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Professor Melanie Austen

Professor Melanie Austen


Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Prof. Melanie Austen is an interdisciplinary scientist who leads the Sea and Society area of science at PML and its broad spectrum of projects focussed on interdisciplinary, societally relevant marine research. She was also Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK  Marine Management Organisation (2010-2013). She has developed and led novel, collaborative research in large EU and UK funded projects that integrates marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, ecosystem modelling, marine ecosystem services, environmental economics, social science and governance to support management for sustainable ecosystems. Currently she coordinates the €16.6 million EU project VECTORS. This reflects her research interests, which are based on a fundamental understanding of marine ecology and benthic ecology, span natural science and social science and particularly focus on ecosystem services and their values. 

Specific interests include: links between marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and marine ecosystem services; socio-economic importance of marine biodiversity including valuation; environmental benefits and impacts of renewable energy; impact of multiple anthropogenic disturbances on marine ecosystem functioning, services and values including marine renewable energy; human health benefits of marine ecosystems; benthic-pelagic coupling; field and experimental benthic ecology in coastal habitats.

Selected Publications

Austen M.C., Hattam, C., and Garrard S. in press. Human activities and ecosystem service use: impacts and trade-offs. In: Crowe TP and Frid CLJ (eds) Marine ecosystems: human impacts on biodiversity, functioning and services. Cambridge University Press.

Börger T., Beaumont N.J., Pendleton L., Boyle K.J., Cooper P., Fletcher S., Haab T., Hanemann M., Hooper T.L., Hussain S.S., Portela R., Stithou M., Stockill J., Taylor T., Austen M.C., 2014. Incorporating ecosystem services in marine planning: The role of valuation. Marine Policy,  46, 161-170.

Hooper T., Cooper P., Hunt A. and Austen M. 2014. A methodology for the assessment of local-scale changes in marine environmental benefits and its application. Ecosystem Services.  (in press)

Hooper T. and Austen M. 2013. Tidal barrages in the UK: Ecological and social impacts, potential mitigation, and tools to support barrage planning. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews 23: 289-298

Austen, MC,  et al 2011. Marine. In: The UK National Ecosystem Assessment Technical Report (UK NEA, 2011). Publishers: UNEP-WCMC

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