Mel Austen is Professor of Ocean and Society and Director of the Centre for Systems Thinking: Ocean, Land and Society. For more than 20 years, she has been leading and delivering a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary research projects to support the blue economy and protect our oceans. She is member of the UK Government’s Natural Capital Committee (NCC) and its Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).
Co-creating solutions and advising on policy to protect our oceans
Taking the systems thinking approach
The person behind the pioneer
To enquire about future collaborations, please contact Professor Mel Austen
We urgently need interdisciplinary research to understand and explain the impacts on natural capital, ecosystem services and the functioning of the ocean. And identify solutions that create equitable and sustainable outcomes globally from our use of the ocean and its natural resources.
Professor Mel Austen
Current projects and research activity
Net Zero Carbon: from policy to action
Research Festival 2022
Plymouth Pioneers: marine researchers
- A Professor Jason Hall-Spencer
- A Professor Awadhesh Jha
- A Dr Sanjay Sharma
- A Professor Kerry Howell
- A Professor Deborah Greaves, OBE FREng
- A Professor Kevin Jones
- A Professor Gerd Masselink
- A Professor Alison Raby
- A Professor Richard Thompson, OBE FRS
- A Professor Mat Upton
- A Dr Abigail McQuatters-Gollop
- A Professor Mel Austen
Home of marine
Our marine and maritime excellence in world-leading research informs policy agendas for the sustainable management of ocean resources. Our work has significantly improved how to forecast extreme coastal events and their impact on communities. We were the first to study the ecological effects of ocean acidification, and now lead the UK agenda for offshore renewable energy. On national and international levels, we have influenced key policies, conservation practices, responses to climate change, public perception of marine issues, and are defining the pathways toward tangible solutions.
The culture of close collaboration across the city with researchers, policymakers, and local businesses has resulted in Plymouth’s nomination for the UK’s first National Marine Park – an initiative underpinned by research at the University.