Dr Adam Rees

Dr Adam Rees

Visiting Researcher

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



Visiting Researcher - applied Marine Ecosystems Research (aMER): https://sheehanresearchgroup.com

Researcher - Blue Marine Foundation: www.bluemarinefoundation.com

I am a marine ecologist undertaking research focussed on the impacts of various anthropogenic activities on protected marine habitats. My primary focus is fisheries, having been involved with the Lyme Bay reef recovery monitoring since 2010. I have also contributed to research on the impacts of marine renewable installations and marine litter. I completed my PhD which assessed the ecosystem impacts of commercial potting on both reef habitats the associated commercial fishery, within the Lyme Bay MPA. Currently, I am working as an assistant project manager at the University of Plymouth and as a consultant to the Blue Marine Foundation. I am coordinating research projects across multiple study sites throughout the UK, with the aim of providing conservation benefits and improving the sustainability of small-scale fisheries.

PhD - Attrill (DoS) & Sheehan

The ecological effects of increasing potting density in the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area


2022: Visiting Researcher with the University of Plymouth

2018 - 2022: Postdoctoral researcher with Plymouth University and the Blue Marine Foundation

2014 - 2018: PhD researcher at Plymouth University
Attrill, M. J. (DoS), Sheehan, E. V. The ecological effects of increasing potting density in the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area

2013 - 2014: Research assistant Plymouth University

2009 - 2011: BSc (hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology

Professional membership

Marine Biological Association

Marine Conservation Society
British Ecological Society



Research interests

Marine ecology

Benthic ecosystems & recovery

Small-scale fisheries

Fishing impacts

Fisheries spatial data 

Creative practice & artistic projects

British Ecological Society photography competition category winner



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Renn C, Rees S, Rees A, Davies BFR, Cartwright AY, Fanshawe S, Attrill MJ, Holmes LA & Sheehan EV (2024) 'Lessons from Lyme Bay (UK) to inform policy, management, and monitoring of Marine Protected Areas' ICES Journal of Marine Science Publisher Site , DOI
Hickman J, Richards J, Rees A & Sheehan EV (2023) 'Shipwrecks act as de facto Marine Protected Areas in areas of heavy fishing pressure' Marine Ecology 45, (1) , DOI
da Silva C, Samaai T, Kerwath S, Adams L, Watson K, Bernard A, van der Heever G, Angel A, Schoombie S & Frainer G (2023) 'Leaping into the future: Current application and future direction of computer vision and artificial intelligence in marine sciences in South Africa' Research Ideas and Outcomes 9, Publisher Site , DOI
Easton BAA, Scott K, Richards J & Rees A (2023) 'Catch per Unit Effort of Decapod Species, C. pagurus and H. gammarus, from a Voluntary Marine Reserve' Fishes 8, (8) 390-390 , DOI
Davies BFR, Holmes L, Rees A, Attrill MJ, Cartwright AY & Sheehan EV (2021) 'Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management works—How switching from mobile to static fishing gear improves populations of fished and non‐fished species inside a marine‐protected area' Journal of Applied Ecology , DOI Open access
Sheehan EV, Holmes LA, Davies BFR, Cartwright A, Rees A & Attrill MJ (2021) 'Rewilding of Protected Areas Enhances Resilience of Marine Ecosystems to Extreme Climatic Events' Frontiers in Marine Science 8, , DOI Open access
Rees A, Sheehan EV & Attrill MJ (2021) 'Optimal fishing effort benefits fisheries and conservation' Scientific Reports 11, (1) , DOI Open access
Rees SE, Ashley M, Evans L, Mangi S, Sheehan EV, Mullier T, Rees A & Attrill MJ (2020) 'An evaluation of the social and economic impact of a Marine Protected Area on commercial fisheries' Fisheries Research 235, 105819-105819 , DOI Open access
Davies BFR, Attrill MJ, Holmes L, Rees A, Witt MJ & Sheehan EV (2019) 'Acoustic Complexity Index to assess benthic biodiversity of a partially protected area in the southwest of the UK' Ecological Indicators 111, , DOI Open access
Sheehan EV, Rees A, Bridger D, Williams T & Hall-Spencer JM (2017) 'Strandings of NE Atlantic gorgonians' Biological Conservation 209, 482-487 , DOI Open access
Morgan A, Sheehan E, Rees A & Cartwright A (2020) 'Towards a Marine Socio-Ecology of Learning in the South West of England' in Pontius J; Mueller MP; Greenwood D Place-based Learning for the Plate: Hunting, Foraging and Fishing for Food Springer 141-167 , DOI Open access
Rees A (2019) The Lyme Bay experimental potting study. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs http://sciencesearch.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&Completed=0&ProjectID=18771 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Open access