Karen MacKechnie


        Karen in white lab coat in the laboratory preparing sterile medium for algal cultures.

Microbiology Laboratory Assistant

I’ve lived in Oban all my life and have had various jobs in different career sectors. I joined SAMS as a member of the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP) team in February 2017 after taking a chance on doing something completely different.

I am now extremely lucky to have a job I enjoy, much to the envy of friends and family.

Contact details:
  • karen.mackechnie@sams.ac.uk
  • +44 (0)1631 559 381


My role at SAMS

As the Microbiology Laboratory Assistant my main task is making sterilised culture media to a specific recipe and instructions for the CCAP support scientists as well as filling out customer orders of feshwater algal media, protozoan media or marine media, which are sent out all over the world.

To do is, I also have to prepare stock solutions; maintain chemical list; ordering chemicals and adhering to COSSH regulations.

Another main task that I preform at SAMS is maintaining several CCAP strains, including brown seaweeds and protozoa which can be supplied to customers.

I am also involved in the settling and handling of phytoplankton samples for the phytoplankton monitoring programme.

Finally, I train new staff and students how to prepare media for microbiology.