Marine Social Science Research Unit

The Marine Social Science Research Unit is an inter and transdisciplinary team part of the Marine Conservation Research Group at the University of Plymouth. 

Our expertise lies in applying social science research methodologies to directly inform marine environment governance at international, regional, national and local scales. We are changemakers and impact-focussed, co creating and delivering robust social science research in partnership with statutory nature conservation agencies, sea users, NGOs, government departments and international organisations to support the sustainable and fair use of marine ecosystems.

Please contact Dr Siân Rees or any of the team members if you have an enquiry. For more information please see https://www.mssru.org/

News

Academics contribute to new report highlighting nature’s potential to fight climate change and biodiversity loss

Dr Sian Rees and Dr Matthew Ashley helped to author the marine chapter of British Ecological Society report into nature-based solutions

12 May 2021

Publications

2021

Publications

Kleitou, P., Hall-Spencer, J. M., Savva, I., Kletou, D., Hadjistylli, M., Azzurro, E., . . . Rees, S. E. (2021). The Case of Lionfish (Pterois miles) in the Mediterranean Sea Demonstrates Limitations in EU Legislation to Address Marine Biological Invasions. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 9(3), 325. doi:10.3390/jmse9030325.

Rees, S. E., Ashley, M., Evans, L., Mangi, S., Sheehan, E. V., Mullier, T., . . . Attrill, M. J. (2021). An evaluation of the social and economic impact of a Marine Protected Area on commercial fisheries. Fisheries Research, 235, 105819. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2020.105819.

Niner, H. J. and Randalls, S. (2021) ‘Good enough for governance? Audit and marine biodiversity offsetting in Australia’, Geoforum. Elsevier Ltd, 120 (January), pp. 38–45. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2021.01.009.

Niner, H. J. and Wassermann, S. N. (2021) ‘Better for Whom? Levelling the Injustices of International Conferences by Moving Online’, Frontiers in Marine Science, 8 (February). doi: 10.3389/fmars.2021.638025.

Kleitou, P., Crocetta, F., Giakoumi, S., Giovos, I., Hall-Spencer, J. M., Kalogirou, S., . . . Rees, S. (2021). Fishery reforms for the management of non-indigenous species. Journal of Environmental Management, 111690. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111690.

Niner, H. J., Jones, P. J. S., Milligan, B. and Styan, C. (2021). Exploring the practical implementation of marine biodiversity offsetting in Australia. Journal of Environmental Management, 295. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113062.

Policy reports

Stafford, R., Ashley, M., Clavey, L., Esteves, L.S., Hicks, N., Jones, A., Leonard, P., Luisetti, T., Martin, A., Parker, R., Rees, S., Schratzberger, M. & Unsworth, R. (2021) Marine and Coastal Systems. Nature based Solutions for Climate Change in the UK. British Ecological Society, London, UK.

Snow, B., Erinosh, B., Lajaunie, C., McGarr, D., Morgera, E., Niner, H., Hills, J., Howell, K., Sink, K., Merilainen, L., Lombard, M., Wahome, M., Mazzega, P., Wynberg, R., Febrica, S., Rees, S., Jeffrey, S., Pereira, T. & Sauer, W. (2021) How to enable transformative science during the International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. A policy brief from the One Ocean Hub, UKRI.

Link to document

2020

Publications

Rees, S. E., Sheehan, E. V., Stewart, B. D., Clark, R., Appleby, T., Attrill, M. J., . . . Solandt, J. -L. (2020). Emerging themes to support ambitious UK marine biodiversity conservation. Marine Policy, 103864. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2020.103864.

Peyton, J. M., Martinou, A. F., Adriaens, T., Chartosia, N., Karachle, P. K., Rabitsch, W., ...Hall-Spencer, J. M. ... Kleitou, P. ... & Roy, H. E. (2020). Horizon scanning to predict and prioritize invasive alien species with the potential to threaten human health and economies on Cyprus. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 8, 284.

Link to document

Niner, H. J. et al. (2020) ‘The pandemic push: can COVID‑19 reinvent conferences to models rooted in sustainability, equitability and inclusion?’, Socio-Ecological Practice Research. Springer Singapore, 2, pp. 253–256. doi: 10.1007/s42532-020-00059-y.

Policy reports

Hooper, T., Ashley, M., Mullier, T. and Rees, S. 2020. North Devon Marine Natural Capital Plan. Sustainability Assessment. February 2020. Report prepared for the North Devon Biosphere Reserve as part of the South West Partnership for the Environment and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) and the Marine Pioneer programme.

Kleitou, P., Savva, I., Kletou, D., Antoniou, C., Chartosia, N., Christodoulides, Y., Christou, M., Hadjioannou, L., Hadjistylli, M., Hall-Spencer, J.M., Jimenez, C., Rees, S.E. 2020. Risk Assessment for the lionfish Pterois miles (Bennett, 1828) Prepared for the European Union in the framework of the EU LIFE project LIFE16 NAT/CY/000832.

Fisher, A., McGrath, E., Rees, S.E. 2020 - Perceptions of Green and Blue Space in Plymouth: baseline findings from the Plymouth City Survey 2020. A report for the Green Minds project by research staff at the University of Plymouth. pp24.

Ashley, M., Rees, S., Mullier, T., Reed, B., Cartwright, A., Holmes, L., Sheehan, E., 2020. Isles of Scilly Natural Capital Asset and Risk Register to Inform Management of Isles of Scilly Fisheries Resources. A report by research staff the Marine Institute at the University of Plymouth.

Authored consultation responses

Selby, I., Rees, S.E., Lowther, J., Niner, H., Williams, M. 2020. Marine Institute Consultation Response to the South West Marine Plan. Pp8.

Rees, S.E. 2020 UN Decade of the Ocean consultation response.

Morgera, E., Rees, S.E., Febrica, S. 2020 Written Submission to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Biodiversity and Ecosystems. Pp14.

2019

Publications

Johnson, D. E., Rees, S. E., Diz, D., Jones, P. J. S., Roberts, C., & Barrio Froján, C. (2019). Securing effective and equitable coverage of marine protected areas: The UK's progress towards achieving Convention on Biological Diversity commitments and lessons learned for the way forward. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 29(S2), 181-194. doi:10.1002/aqc.3065.

Parry-Wilson, H. M., Rees, S. E., Leather, H., Cole, R., Rugg, C., & Attrill, M. J. (2019). Assessing behavioural and social responses to an eco-mooring trial for Zostera marina conservation management in Torbay, Southwest England. Ocean and Coastal Management, 180, 104906. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.104906.

Kleitou, P., Savva, I., Kletou, D., Hall-Spencer, J., Antoniou, C., Christodoulides, Y., . . . Rees, S. (2019). Invasive lionfish in the Mediterranean: Low public awareness yet high stakeholder concerns. Marine Policy. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2019.02.052.

Pittman, S., Rodwell, L., Shellock, R., Williams, M., Attrill, M., Bedford, J., . . . Rees, S. (2019). Marine parks for coastal cities: A concept for enhanced community well-being, prosperity and sustainable city living. Marine Policy. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2019.02.012.

Hooper, T., Börger, T., Langmead, O., Marcone, O., Rees, S. E., Rendon, O., . . . Austen, M. (2019). Applying the natural capital approach to decision making for the marine environment. Ecosystem Services, 38, 100947. doi:10.1016/j.ecoser.2019.100947.

Brennan, C., Ashley, M.C., Molloy, O. (2019) A Systems Dynamics Approach to Increasing Ocean Literacy. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00360

Ashley, M.C., Phal, S., Glegg, G., Fletcher, S. (2019). A Change of Mind: Applying Social and Behavioural Research Methods to the Assessment of the Effectiveness of Ocean Literacy Initiatives. Frontiers in Marine Science . doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00288

Policy reports

Rees, S.E., Ashley, M., Cameron, A. 2019. North Devon Marine Pioneer Report 2: A Natural Capital Asset and Risk Register. A SWEEP/WWF-UK report.

Rees, S.E., Hooper, T., Heard, J., Lockett, J. 2019. Natural Capital Assessment Tools for the North Devon Marine Pioneer (Phase 1). SWEEP project 002 – End of Phase one report.

Ashley, M.C., Assessment of effectiveness of ocean literacy tools. A presentation at Ocean Dialogues conference, Brussels, March 2019.

Molloy, O., Ashley, M., et al. ResponSEAble Deliverable 5.10 A Practical Guide to the Development of Ocean Literacy Materials and Products. 2019.

Link to document

2018

Publications

Elliott, L. R., White, M. P., Grellier, J., Rees, S. E., Waters, R. D., & Fleming, L. E. (2018). Recreational visits to marine and coastal environments in England: Where, what, who, why, and when?. Marine Policy. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2018.03.013.

Davis, K. J., Binner, A., Bell, A., Day, B., Poate, T., Rees, S., . . . Bateman, I. (2018). A generalisable integrated natural capital methodology for targeting investment in coastal defence. Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, 8(4), 429-446. doi:10.1080/21606544.2018.1537197.

Rees, S. E. (2018). Mainstreaming marine biodiversity into the SDGs: The role of other effective area-based conservation measures (SDG 14.5). Marine Policy. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2017.08.019.

Rees, S. E., Pittman, S. J., Foster, N., Langmead, O., Griffiths, C., Fletcher, S., . . . Attrill, M. (2018). Bridging the divide: Social-ecological coherence in Marine Protected Area network design. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. doi:10.1002/aqc.2885.

Policy reports

Rees, S., Ashley, M., & Cameron, A. (2018). North Devon Marine Pioneer, links between the ecosystem and ecosystem services in the North Devon Marine Pioneer.

Link to document

Tillin, H.M., Langmead, O., Hodgson, B., Luff, A, Rees, S., Hooper, T., Frost, M. 2018. Feasibility study for a Marine Natural Capital Asset Index for Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage Research Report No. 1071.

La Bianca, Giulia., Hodgson, Ben., Erni-Cassola, Gabriel., Tillin, Heidi., Howell, Kerry., Rees S.E. 2018. A report for Ascension Islands-Natural Capital Assessment. South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI). 81pp.

Hooper, T., Langmead, O., Marcone, O., Rees, S., Rendon, O., Börger, T., Beaumont, N., Attrill, M. and Austen, M. 2018. Application of the natural capital approach to the marine environment to aid decision-making. Report prepared for the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (project code ME5115).

Ashley, M., Rees, S.E., Cameron, A. 2018. North Devon Marine Pioneer Ecosystem Services Assessment Part 1: State of the art report of the links between ecosystem and ecosystem services in the North Devon Marine Pioneer. A report to WWF-UK by research staff the Marine Institute at University of Plymouth.

Authored consultation responses

Higgs, N., Thompson, R., Hutchinson, T., Hall-Spencer, J., McQuatters-Gollop, A., Embling, C., Rees, S., Sheehan, E. and Selby, I., (2018). Sustainable Seas Inquiry: Written Evidence from the University of Plymouth Marine Institute. University of Plymouth Marine Institute, Plymouth, UK, pp. 12.

Book chapters

Molloy, O., Ashley, M., Croosman, C., Glegg, G., Phal., S. (2018) A Framework for the Assessment of the Effectiveness of Ocean Literacy Initiatives in European Association of Geographers, Koutsopoulos, K.C., de Miguel Gonzalez, R.P, Schmeinck, D. Ocean Literacy: 21st Century Challenges. Key Challenges in Geography Series. Springer 2019 (in review).

Ashley, M., Austen, M., Rodwell, L., Mangi, S., Co-locating offshore wind farms and marine protected areas: a UK perspective, in Yates. C., and Bradshaw, C., (eds.) Offshore Energy and Marine Spatial Planning Taylor and Francis Ltd (2018).

Hooper, T., Austen, M., Ashley, M., Co-location of offshore wind farms and decapod fisheries in the UK in Yates. C., and Bradshaw, C., (eds.) Offshore Energy and Marine Spatial Planning Taylor and Francis Ltd (2018).

2017

Publications

Rees, S. E., Foster, N. L., Langmead, O., Pittman, S., & Johnson, D. E. (2017). Defining the qualitative elements of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 with regard to the marine and coastal environment in order to strengthen global efforts for marine biodiversity conservation outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14. Marine Policy. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2017.05.016.

Foster, N. L., Rees, S., Langmead, O., Griffiths, C., Oates, J., & Attrill, M. (2017). Assessing the ecological coherence of a marine protected area network in the Celtic Seas. Ecosphere, 8(2). doi:10.1002/ecs2.1688.

Policy reports

Rees, S., Hall-Spencer, J., Savva, I., Antoniou, C., Kleitou, P., Christodoulides, Y., Chartosia, N., Hadjioannou, L., Jimenez, C., Petrou, A., Demetriou, A., Sfendourakis, S., Kletou, D. 2017. Stakeholder Consultation and Baseline Assessment of Social Awareness on Marine Invasive Species in the Mediterranean. Preparatory Action A.1. A Report for EU LIFE Nature and Biodiversity. Preventing a LIONfish invasion in the MEDiterranean through early response and targeted REmoval (RELIONMED-LIFE) - LIFE16 NAT/CY/000832.

2016

Policy reports

Rees S., Clingham E, Rodwell L., Glegg G., and Collins M. 2016. Marine Ecosystem Services of St Helena. Part 2: Ecosystem Service Valuations, Future Development Thresholds and Management. A report for the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, St Helena Government by Marine Institute Plymouth University. pp 70.

Rees S., Fletcher S., Clingham E., 2016. Marine Ecosystem Services Assessment of St Helena. A report for the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, St Helena Government by the Centre for Marine and Coastal Policy Research, Plymouth University. pp 22.

Rees, S.E., Ashley, M., Evans, L., Mangi, S., Rodwell, L., Attrill, M., Langmead, O., Sheehan, E., Rees, A. 2016. An evaluation framework to determine the impact of the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area and the activities of the Lyme Bay Consultative Committee on ecosystem services and human wellbeing. A report to the Blue Marine Foundation by research staff the Marine Institute at Plymouth University, Exeter University and Cefas. Pp139.

Rees S.E., Foster N.L., Langmead O., Pittman S., Johnson D.E. 2016. Defining the qualitative elements of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 with regard to the marine and coastal environment. A report to the Convention on Biological Diversity expert meeting complied by the Marine Institute at Plymouth University, UK. pp. 55.

Book chapters

Hooper, T., Langmead, O., Ashley, M., (2016) Ecosystem services in Marine Environmental Impact Assessment: tools to support marine planning at project and strategic scales. In Geneletti, D., (ed.) Handbook on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessment. Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment Series Edward Elgar Publishing, Cambridge, 2016.

Meet the team