Miss Olivia Chaffe
Institute of Marine Sciences Laboratories
PhD in Marine Biology, University of Portsmouth, UK (in progress)
MSc in Managing the Environment: Marine and Freshwater Systems, University of Aberystwyth, UK
BSc (Hons) in Zoology, University of Aberystwyth, UK
BTEC in Tropical Habitat Conservation, Frontier, Madagascar
I am currently a full-time PhD student investigating the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) using macrofaunal diversity in the Solent intertidal region on the south coast of the UK. This area offers an excellent opportunity to assess the effectiveness as numerous historical data sets already exist.
During the last decade marine management and conservation have become of paramount importance and, in turn, the UK is currently experiencing a critical change in coastal management. The UK treasuries recent decision to order a wholesale review of the way that the UK implements its directives in priority habitats has become apparent. The Government desires ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas’ through the Marine Bill 2008, via the establishment of a network of MPAs. MPAs are areas of the coast or sea primarily set up for the conservation of habitats and species. Fundamental to this requirement are the Natura 2000 sites incorporating Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) established under the Annex I and Annex II of the EC Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) and Annex I of the Birds Directives (Council Directive 79/409/EEC) respectively. Intertidal mudflats are one of the major habitats protected by SACs and are also an important sub-feature for SPAs.
The UK has a legal obligation to ensure the features remain in favourable condition; however, to date there has been little evaluation of the effectiveness of MPAs. In turn, evidence is required to warrant that the current methods are fit for their purpose and, consequently, conservation needs to prove that it works.
- To assess the effectiveness of MPA conservation strategies (particularly SACs) upon intertidal macrofaunal biodiversity.
- To identify changes in macrofaunal biodiversity of the historical data both temporally and spatially.
- To identify what factors have driven these changes.
- To assess how climate change will affect intertidal mudflats and the marine conservation strategies in the future.
- To utilise climate change models to assess and map predicted future changes.
Dr. N. S. Thomas, Director of Marine Ecology, EMU Ltd
Funding awarded by
Friends of Langstone Harbour
Solent Forum Student Research Fund
Climate Change and the Solent Workshop, University of Portsmouth Environment Network, September 2011
University of Portsmouth Postgraduate Conference, University of Portsmouth, July 2011
Porcupine Marine Natural History Annual Conference 2011, National Oceanographic Centre, March 2011
4th International Conference on Marine Research for Environmental Sustainability (ENSUS 2011), Newcastle University, September 2011
The Friends of Langstone Harbour AGM, Portsmouth Outdoor Centre, May & October 2011
South Coast Benthic Meeting, National Oceanographic Centre, April 2011
Solent Forum Nature Conservation Group Meeting, University of Portsmouth, March 2011
Dickason A, Nash D, Chaffe O and McEwan N (2010) Quantitative comparison of pressure distribution exerted by different numnahs beneath the saddle of a ridden horse. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science Annual Conference.