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Personal profile


I am Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy, and Director of the Sustainability and the Environment research theme, at the University. 

As an advocate for global ocean conservation and a sustainable future, I’m committed to furthering research and activities – inside and outside the University – that generate positive impact for people and the planet.

As Theme Director for Sustainability and Environment research, my aim is to build on existing successes in ocean research by encouraging interdisciplinary, cross-University working. I’m also keen to strengthen emerging potential areas of excellence, which include growing agendas around sustainable food and sustainable fashion. 

I also lead the University’s Revolution Plastics initiative – driving interdisciplinary research and innovation to solve challenges in areas as diverse as recycling, packaging and wastewater treatment.

I am one of the top 10 most-cited scientists in the field of Marine Policy (Google Scholar), with more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and research reports, and my expertise in ocean conservation has been developed during 20 years of research and practice. 

This has been recognised by my role as Ocean Lead of the International Resource Panel by UN Environment, and my former role as Chief Strategy Officer for the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre. I continue to work extensively with the UN family of ocean and biodiversity conventions, governments, agencies, businesses, universities and a wider network of international conservation organisations.

After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Geography (University of Wales, Aberystwyth), I completed an MSc in Coastal Zone Management (Bournemouth University). 

After working as a Scientific Officer at the government’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), I completed a PgCert in Teaching and Learning in HE, then a PhD in Coastal Management in the UK (both Nottingham Trent University).

I have also previously served as the University of Plymouyh’s Director of the Centre for Marine and Coastal Policy Research, and as Associate Head of the School of Marine Science and Engineering – and held positions on the editorial boards of the Coastal Management Journal and the Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 


Research Interests

My key research interests are in the field of ocean policy and economy include conservation, the sustainable blue economy, the deep ocean, and ocean literacy. 

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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