine Station. I provide technical assistance to all researchers within the school, both in terms of experimental design and facilities provision.  Oversee laboratory safety, lab waste disposal and regular maintenance/repair of equipment.

I manage the Central Services technical team in the Devonshire Building, which consists of sterile services, laboratory stores provision and laboratory gases.

I deliver inductions to new researchers in the labs, UG, PG and staff/visitors. Train new users in some of the facilities/equipment we have, and assist in purchasing/sourcing of equipment/facilities where required.

I hold various safety training certificates including Gas Cylinder; as well as holding roles of deputy Fire Marshall and trained First Aider.

I am a Dangerous Goods Shipping supervisor, with DG by Air certificate and ADR (by road) awareness; so I'm able to assist in the planning, packaging and shipping needs for Dangerous Goods in the school.

I am regularly used as a member of crew on the RV Princess Royal; assisting in the deployment of sampling equipment for research, as well as teaching. I hold a number of certificates to act as crew for commercial contracts as well as teaching and research.


BSc Hons Aquaculture, MSc Aquaculture (University of Stirling) 

Previous Positions

Cod Hatchery Technician, Machrihanish Marine Farms, Machrihanish, Argyll, Scotland.