Dr Emma Sheehan
Profiles

Dr Emma Sheehan

Associate Professor of Marine Ecology (Research)

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

Over-exploitation of our oceans has degraded biogenic habitats. These habitats act as important nursery and feeding areas for species of conservation and fisheries importance, and provide important ecological and environmental functions including filtering water, binding sediments and capturing carbon. Marine Protected Areas (MPA) and emerging blue industry such as marine renewables and offshore shellfish aquaculture, if managed to exclude destructive human practices, have the potential to restore the health and functionality of biogenic habitats. To inspire and inform ambitious marine policy and management, I lead a research group www.sheehanresearchgroup.com that utilises non-destructive techniques to assess the effectiveness of spatial management for species and habitats over large spatial and temporal scales.

Please refer to https://sheehanresearchgroup.com/ for the most up to date account of my team's research.

Qualifications

2018  Home Office category C Personnel Individual License

2016   Post-Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Plymouth

2015   Commercial HSE Diver

2011-2017 Research Fellow, University of Plymouth, UK

2010-2010 Visiting Research Fellow, Griffith University, Australia       

2007-2007 Visiting Research Fellow, University of Sydney, Australia    

2007-2010 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Plymouth, UK

2003-2007 PhD “Ecological impact of the Carcinus maenas (L.) fishery 'crab-tiling' on estuarine fauna”, University of Plymouth

2002-2002 Marine Conservation Officer, Natural England, UK  

1998 – 2001 BSc (1st Class Hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology, University of Plymouth, UK

2001-2001 Project coordinator, Atlantic Whale Foundation, Spain      


Professional membership

Marine Biological Association of the UK

Marine Conservation Society

Roles on external bodies

ICES Working Group on Marine Benthal and Renewable Energy Developments 

Teaching interests

I provide research-led teaching across undergraduate and masters level modules to inform students about our world leading marine conservation research.

I am currently teaching on the following modules:

BIO504 Health and Production in Aquaculture

MBIO505 Marine Conservation Theory

OS304 Marine Ecosystem Conservation

MAR526 Introduction to Marine Renewable Energy

MAR503 Coastal Impacts


Research interests

For details about my research please refer to https://sheehanresearchgroup.com/

Research staff and projects


I manage a large diverse number of projects with the help of my research team which comprises PhD students, Post-docs and researchers. I also supervise a fleet of masters and honours students: 

For details of staff and projects please refer to our team website: https://sheehanresearchgroup.com/ 

Or see the links below for specific UoP project websites:

Current Research Team
Dr Luke Holmes (post doc)
Dr Simon Pittman (project manager),
Amy Cartwright (assistant project manager) 
Bethany Reed (project support officer)
Harry Thatcher (project support officer)
Dr Adam Rees (post doc - managed by Prof Martin Attrill)

PhD students

Llucia Mascorda – Sheehan (Dos) Hosegood and Attrill

Ecological interactions and Oceanographic effects of an offshore mussel farm

Bede Davies - Sheehan (Dos), Holmes and Attrill

Recovery of the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area

Danielle Bridger – Sheehan (DoS), Rees & Attrill

The ecological and socioeconomic impacts of a new large-scale offshore mussel farm in Lyme Bay

Thomas Stamp – Sheehan (Dos), Robbins, West, Plenty, Attrill

The ecology and distribution of European Sea bass in the UK.

David Cox - Attrill (Dos), Sheehan and Rees

The social and ecological effects of Scallop Ranching

Samantha Blampied – Sheehan (DoS), Rees, Attrill

Past PhD students

Evaluating the effectiveness and socio-economic value of MPAs in Jersey’s territorial waters

Adam Rees - Attrill (DoS) & Sheehan

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

Sarah Gall - Rodwell (DoS), Sheehan and Attrill

Evaluating the impacts of integrating fisheries and conservation management


Journals

2020

Bugnot AB, Mayer-Pinto M, Airoldi L, Heery EC, Johnston EL, Critchley LP, Strain EMA, Morris RL, Loke LHL, Bishop MJ, Sheehan EV, Coleman RA, Dafforn KA. Current and projected global extent of marine infrastructure. In press 

Morgan A, Sheehan EV, Rees A, Cartwright A (2020) Towards a Marine Socio-ecology of Learning in the South West of England. In: Pontius J., Mueller M., Greenwood D. (eds) Place-based Learning for the Plate. Environmental Discourses in Science Education, vol 6. Springer,Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-42814-3_11

Davies P, Britton RJ, Nunn AD, Dodd JR, Crundwell C, Velterop R, Maoiléidigh NÓ, Neill RO, Sheehan EV, Stamp T, Bolland JD (2020). Novel insights into the marine phase and river fidelity of anadromous twaite shad Alosa fallax in the UK and Ireland. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3343 

Rees SE, Sheehan EV, Stewart BD, Clark R, Appleby T, Attrill MJ, Jones PJS, Johnson D, Bradshaw N, Pittman S, Oates J, Solandt J-L (2020) Emerging themes to support ambitious UK marine biodiversity conservation. Marine Policy (in press). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2020.103864

Davies BFR, Attrill MJ, Holmes LA, Rees A, Witt MJ, Sheehan EV (2020) Acoustic Complexity Index to assess benthic biodiversity of a partially protected area in the Southwest of the UK. Ecological Indicators. In press.

Solandt J-L, Mullier T, Elliot S, Sheehan EV (2020) Achieving true site integrity: Moving from ‘feature-based’ to ‘whole-site’ management of MPAs post-Brexit. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. In press.

2019

Luff A, Sheehan EV, Parry M, Higgs N (2019) A simple mooring modification reduces impacts on seagrass meadows. Scientific Reports. In press.

Sheehan EV, Bridger D, Nancollas SJ, Pittman SJ (2019) A novel underwater imaging system with computer vision for semi-automated monitoring of mobile marine fauna at offshore structures. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 192. doi: 10.1007/s10661-019-7980-4

Davies P, Sheehan EV (2019) Laser chasing behaviour of wild fishes exploited as a tool to compare space use between size, sex and species. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 35: 1225-1233. doi: 10.1111/jai.13982

Sheehan EV, Hosegood P, Game CA, Attrill MJ, Tickler D, Wootton M, Johns DG, Meeuwig JJ (2019) The effect of deep oceanic flushing on water properties and ecosystem functioning within atolls in the British Indian Ocean Territory. Frontiers in Marine Science 6: 512. doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00512

Sheehan EV, Bridger D, Mascorda Cabre L, Cartwright A, Cox D, Rees D, Holmes LA, Pittman SJ (2019) Bivalves boost biodiversity. Journal of the Institute of Food Science and Technology. 33(2): 18-21.

Sheehan EV (2019) Motion in the ocean – paradigm shift in movement ecology requires “sedentary” organisms to be redefined. Journal of Animal Ecology 88: 816-819. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.13006

Bicknell AWJ, Sheehan EV, Godley BJ, Doherty PD, Witt MJ (2019) Assessing the impact of introduced infrastructure at sea with cameras: A case study for spatial scale, time and statistical power. Marine Environmental Research 147: 126-137. doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.04.007

2018

Sheehan EV, Cartwright AY, Witt MJ, Attrill MJ, Vural M, Holmes LA (2018) Development of epibenthic assemblages on artificial habitat associated with marine renewable infrastructure. ICES Journal of Marine Science doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsy151

2017

Wilding TA, Gill AB, Boon A, Sheehan EV, Dauvin JC, Pezy JP, O’Beirn F, Janas U, Rostin L, De Mesel I (2017) Turning off the DRIP (‘Data-rich, information-poor’)–rationalising monitoring with a focus on marine renewable energy developments and the benthos. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 74: 848-859. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2017.03.013

Sheehan EV, Rees A, Bridger D, Williams T, Hall-Spencer JM (2017) Strandings of NE Atlantic gorgonians. Biological Conservation 209: 482-487. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2017.03.020

Heery EC, Bishop MJ, Critchley LP, Bugnot AB, Airoldi L, Mayer-Pinto M, Sheehan EV, Coleman RA, Loke LHL, Johnston EL, Komyakova V, Morris RL, Strain EMA, Naylor LA, Dafforn KA (2017) Identifying the consequences of ocean sprawl for sedimentary habitats. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2017.01.020

2016

Sheehan EV, Cousens SL (2016) “Starballing”: a potential explanation for mass stranding. Marine Biodiversity 47: 617. doi:10.1007/s12526-016-0504-3

Bicknell AWJ, Godley BJ, Sheehan EV, Votier SC, Witt MJ (2016) Camera technology for monitoring marine biodiversity and human impact. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14: 424-432. doi:10.1002/fee.1322

Sheehan EV, Vaz S, Pettifer E, Foster NL, Nancollas SJ, Cousens S, Holmes L, Facq JV, Germain G, Attrill MJ (2016) An experimental comparison of three Towed Underwater Video Systems using species metrics, benthic impact and performance. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 7: 843-852. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12540

Jackson EJ, Cousens S, Bridger D, Nancollas SJ, Sheehan EV (2016) Conservation inaction in action for Essex seagrass meadows?. Regional Studies in Marine Science 8: 141-150 doi:10.1016/2016-210X.12540 

Wasson B, Sheehan EV (2016) The first records of Megalomma lanigera (Polychaeta: Sabellidae) from British waters. Cahiers de Biologie Marine 57: 281-283.

Firth LB, Knights AM, Bridger D, Evans A, Mieskowska N, Moore PJ, O’Connor NE, Sheehan EV, Thompson RC (2016) Ocean sprawl: challenges and opportunities for biodiversity management in a changing world. Oceanography and Marine Biology: an annual review 54. doi:10.1201/9781315368597

2015

Sheehan EV, Bridger D, Cousens SL, Attrill MJ (2015) Resilience of dead maerl infaunal assemblages to experimental habitat removal and replacement. Marine Ecology Progress Series 535:117-128. doi:10.3354/meps11400

Sheehan EV, Bridger D, Attrill MJ (2015) The ecosystem service value of living versus dead biogenic reef. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 154: 248-254. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2014.12.042

Rodríguez-Rodríguez D, Rees S, Mannaerts G, Sciberras M, Piried C, Black G, Aulert C, Sheehan EV, Carrierb S, Attrill MJ (2015) Status of the marine protected area network across the English channel (La Manche): Cross-country similarities and differences in MPA designation, management and monitoring. Marine Policy 51: 536–546. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2014.09.021

 

2014

Stevens TF, Sheehan EV, Gall SC, Fowell SC, Attrill MJ (2014) Monitoring benthic biodiversity restoration in Lyme Bay marine protected area: Design, sampling and analysis. Marine Policy 45: 310-317. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2013.09.006

2013

Sheehan EV, TF Stevens, SC Gall, SL Cousens, MJ Attrill (2013) Recovery of a Temperate Reef Assemblage in a Marine Protected Area following the Exclusion of Towed Demersal Fishing. PloS ONE 8: e83883. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083883

 

Sheehan EV, SL Cousens, SJ Nancollas, C Stauss, J Royle, MJ Attrill (2013) Drawing lines at the sand: Evidence for functional vs. visual reef boundaries in temperate Marine Protected Areas. Marine pollution bulletin 76: 194-202. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.09.004

Rees SE, Sheehan EV, Jackson EL, Gall SC, Cousens SL, Solandt JL, Boyer M, Attrill MJ (2013) A legal and ecological perspective of ‘site integrity’ to inform policy development and management of Special Areas of Conservation in Europe. Marine pollution bulletin 72:14-21. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.03.036

Sheehan EV, Gall SC, Cousens SC, Attrill MJ (2013) Epibenthic assessment of a renewable tidal energy site. The Scientific World Journal, Article 906180. doi:10.1155/2013/906180

2012

Witt MJ, Sheehan EV, Bearhop S, Broderick AC, Conley DC, Cotterell SP, Crow E, Grecian WJ, Halsband C, Hodgson DJ, Hosegood P, Inger R, Miller PI, Sims DW, Thompson RC, Vanstaen K, Votier SC, Attrill MJ, Godley BJ (2012) Assessing wave energy effects on biodiversity: The Wave Hub experience. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 370: 502-529. doi:10.1098/rsta.2011.0265

Sheehan EV, Attrill MJ, Thompson RC, Coleman RA (2012) Changes in shorebird behaviour and distribution associated with an intertidal crab fishery. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 22: 683–694. doi:10.1002/aqc.2261

2010

Sheehan EV, Stevens TF, Attrill MJ (2010) A quantitative, non-destructive methodology for habitat characterisation and benthic monitoring at offshore renewable energy developments. PLoS ONE 5: e14461. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014461

Sheehan EV, Coleman RA, Thompson RC and Attrill M.J (2010) Crab-tiling reduces the diversity of estuarine infauna. Marine Ecology Progress Series 411: 137-148. doi:10.3354/meps08668

Sheehan EV, Coleman RA, Attrill MJ , Thompson RC (2010) A quantitative assessment of the response of mobile estuarine fauna to crab-tiles during tidal immersion using remote underwater video cameras. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 387: 68-74. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2010.02.008

2009

Inger R , Attrill MJ, Bearhop S, Broderick AC, Grecian WJ, Hodgson DJ, Mills C, Sheehan EV, Votier SC, Witt MJ, Godley BJ (2009) Marine renewable energy: potential benefits to biodiversity. Journal of Applied Ecology. 46: 1145-1153. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01697.x

2008

Sheehan EV, Thompson RC, Coleman RA, Attrill MJ (2008) Positive feedback fishery: Population consequences of ‘crab-tiling’ on the green crab Carcinus maenas. Journal of Sea Research 60: 255-261. doi:10.1016/j.seares.2008.09.002

2007

Johnson ELG, Attrill MJ, Sheehan EV, Somerfield PJ (2007) Recovery of meiofauna communities following mudflat disturbance by trampling associated with crab-tiling. Marine Environmental Research 64: 409-416. doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2007.03.002


Books

Solandt J-L, Mullier T, Elliot S, Sheehan EV (2020) Managing Marine Protected Areas in Europe: Moving from ‘feature-based’ to ‘whole-site’ management of sites. In Humphreys J & Clark R (eds), Marine Protected Areas: science, policy and management. Elsevier, Ch 9. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-102698-4.00009-5

Morgan A, Sheehan E, Rees A, Cartwright A. In press. Towards a Marine Socio-Ecology of Learning in the South West of England. In Joel B. Pontius, Michael P. Mueller, David A. Greenwood (eds). Hunting, Foraging, and Fishing for Food as Place-based Learning

Reports & invited lectures

Training

2016   Mentor on a British Council Newton funded workshop 'Coastal Sustainability' for 40 UK and Malaysian early career scientists in Penang

2015   Invited speaker at Natural England Maerl workshop with Prof Jason Hall-Spencer and Dr Nick Kamenos Marine Biological Association, Plymouth, UK

2013   Organized workshop “Monitoring best practice for underwater video”, UoP, UK

2013   Invited speaker at Natural England National Team MPA Training event. Monitoring ‘Recovery’: lessons from Lyme Bay, Brixham, UK 2013

2012   Invited speaker at Natural England SW Team MPA Training event. Monitoring ‘Recovery’: lessons from Lyme Bay Marine Biological Association UK, Plymouth, UK 2012

2011   Invited speaker at Natural England Workshop. Experimental design and Marine Protected Areas. Marine Biological Association UK, Plymouth, UK 2011

Talks

2019   Attendance of a new initiative the “South West Marine Cluster for Aquaculture” – a strategic meeting to promote south west Blue Growth.   

2019   Structures in the Marine Environment – Glasgow, UK,  Speaker

2019   ITRS – Hong Kong     Speaker

2018   Lyme Bay Case-Study – Benthic recovery, Storms impact and lessons learnt. Lyme bay 10th anniversary event. Plymouth, UK Conference theme developer and convener

2018   Benthic Ecology Meeting – Texas USA Speaker

2018   Coastal Futures – (invited) Royal geographic association, London, UK   Invited speaker

2017   Marine Protected Area conference – Poole, UK –       Invited speaker

2017   Porcupine – invited speaker March 2017 Plymouth, UK Invited speaker

2016   University of Aberystwyth – Invited speaker   Invited speaker

2017   IMPAC – invited to attend as part of the British Embassy in Chili, Chili,  Invited speaker

2016   IMCC –– (Chair and speaker) St Johns, Newfoundland, Chair and speaker

2016  Marine Protected Areas: benthic recovery, storm impacts and lessons learnt – invited speaker. Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK   Invited speaker

2016   Marine Protected Areas: benthic recovery, storm impacts and lessons learnt (invited). Scallop Association, Brixham, UK  Invited speaker

2015   Aquatic Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conference, Liverpool, UK Speaker

2015   PRIMARE, Exeter University Penryn campus, Cornwall, UK      Invited speaker

2015   PANACHE-VALMER Final conference Torquay, UK      Invited speaker

2015   South West Marine Ecosystems Plymouth, UK  Invited speaker

2014   10th International Temperate Reefs Symposium Perth, Australia       Speaker

2014   Renewable UK shared presentation with Mike Childs (Friends of the Earth) Birmingham, UK     Invited speaker

2013   IMPAC, Marseille, France      Speaker

2013   PANACHE, INTERREG conference Boulogne Sur Mer    Invited speaker

2013   ISOPE Impacts of Marine Renewables Anchorage, Alaska.      Speaker

2010  NERC workshop. Invited Birmingham, UK,      Invited

2010.  British Ecological Society annual meeting, (Invited) Birmingham, UK    Invited speaker

2010   Oceans 2010 (Invited), Portland Oregon, USA.  Invited speaker

2009   Devon Biodiversity Forum, Council offices, Exeter, UK. Invited speaker

2009   Biodiversity Impacts of Marine Renewables, Wave Hub Exeter, UK      Speaker

2009   Porcupine Marine Natural History Society, Plymouth, UK       Speaker

2009   Marine Renewable Energy Workshop: (Invited). London, UK    Invited

2009   Marine Energy Workshop, UK ERC, (Invited) Edinburgh, UK     Invited

2008   International Conference for Marine Renewable Energy Brest, France  Speaker

2008   Biodiversity Impacts of Marine Renewable Energy, Wave Hub. Plymouth, UK   Speaker

2008   International Scientific Meeting on Marine Renewable Energy and the Environment, London, UK Speaker

2005   The 18th Biennial Conference of the Estuarine Research Federation. Norfolk, Virginia, USA     Speaker

2003   17th Biennial Conference of the Estuarine Research Foundation Seattle, USA   Poster