I am an Estuarine & Marine Ecologist, with a wealth of experience in research and consultancy in the field of estuarine, coastal and marine ecology. My specialist expertise is on estuarine and marine fish communities, including their structure and functioning, their status and distribution in relation with habitat characteristics and human pressures, their monitoring and ecological assessment. I developed this specialism during my research at University of Venice, Italy (2004-2010). Subsequently, I worked at the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies (research & consultancy) at the University of Hull (2011-2019), where I broadened my experience of the wider ecology, monitoring, impact assessment, conservation and management of estuarine, coastal and marine habitats. My expertise also extends to experimental/sampling strategies and design, statistical analysis and modelling of ecological data.
Research & Consultancy experience:
Throughout my career, I have secured, managed and undertaken numerous research and consultancy projects, providing scientific and technical advice to the UK Government and its Statutory Agencies, the Industry and developers on the status and condition of marine and estuarine ecological features of interest (including habitats, fish and shellfish and their essential habitats, fishery, benthic fauna and birds), on the ecological value of marine habitats in support of marine planning programmes and on the potential risks and impacts to the marine environment of a range of human activities, including offshore wind farms, port developments, gas storage facilities, etc. I have worked on EU projects, including the Horizon 2020 project CERES (Climate change and European aquatic RESources) and FP7 projects DEVOTES (Developing innovative tools to understand marine biodiversity and good environmental status), TIDE (Tidal River Development), and WISER (Water bodies in Europe: Integrative Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery).
As a quantitative ecologist, I have contributed to a range of studies relying on the statistical analysis of ecological data, including for example spatial modelling of essential fish habitats in marine areas (MMO), modelling of indicators of pressure for sublittoral rock communities (JNCC), fish and invertebrate colonisation patterns in restored habitats (EA and others), time series analysis and habitat modelling of bird data in the Humber and other European estuaries (EU project TIDE), environmental impact assessment of offshore windfarms on marine ecology (various clients).
I am fluent in univariate and multivariate analysis and modelling using PRIMER & PERMANOVA, R, Distance and other statistical software.
Publication, peer-review and editorial work:
I have developed an international reputation for publishing my research in peer reviewed international journals and books, and presenting it to a variety of audiences at international conferences, meetings, fora, stakeholder events, etc.
I have substantial experience in peer reviewing manuscripts for international journals, with also an ‘Excellence in Reviewing’ award by Elsevier. I am a reviewer of research outputs and standing of rated researchers for the South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF).
During my work at the University of Hull, I was Deputy REF Lead (2018-19) for Unit of Assessment C14 (Geography and Environmental Studies) to manage preparations towards REF2021.
I am Associate Editor of Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Sciences (2013-present), and Editor of the newsletter of the Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA), where I also serve as elected council member (2008-present).
Study & Professional Qualifications:
PhD in Environmental Sciences, University of Venice, Italy, 2004.
MSc. (cum laude) in Environmental Sciences (Marine), University of Venice, Italy, 2000.
Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2019