About me

The best day of my life: diving in the pristine Sipidan Marine Protected Area in Malaysian Borneo.

I am an associate professor in marine conservation at the University of Plymouth. I am also the company director of Ecosystem Approaches Limited, a small environmental consultancy. I use natural and social science skills and expertise to enable the sustainable use of our marine and coastal environments through science. My research focuses on applying and implementing marine conservation policy in the UK and Europe, with a focus on planktonic systems;  I am an active participant in science-policy knowledge exchange, working closely with British and EU policy makers. I am particularly interested in separating climate responses in the plankton from those due to anthropogenic disturbances, and linking ecological state changes to manageable human pressures. This work is a direct response to UK and EU policy needs and is required by EU and UK decision makers to support marine management; in 2013, and again in 2018, I was awarded a NERC Fellowship to support this work. From 2019 – 2021 I served as Defra’s Senior Fellow – Marine for the new Systems Research Progamme in the Chief Scientific Adviser’s Office. I love to teach, and I try to encourage my students to see why plankton are crucial ecosystem indicators, how research can be applied and used in a policy context, and to recognize why making connections between research and application is important.

On a science-policy visit to Japan, one of my favorite places.