Dr Christopher Stokes

Dr Christopher Stokes

Senior Research Fellow (Impact)

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



Senior Research Consultant for the Coastal Marine Applied Research (CMAR) consultancy group.

Kit has been a consultant for CMAR since October 2015. Since then he has worked on coastal processes consultancy projects relating to engineering and major infrastructure (for example, rail and power stations), coastal flooding, coastal erosion, beach safety, and marine renewable energy impact assessment, with the projects spanning England, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, South Africa, and Cape Verde. Kit's research and consultancy projects often involve numerical modelling of coastal processes and forecasting of coastal hazards such as flooding and rip currents. Since 2015, Kit has worked with many of the NGOs involved in UK coastal management, including Royal National Lifeboat Institution, National Trust, Natural England, and Duchy of Cornwall, and Environment Agency.

In 2015 Kit completed a PhD investigating the effects of wave energy extraction on waves, beach morphology, and coastal water-users. He has a wide range of analytical and fieldwork experience, including completing around 100 topographic beach surveys, assisting in multiple storm response surveys, conducting social research, and statistical analysis and modelling. He has authored 6 peer-reviewed journal articles, 2 conference papers, and has presented at 5 international conferences. Prior to his PhD, Kit worked as an assistant coastal modeller at a consultancy in New Zealand, focusing on beach response to submerged structures.

Impact fellow for the 5-year NERC funded SWEEP project

Since March 2017, Kit is also an impact fellow on the SWEEP project (The South West Partnership for Environment and Economic Prosperity). Within this role, Kit and Dr Tim Poate have developed a coastal overtopping warning system for the south west of England and south Wales. SWEEP is one of only two awards made under the new NERC Environmental Science Impact Programme. Funded for £5million from 2017-23, SWEEP seeks to use NERC and related research to generate economic and/or social improvements in the South West while also enhancing the natural capital of the region. Uniting the University of Exeter, Plymouth University and Plymouth Marine Labs, the programme started in February 2017 and has brought together over 40 businesses and policy decision makers who have contributed a further £11m in co-funding. 


(2011-2015) PhD Coastal impacts of Marine Renewable Energy

(2010-2011) Assistant coastal modeller; ASR Marine Consulting; Raglan; NZ

(2009) MSc Applied Marine Science

(2008) BSc (Hons) Surf Science and Technology



Research interests

  • Beach morphodynamics
  • Wave climate and nearshore processes
  • Stakeholder interactions with the coastal zone
  • Wave transmission across structures

Research groups



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Masselink G, Brooks S, Poate T, Stokes C & Scott T (2022) 'Coastal dune dynamics in embayed settings with sea-level rise – Examples from the exposed and macrotidal north coast of SW England' Marine Geology 450, , DOI Open access
Scott T, Masselink G, Stokes C, Poate T, Wooler A & Instance S (2022) 'A 15-year partnership between UK coastal scientists and the international beach lifeguard community' Continental Shelf Research 241, 104732-104732 , DOI Open access
Hird S, Stokes C & Masselink G (2021) 'Emergent coastal behaviour results in extreme dune erosion decoupled from hydrodynamic forcing' Marine Geology 442, , DOI Open access
Konstantinou A, Stokes C, Masselink G & Scott T (2021) 'The extreme 2013/14 winter storms: Regional patterns in multi-annual beach recovery' Geomorphology 389, 0-0 , DOI Open access
Castelle B, Masselink G, Scott T, Stokes C, Konstantinou A, Marieu V & Bujan S (2021) 'Satellite-derived shoreline detection at a high-energy meso-macrotidal beach' Geomorphology 383, 107707-107707 , DOI Open access
McCarroll RJ, Masselink G, Valiente NG, King EV, Scott T, Stokes C & Wiggins M (2021) 'An XBeach derived parametric expression for headland bypassing' Coastal Engineering 165, 103860-103860 , DOI Open access
Stokes C, Poate T, Masselink G, King E, Saulter A & Ely N (2020) 'Forecasting coastal overtopping at engineered and naturally defended coastlines' Coastal Engineering 164, (0) 0-0 , DOI Open access
Stokes CH & Conley DC (2018) 'Modelling Offshore Wave farms for Coastal Process Impact Assessment: Waves, Beach Morphology, and Water Users' Energies , DOI Open access
Stokes C, Masselink G, Revie M, Scott T, Purves D & Walters T (2017) 'Application of multiple linear regression and Bayesian belief network approaches to model life risk to beach users in the UK' Ocean & Coastal Management 139, 12-23 , DOI Open access
Stokes C, Russell P & Davidson M (2016) 'Subtidal and Intertidal Three-Dimensionality at a High Energy Macrotidal Beach' Journal of Coastal Research 75, (sp1) 472-476 , DOI
Stokes C, Davidson M & Russell P (2015) 'Observation and prediction of three-dimensional morphology at a high-energy macrotidal beach' GEOMORPHOLOGY 243, 1-13 Author Site , DOI Open access
Stokes C, Beaumont EF, Russell P & Greaves D (2014) 'Anticipated Coastal Impacts: What coastal water-users think of marine renewables and why' Ocean and Coastal Management
Stokes C, Beaumont E, Russell P & Greaves D (2014) 'Coastal impacts of marine renewables: perception of breaker characteristics by beach water users' Journal of Coastal Research (70) 389-394 Author Site , DOI
Stokes C, Russell P, Conley D, Beaumont E & Greaves D (2013) 'Exploring Monthly To Seasonal Beach Morphodynamics Using Empirical Orthogonal Functions' Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 65, 1868-1873 , DOI
Conference Papers
Stokes C, Beaumont E, Russell P & Greaves DM (2014) 'Perceptions of the Inshore Wave Resource by Beach Water-Users in the lee of Wave Hub' 2nd International Conference on Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies (EIMR2014) Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland 4-/-0/20145-/-0/2014
Stokes C, Russell P, Conley D, Beaumont E & Greaves D (2013) 'Exploring monthly to seasonal beach morphodynamics using empirical orthogonal functions' 1868-1873 , DOI
Greaves DM, Simas T, Muñoz-Arjona E, Huertas-Olivares C, De Groot J, Stokes C, Bailey I, Magagna D, Conley D & Greaves D (2012) 'Understanding the role of stakeholders in the wave energy consenting process: engagement and sensitivities' 4th International Conference on Ocean Energy Dublin, Ireland 0-/-1/20120-/-1/2012
Stokes C, Masselink G & Brodie L (2022) Beach Hazards: Riu Funana, Cape Verde v3b. University of Plymouth Open access
Stokes C, Masselink G, Scott T & Brodie L (2021) BEACH HAZARDS: RIU FUNANA, CAPE VERDE. Open access
Stokes C, Scott T & Masselink G (2020) CAPE VERDE BEACH HAZARDS. Open access