Dr Emma Sheehan

Senior Research Fellow, Plymouth University Marine Institute

Marine ecologist leading a research team that studies human impact on marine ecosystems to inform environmental policy and management. I study benthic systems, which are potentially affected by marine protected areas, fisheries/offshore aquaculture, marine renewable energy and dredging.


Amy Cartwright

Research Assistant – CEFOW

I started working as a research assistant on Dr. Emma Sheehan’s team in December 2015 as part of the Clean Energy From Ocean Waves (CEFOW) project, which involves epibenthic assessments to determine the interaction of marine renewable energy installations with seabed ecology. My research interests centre on marine protected area (MPA) management and implementation, marine ecology and conservation (particularly of coastal environments), human impacts and the sustainable use of the marine environment. I have also been involved in the annual Lyme Bay Marine Reserve monitoring project which Emma’s team have been undertaking since the closure of this area in 2008, as well as a project looking at the environmental impact of scallop ranching.

Twitter: @amyycartwright

Research Gate:


Chloe Game

Research Assistant – BIOTA

My background is centred on Marine Ecology with past research focusing on understanding distribution drivers of deep sea benthic communities, and how this links with marine spatial planning. This has largely focused on cold-water corals and sponges with the use of predictive modelling, habitat mapping and video analysis. I am also interested in disturbance to benthic communities, which led me to join the Lyme Bay MPA Monitoring Project in October 2016, investigating the recovery of benthic communities to the exclusion of towed demersal fishing gear and additionally recovery from extreme storm events. In March 2017, I began working on a project to characterise the ecology of British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) atolls in the western Indian Ocean. The BIOTA project involves the study of planktonic communities across these atolls and investigates the environmental drivers shaping communities.

LH Grab

Dr Luke Holmes

Research Assistant – RETURN

As an environmental scientist with a varied research background including estuarine chemistry, microplastics and benthic ecology, I thrive on the interdisciplinary challenges that working on marine ecology and management presents. I am working on the EMFF funded RETURN project which will provide the longest-running ecological dataset of recovery in any temperate reef system globally. I also love rope splicing and duct tape.




Dr Adam Rees

Post doctoral researcher with the Blue Marine Foundation and Plymouth University

I am a marine ecologist undertaking research focussing on the impacts of various anthropogenic activities on protected marine habitats. My primary focus is fisheries, having been involved with the Lyme Bay reef recovery monitoring since 2010. I have also contributed to research on the impacts of marine renewable installations and marine litter. I have recently completed my PhD which assessed the impacts of commercial potting on reef habitats and the associated commercially important fauna within the Lyme Bay MPA. Currently I am working with the Blue Marine Foundation coordinating research projects across multiple study sites throughout the UK, with the aim of providing conservation benefits and improving the sustainability of small-scale fisheries.


Tom Stamp

Thomas Stamp

PhD candidate – Bass nurseries

Supervisory team: (DoS) Dr Emma Sheehan, Prof. Martin Attrill, Dr Elizabeth Ross, Tim Robbins, Shaun Plenty

My research interest are focused on assessing human impacts on marine habitats and species, and exploring ways in which we can limit human impacts or restore habitats and the species which use them. My PhD is focused on assessing the ecology and distribution of European Seabass in the UK. Several elements of the life history of this fascinating species increase its vulnerability from, and interactions with, human activities and fishing practices. Specifically, my research will be assessing the nursery function of estuarine habitats for Seabass, and the effectiveness of current management and conservation measures. Take a look at the I-BASS project for more information on how this will be achieved.

Dani and ROV

Danielle Bridger

PhD candidate – Offshore mussel farm

Supervisory team: (DoS) Dr Emma Sheehan, Prof. Martin Attrill, Dr Sian Rees

I joined the team in 2012 and started working on the Falmouth Harbour maerl dredging mitigation experimental study. I then worked on a variety of projects including the long term Lyme Bay monitoring project and have contributed to research in seagrass, maerl beds, ocean sprawl and marine litter. In 2013 I became involved with the offshore mussel farm project which evolved into my PhD. I am now halfway through my 4 year PhD funded by Offshore Shellfish Ltd. assessing the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of a new large-scale offshore mussel farm in Lyme Bay.


David Cox

PhD candidate – Scallop ranching

Supervisory team: (DoS) Prof. Martin Attrill, Dr Emma Sheehan, Dr Sian Rees