I obtained a B.Sc. in Marine Biology at Swansea University where I went on to obtain an M.Res. in Aquatic Ecology and Conservation. My master's thesis focused on the role of seagrasses as indicators of change in the British Isles where multiple characteristics were used to assess how seagrasses responded to varying degrees of anthropogenic stress. During my masters, I co-founded the marine conservation charity Project Seagrass. Project Seagrass aims to conserve seagrass ecosystems through education, influence, research, and action. As a director, I focus on working to enhance understanding of the importance of seagrass using creative design to communicated scientific research to the wider public, as well as communicating this directly through workshops and events.
My current work at the Sustainable Places Research Institute is focused on tropical seagrass meadows where I work closely with Research Fellow Dr Leanne Cullen-Unsworth on an international project investigating drivers of seagrass decline across multiple scales throughout South East Asia. More recently I have been involved as a technical expert in the development of The Dugong and Seagrass Research Toolkit and as a scientific advisor in the development of BBC’s landmark series Blue Planet 2.
I co-developed SeagrassSpotter (www.seagrassspotter.org), an entry-level citizen science project. Established in 2016 in the UK, the project uses a smartphone app and website database as its platform and facilitates a participants’ ability to spot something interesting and upload geo-tagged photographs. Expanding across Europe in late 2016, since its release the project has accumulated over 700 sightings from 93 locations in 21 countries and engaged nearly 350 users.
I am especially interested in developing technologies for seagrass conservation which include citizen-science applications and drones where my work and research has taken me to Mozambique, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Mexico.