Lily Anna Stokes, postgraduate researcher, CDT SuMMeR: Cohort 1

Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (CDT SuMMeR)

<p>Lily Anna Stokes, CDT summer&nbsp;<br></p>

Background 

I achieved a First Class BSc Marine Biology and a Distinction MSc Marine Environmental Protection from Bangor University; the latter being funded by the ‘Women in Science’ scholarship. My first postgraduate role was as Principal Investigator for an NGO assessing coral reef and mangrove ecology in Nosy Be, Madagascar. Upon returning to the UK I worked as a technical analyst of maritime legislation before joining the Marine Management Organisation as a Marine Planner.

Research interests

I love the sea and want to ensure the marine environment can be utilised as a reliable, sustainable resource for whoever needs it. My interests centre around enhancing our understanding of the marine environment for sustainable management, considering social, environmental and economic factors collectively where possible. For my MSc thesis, I surveyed households in the Cayman Islands to understand the resident’s reliance on and potential impact on their marine environment through sustenance fishing. I worked closely with the Cayman Islands government to design this survey, sharing my findings as evidence for developing their management of their marine resources.

PhD research: Building evidence for action: Novel assessment of ocean acidification impacts around the UK

This project focuses on the following 3 objectives: 
1) To review the status of the UK marine environment in relation to ocean acidification (OA) and assess the vulnerability of key biota;
2) To make projections of future risk to ecosystems and ecosystem services;
3) To understand stakeholder vulnerabilities, potential adaptation strategies and barriers to action, and assess the potential impact of action on reducing the risk of OA.
To meet these objectives it is planned that the initial phase of the PhD will be spent addressing 1) and 2) using existing data and models. The findings from objectives 1) and 2) will then be used to determine subjects for further investigation using laboratory experiments and/or observations for objective 3). This will then form the basis for discussions and workshops with key stakeholders to address the remaining aspects of objective 3) and feed back to the DEFRA Climate Evidence team. In addition to discussions and workshops, it is planned that stakeholders will be engaged with through a brief yearly-survey throughout the duration of the project to ensure research is appropriately focussed to have maximum relevance to the communities most at risk from OA.

Why I applied for the CDT SuMMeR

Aiming to address the disconnect between scientific research, policy, and stakeholders really caught my eye. When I was working in policy development I faced struggles of wanting to make a change, but lacking the evidence and support needed and when working in research I struggled identifying the applicability of my work. I was excited by the CDT, seeing it as the perfect opportunity to build bridges between the different areas to provide practical solutions to environmental and managemental problems. The CDT aims to provide experience that was too good to pass up on and I just had to apply!