ICES Annual Science Conference 2024

Keynote speaker: Louisa Evans

Advancing the frontiers of transdisciplinary marine science

​​This keynote will invite a conversation about the frontiers of transdisciplinary marine research. It will introduce the Resilience of Coastal Communities project, funded by the UK's Strategic Priority Fund on Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources. This research integrates climate science, marine social science, and the arts to interrogate how resilience, well-being, and marine sustainability can be enhanced in policy and practice, noting the potential for important divergence and trade-offs among these objectives. 

Louisa Evans will present on two key workstreams to demonstrate the benefits of working collaboratively with policy stakeholders and managers, as well as from the bottom up with practitioners, creatives, and communities.

First, collaboration with policy stakeholders including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Natural England (NE) examined trade-offs in marine policy decisions. The Resilience of Coastal Communities project analysed how current UK policy decision-making approaches trade-offs and piloted a new low-tech decision-support tool for Marine Planning and Trade-Off Analysis (MaPTA). The tool identifies trade-offs and also explores their acceptability and helps develop responses to avoid or mitigate unacceptable trade-offs. 

Second, collaboration with local communities, heritage organizations, creative practitioners, and the National Maritime Museum of Cornwall. The Resilience of  ​Coastal Communities project ​conducted in-depth oral histories to understand how diverse marine resource users have responded to perturbation over the past 50 years. They have deposited these oral histories in public archives and adapted them for two public engagement exhibitions, thereby, not only researching but directly adding to coastal heritage.

The keynote will introduce some discussion points for consideration by a distinguished panel of scientists, policy-makers, and community partners who will share their own perspectives on inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations in UK marine science and management. ​


Louisa is an environmental social scientist working routinely across social and natural sciences. She increasingly bridges humanities and arts to answer fundamental questions about social and policy change for sustainable development in marine and coastal systems. Louisa has worked at the interface of resilience, well-being and sustainability for over 16 years in the UK, Australia, the Western Indian Ocean, South-East Asia and the Pacific. Most recently she has been leading the Resilience of Coastal Communities project under the Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (SMMR) programme in the UK. This research aims to develop a nexus perspective on resilience, well-being and sustainability to more systematically understand potential divergence and trade-offs among these objectives, so that together they can be enhanced for the benefit of coastal communities and marine environments. Aligned to the SMMR, Louisa is on the management board for the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Management of Marine Resources (CDT SuMMeR) which is supporting and training the next generation of transdisciplinary marine scientists in the UK. Finally, Louisa is committed to improving social justice in marine and coastal governance and is involved in the CESAB Blue Justice network. ​

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Keynote speaker: Louisa Evans

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