Coordinator: EU VECTORS, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, UK
Professor Melanie Austen is Head of Science at Plymouth Marine Laboratory leading its interdisciplinary Sea and Society research area. She is currently a board member for the UK Government’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee and was part-time Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government’s Marine Management Organisation (2010-2013). Mel was originally a marine ecologist, but for many years has undertaken research across the multiple and interacting sectors of the blue economy and the broader marine ecosystem services and natural capital including the natural science underpinning these, their socio-economic importance, the impacts of their exploitation, and policy, management and regulatory options. Her research integrates marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, ecosystem modelling, marine ecosystem services, environmental economics, human health implications and other social sciences. Mel has had led and coordinated or had leadership roles in many large and small collaborative, interdisciplinary projects (national and international) addressing marine ecosystem services and valuation including currently: UKRI GCRF Blue Communities, NERC Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP), and NERC South West Partnership for Environment & Economic Prosperity (SWEEP), and previously EU VECTORS). Her research integrates marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, ecosystem modelling, marine ecosystem services, environmental economics and other social sciences. She has published more than 90 peer reviewed articles. She regularly provides policy advice at EU and UK level.