I am studying at the School of Ocean Sciences for a KESS 2 funded PhD valuing the ecosystem services of shellfish aquaculture under the supervision of Dr Shelagh Malham, Professor Lewis Levay, Dr Laurence Jones, Professor Mike Christie and Mr James Wilson.
I completed a BSc in Marine Science at the Scottish Association for Marine Science - UHI in 2011 and then became a scallop diver working in the Scottish fishing industry. I returned to academia and completed my Masters degree in marine environmental protection at Bangor University in 2013. After this I was offered a job as a production supervisor and biologist at a recirculation fish farm on Anglesey.
I have now returned to Bangor University to complete my PhD.
My research interests involve marine coastal zone management, shellfish ecology and aquaculture, and through my research, use ecosystem services to identify important ecological functions of shellfish and the importance of this to policy.
Shellfish aquaculture production makes up half of all aquaculture production in the European Union with a value of €1.12 billion in 2011. In addition to the main harvested shellfish product, the industry also provides other non-market benefits in the form of ecosystem serves. These include services such as carbon sequestration, nutrient remediation, phytoplankton regulation and coastal defences, however these have not been quantified or valued in the UK.
My research will begin to value some of these services in Wales and the UK as a whole and attempt to put a valuation on them. This will be achieved by working with the shellfish aquaculture industry and using a combination of field and laboratory techniques.