University of St Andrews



My background is as an environmental geographer. My doctoral research investigated sustainability issues and management regimes around the UK Coast, focusing on the Severn Estuary, Essex Estuaries, Ceredigion Coast and Chichester Harbour. Following an internship at the University of Delaware and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, US), I took up a post as a postdoctoral research associate with the Marine and Coastal Environment Research Group at Cardiff University, where I was investigator on a series of large scale European research coastal and marine research projects EUROSION, ECOPORTS, COASTATLANIC, COREPOINT, SPICOSA and IMCORE.

My research focuses on three linked themes:

1. Governance of Oceans and Coasts: exploring the geographical design of different decision-making systems, and the spatial and environmental implications arising from their existing and possible organisation. I conduct policy-relevant research at local, regional and international scales, and seek to relate my findings to broader theories of environmental management and sustainability to build a deeper knowledge about human-environment relations.

2. My research has focused on challenges and opportunities for developing Interdisciplinary, approaches to Sustainability Science, as well as doing applied research as part of teams, on issues such as Adaptation to Climate Change at the coast.

3. Cultural and Social Significance of the Oceans: I am currently exploring opportunities to consider the cultural and importance of marine space through approaches such as seascape assessment, cultural ecosystem services and new ways of configuring social data to explore the value of our coasts and oceans.


  • Leader of the Marine and Coastal Environment team
  • Head of Second Year Sustainable Development
  • Scottish Oceans Institute Executive
  • Fellow of Earth Systems Governance Programme, Oceans Task Force;  Royal Geographical Society, Coastal and Marine Research Group Committee; Convenor of Comparative MSP Forum, Marine Spatial Planning Research Network; Chair Marine Planning and Governance Forum, Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS);


Research Interests

  • Governance, Planning and Management of Marine and Coastal Areas
  • Integrated and Interdisciplinary Sustainability Science research with links to Policy, including Climate Change Adaptation
  • Cultural and Social Significance of the Oceans: Seascape, CES, Well-being


Teaching Interests

  • Governance, Planning and Management of Oceans and Coasts
  • Climate Adaptation
  • Interdisciplinary Sustainability Science
  • Module SD4111 Governance for Sustainability