A bottom up approach to marine management: Marine phytoplankton as regulators of ecosystem functions and services

Lead Research Organisation: University of Aberdeen
Department Name: Inst of Biological and Environmental Sci

Abstract

Microscopic marine algae (phytoplankton) are crucially important to climate cycle and marine ecosystem functions, and support a range of ecosystem services (ES). Vital ES carried out by phytoplankton include oxygen production, uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the ocean, and sustaining marine food-webs. Phytoplankton have spatially and temporally distinct distributions, with some locations consistently supporting greater primary production, with subsequent impacts on the distributions of supported ecosystem functions and ES including populations of seabirds, marine mammals and commercial fisheries. However, phytoplankton are given little consideration within marine management, with little use made of research into phytoplankton, and their relationships with other ecosystem functions and ES. This is a major knowledge gap and limits the effectiveness of marine management. This fellowship will address this evidence gap to provide a robust evidence-based framework to aid marine management. I will work closely with Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and bodies with similar functions in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to ensure this evidence base is considered in marine planning and licencing processes. For example, my recent work shows wind farms can cause an up to 30% decrease in annual primary production, but that this can be mitigated through smaller turbine bases or siting turbines out of phytoplankton "hotspots".
The goal of this fellowship is to facilitate the MMO in achieving sustainable development through ecosystems-based management as supported by robust scientific evidence. Key objectives include analysing and evaluating information (much of it funded by NERC) on the spatial and temporal relationships between phytoplankton and supported ecosystem functions and ES and establishing how this information can be best used to improve the sustainable management of our oceans, contributing to filling MMO evidence gaps. Deliverables include reports for the MMO based on analysis of published results and, primarily, visiting key researchers and research groups, and participating in conferences and working groups - thus actively incorporating the leading edge of research, whilst encouraging researchers to engage with marine managers. Training will be delivered to MMO staff on using the ES concept in marine management and stakeholder engagement, furthering its use by the MMO.
I have experience in oceanographic research and marine management, and will use both sets of expertise in this fellowship - using science expertise to collate and synthesise high-quality research, and management expertise to facilitate targeted and strategic communications with the MMO in order to apply cutting-edge science to MMO objectives. This, in combination with extensive time spend at the MMO offices, will ensure that the needs of the MMO are well understood and prioritised, and that scientific evidence is useful and presented accessibly.
There is a lack of engagement between researchers in the fellowship topics and marine managers - researchers are unclear how to engage with marine management (e.g. who to contact and how to present information), and management organisations are often unaware of current research. A key objective of this fellowship is therefore to encourage engagement between researchers and the MMO. Deliverables include a workshop to establish best practice for knowledge exchange between scientists and marine managers. I will develop an outreach activity for the MMO, educating researchers on why and how to use their research to support marine management. To facilitate future engagement, beyond the fellowship, I will use my extensive network to generate an "Experts in Support of Marine Management" (ESMM) database product for the MMO, simplifying locating experts in a topic. This fellowship will build a lasting, productive relationship between the MMO and the biological oceanography community in the UK, and beyond.

Publications

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Dickey-Collas M (2017) Pelagic habitat: exploring the concept of good environmental status in ICES Journal of Marine Science

 
Description Challenger Society for Marine Science Special Interest Group on Marine Science and Policy
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact This special interest group, co-founded (in 2015) and co-organised by me, runs training events for researchers in engaging with policy makers and marine managers. We run at least one training event per year.
URL http://www.challenger-society.org.uk/marine_science_policy
 
Description Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland Brexit Symposium Workshop
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
URL http://www.masts.ac.uk/media/36512/masts-brexit-event-report-final.pdf
 
Description Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland MSP Regional Assessments Sense-check.
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Provided guidance and advice to Marine Planning Partnerships on the Regional Assessments for the Clyde and Shetland Islands. These documents are legally required within the Scottish Marine Planning framework, and form the basis of the developing Clyde and Shetland Islands' Marine Spatial Plans. Information and expertise provided by me made improvements and changes to these documents. A report also came out of this workshop.
URL http://www.masts.ac.uk/media/36214/2017-04-05-masts-regional-assessments-sense-check-workshop-report...
 
Description Marine Management Organisation Delivery Plans
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Expertise fed into several Marine Management Organisation Delivery Plans. These delivery plans are documents which chart how evidence requirements will be met, and hence marine policy implemented.
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/evidence-register-and-reports
 
Description Marine Management Organisation 
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Department Marine Management Organisation (MMO)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Provided expertise and intellectual input to various aspects of MMO Evidence Team work, and to others. Spend one week every 4 to 6 weeks at the MMO HQ, for general interactions and relationship building. I also engage with the research community, to educate them on the work and needs of the MMO, and facilitate collaborations.
Collaborator Contribution Provide informal training on policy implementation needs. They provide intellectual input and expertise to my research and research ideas.
Impact Relationship is ongoing and improving. New proposals have been developed, and new research is ongoing.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Marine Scotland Science 
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Provided expertise and intellectual input to various aspects of MSS work, currently particularly around the potential of using remote sensing in their work. Spend roughly one day a fortnight at the MSS HQ, for general interactions and relationship building. I also engage with the research community, to educate them on the work and needs of MSS, and facilitate collaborations.
Collaborator Contribution Provide informal training on policy implementation needs. They provide intellectual input and expertise to my research and research ideas.
Impact Relationship is ongoing and improving. New proposals have been developed, and new research is ongoing.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Material used in Invited Seminar at Oregon State University, Corvallis OR, USA. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Invited seminar at the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. Seminar included information drawn from several projects, and supported my NERC KE Fellowship in encouraging, training and facilitating researchers to get involved in the science-policy interface, and to work with policy makers and marine managers. Further discussions took place after the talk, in requested meetings, and specific future ideas for work were discussed and actioned.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 6th European Marine Board Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The 6th European Marine Board Forum was structured around Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda. This event was attended by a mix of academics and policy makers, and included talks and discussions (formal and informal). The output of the meeting is a Forum Message, or statement, which highlights the actions the EMB will be making to support the use of science in policy making. Outputs and information from the event were also fed back to my fellowship policy partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.marineboard.eu/6th-marine-board-forum
 
Description ICES In other words blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Wrote an article aimed at the general public for the ICES "In other words" blog, on my area of expertise, Marine Spatial Planning, at the request of ICES.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ices.dk/news-and-events/Blogs/Inotherwords/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=43
 
Description ICES Working Group on Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Discussed CORPORATES during this expert group, sparking questions and discussions, and interest in using outputs in marine management and policy making
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description ICES Working Group on Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Experiences from this project were used in engaging with this group. The main aim was to share knowledge and ex[experiences in working with my policy partners with other policy makers and academics, and to take back information and new knowledge to my partners. I am involved in the Groups Term of Reference on utilizing science within Marine Spatial Planning. I was involved in writing the Group's annual report to ICES.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ices.dk/community/groups/Pages/WGMPCZM.aspx
 
Description MMO/Univesity of Aberdeen symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A 2 day event organised by myself, bringing KE fellowship policy partners to the University of Aberdeen, to raise awareness in both communities of the others' work, and to facilitate future collaborations. Much discussion occurred during and after the event, and both policy partners and academics reported increased knowledge, changes to attitudes to engaging in the science-policy interface, and has lead to collaborations and jointly developed funding proposals. Further engagement is expected this year from the policy partners, as they reach a point in their work where collaboration would be beneficial. All parties reported back that they thought the event was a success, and the policy partners would like to take this type of event to other organisations. This is currently being planned.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Material used in Invited Seminar at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing CA, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Seminar included information drawn from several projects, and supported my NERC KE Fellowship in encouraging, training and facilitating researchers to get involved in the science-policy interface, and to work with policy makers and marine managers. Many questions were asked, and discussions prompted, both with myself and between MBARI colleagues. Further discussions took place after the talk, in meetings, and specific future ideas for work were discussed and actioned.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Material used in Invited Seminar at National Oceanographic Centre, Southampton 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Invited seminar and meetings with researchers at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton and University of Southampton. Seminar attented by ~20 researchers contained CORPORATES material, and attendees were most interested in this segment of the talk. Seminar sparked many questions, and researchers realised new ways their own research may be able to have impact, and feed into marine management and stakeholder engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Material used in Invited Seminar at University of Washington, Seattle WA, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Invited seminar at the Applied Physics Laboratory. Seminar included information drawn from several projects, and supported my NERC KE Fellowship in encouraging, training and facilitating researchers to get involved in the science-policy interface, and to work with policy makers and marine managers. Many questions were asked, and discussion developed. Good connections were made to people expected to be useful in future to the policy partners of my NERC KE Fellowship.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Material used in Invited Talk at the Baltic Sea 2nd Marine Spatial Planning Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited talk to around 40 conference attendees, prompting questions and interest in future work, for use in policy making and stakeholder engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.balticscope.eu/events/baltic-2nd-msp-forum/
 
Description Science-Policy engagement with researchers; Advanced in Marine Biogeochemistry (AMBIO) VIII Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk in a conference setting to ~50 people, provided training to audience in engaging with the policy community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Science-Policy engagement with researchers; Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland Annual Science Meeting 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk in a conference setting to ~75 people, provided training to audience in engaging with the policy community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Science-Policy engagement with researchers; Ocean Sciences 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk in a conference setting to ~50 people, provided training to audience in engaging with the policy community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Scottish Earth Observation Service Stakeholder Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited attendee to a Scottish Earth Observation Service Stakeholder Meeting, to provide my own expertise and viewpoint, and to provide information on the requirements of Marine Scotland Science (part of the Scottish Government). This meeting was to support development of a Scottish Earth Observation Service, which would provide remotely sensed data to users such as the Scottish Government. My input assisted in clarifying how one aspect of SEOS will need to be shaped and developed in order to be of use. Outputs and information from the event were also fed back to my fellowship policy partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Selected Attendee 2nd UNESCO Marine Spatial Planning Conference, Paris, France 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Took part in the UNESCO event, participating in discussions and engaging with policy makers from around the world. Outputs and information from the event were also fed back to my fellowship policy partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.msp2017.paris/
 
Description Social media for ICES WGMPCZM 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Requested by Working Group chairs to run the ICES WG on Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management social media campaign for the 2017 Working Group meeting. This mostly involved Tweeting updates and interesting information arising from the meeting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017