Microplastics on the beach
The Earth is facing a multitude of environmental crises from rising temperatures and increased extreme storm events, to species and ecosystem loss and plastics in our oceans. The need to act and change our behaviours is imperative and the responsibility of all – from individuals to governments across the world.
At Plymouth,  our research, working in collaboration with partners tackles fundamental challenges to achieve greater socio-ecological resilience and environmental restoration. Underpinned by evidence-based transdisciplinary research integrated with planning, delivery and evaluation, our researchers are addressing local environmental priorities and working to achieve national and international sustainability goals.

Tackling climate change challenges

Decommissioning – Relative Effects of Alternative Management Strategies (DREAMS) 

DREAMS will look to develop a new understanding of man-made structures and how they influence the marine ecosystem. Using novel integration and analyses of existing data, and structured systematic and meta-analytic approaches, outcomes are fed into state-of-the-art ecosystem models to forecast ecosystem states with trade-offs. The project aims to inform decision-makers and stakeholders about the benefits and detriments of different decommissioning strategies in the North Sea. 

Preventing Plastic Pollution (PPP) – seeking to understand and reduce the impacts of plastic pollution in the marine environment 

Working in partnership with 18 organisations from across France and England, Preventing Plastic Pollution seeks to understand and reduce the impacts of plastic pollution in the marine environment. By looking at the catchment from source to sea, the project will identify and target hotspots for plastic, embed behaviour change in local communities and businesses and implement effective solutions and alternatives.
Preventing Plastic Pollution

INSITE Synthesis – towards a scientific consensus on marine man-made structures

This collaborative project, led by Plymouth Marine Laboratory, aims to provide an independent scientific evidence base to understand the influence of man-made structures on the ecosystem of the North Sea. With the complex nature of marine systems and their management, a worldwide consortium of scientists from across the whole system will take a systems analysis approach to determine causes, consequences and management responses to change.
Oil rig in the North Sea

Providing evidence to support policy-making processes

Climate adaptation for nature

The UK Government has committed to halting the long-term decline of species abundance and protecting 30% of land and sea by 2030. In line with her work to understand the impacts of climate change, and in turn how nature is responding, Dr Sian Rees contributed to this POSTnote which summarises options to allow nature to adapt to a changing climate and ensure the long-term effectiveness of conservation strategies.
An English Rural Landscape in the Chiltern Hills with lane between tall hedgerows


Centre for Decarbonisation and Offshore Renewable Energy

Centre for Decarbonisation and Offshore Renewable Energy 

In response to climate change imperatives, we are bringing together a critical mass of leading research and expertise from across the University of Plymouth. Through co-creation and collaboration with partners from business, government and key communities from across the globe, the Centre aims to be a beacon for the University’s whole-system transdisciplinary approach to solutions-oriented research, accelerating sustainable developments in decarbonisation and renewable energy.