Research Projects and Collaborations

Funded Research

Resilient coasts: optimising co-benefit solutions (Co-Opt)  (2021-2024)

This project will research sustainable coastal management and adaptation and greater use of softer ‘green’ solutions that: (1) work with nature; (2) are multifunctional, and; (3) can deliver additional benefits to society, including contributing to the achievement of net zero.

Partnering with the National Oceanography Centre, Universities of Liverpool and Cranfield, and also with professional practitioners including the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Environment Protection Agency,  NatureScot, North West and North Wales Coastal Group, and the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust.

Funded by UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the UK Sustainable Management of Marine Resources Programme

Community Capabilities and Marine Protected Area Governance (2018-2021)

Partnering with conservation NGOs A Rocha, and Natiora Ahy, this project has focussed on the challenge of making marine protected areas effective for nature and for people.

Phase one (2018-2019) explored the application of a ‘governance baseline approach’ to bring together a partnership of organisations to learn and collaborate.

Phase two (2019-2020) developed this approach for Marine Protected Areas in Kenya, Ghana and Madagascar.

Phase three (2020-21) is seeking to develop pro-conservation livelihood initiatives to benefit stakeholder communities living near marine protected areas, and implement actions for improved protected area governance.

Funded by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund (Scottish Funding Council)


Coastal Biodiversity for Ecosystem Services (CBESS) (2012-2017)

This interdisciplinary project with input from ecologists, economists and social scientists, investigated the benefits society gains from key coastal habitats, mudflats and salt marshes.  Input from the MACE team focussed on the cultural benefits gained from recreation and enjoyment of species biodiversity.

Funded by UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)


Seascape Characterisation: Foundations for a multidisciplinary Approach (2015-16)

This project in partnership with the Tay Estuary Forum, explored how the concept of seascape could be used in marine planning, and the potential for visualisation technology to engage multidisciplinary specialists with offshore and underwater worlds.

Funded by the Carnegie Trust


Funded PhD’s


Socio-demographic change in coastal communities

Conducted by Dr Paula Duffy

Funded by UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Collaborative PhD with Marine Scotland.


Adaptation to climate change in islands

Conducted by Dr Fiona Cunningham

Funded by Climate eXchange and MASTS