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Personal profile


I am a marine ecologist, with a specialism in benthic ecology. I studied for a BSc(hons) in environmental biology at Edinburgh Napier University, then went on to take an MRes in ecology and environmental management at the University of York and a PhD in benthic ecosystem functioning at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. I worked as a post-doc at the University of Liverpool and then at the Univeristy of Oslo. I've worked at Cefas since 2008.

My research focusses on marine and coastal biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. I'm interested in species' biological traits, using them to examine links between species and ecosystem function, to establish how these links might vary across environments and to investigate how human activities such as fishing, marine energy or management practices impact on ecological function. I work with social scientists and environmental economists to understand marine ecosystem services and benefits and how our uses of the sea can strike a balance between conservation, enjoyment, commercial need and societal gain.

One of my other research interests is in developing new approaches for surveying and assessing coastal ecosystems and I am particularly interested in the application of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) and other remote sensing tools for mapping and assessing vegetation and fauna from coastal and shallow subtidal habitats.

I have a research network in more than 20 countries globally and collaborate with colleagues across Europe and the South Pacific. I'm a PhD and MSc supervisor and and have been a member of the Cefas-UEA Collaborative Centre for Sustainably Use of the Seas (CCSUS) since its inception, leading the Energy and Food Security theme.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Newcastle University

Award Date: 2 Jul 2005

Master of Research, University of York

Award Date: 4 Aug 2001

Bachelor of Science, Napier University

Award Date: 5 Jul 1997

External positions

Principal Marine Ecologist, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science

4 Oct 2008 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or