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Abigail McQuatters-Gollop

Associate Professor of Marine Conservation, University of Plymouth

I am an interdisciplinary marine conservation ecologist and lecturer in marine conservation whose teaching and research focus on the generation of national and international impact through the integration of scientific results into the policy process. I use natural and social science skills and expertise to enable the sustainable use of our marine and coastal environments through science.

My key areas of interest are the separation of climate responses in the plankton from those due to anthropogenic disturbances, ecosystem responses to the combined effects of policy measures and climate change, and the linking of ecological changes to manageable human pressures. I actively create impact through science-policy knowledge exchange, working closely with policy makers at the UK, European and international levels, to deliver policy informed by sound scientific evidence. I am leading the UK’s and OSPAR’s implementations of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive for pelagic habitats, which includes the coordination, development and management towards operationalisation of pelagic indicators and environmental targets. 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 and conservation; I hold a NERC Fellowship to fund this impact work.

I love teaching and I try to encourage my students to see why plankton are key ecosystem indicators, to develop an understanding of the practical policy process, and to understand how and why scientific research should be applied and used in a policy and conservation context.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Marine Conservation, University of Plymouth