Episode 21: Pyramids of Life

17 December 2021

In this edition of the Eastern Arc podcast series we hear about a groundbreaking £1.5m project that seeks to better understand how we can work sustainably to manage our oceans. The project, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), aims to develop a methodology that will enable us to more robustly quantify the effect that fishing has on the marine ecosystem. 

Led by Professor Jon Pitchford at the University of York, the project involves colleagues at the universities of East Anglia, Essex and Roehampton, as well as researchers at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), based at Lowestoft, and other stakeholders across the UK. 

The project is very timely: last month, as it hosted Cop26, the UK Government stated that ‘climate action is ocean action’, and sought agreement to ‘protect, restore and sustainably manage key marine habitats and species…driving marine nature-based solutions that will help us and the ocean to mitigate, adapt and be resilient to climate change’. 

Joining Phil Ward to explain the project, the issues underlying it and what they hope to achieve through it are experts from UEA, Essex and Cefas. 

  • Dr Gaetano Grilli is a Senior Research Associate in the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment at UEA. 
  • Amy Shurety is a postgraduate research student at the University of Essex who is match-funded by both the University of Essex and Cefas.
  • Dr Michaela Schratzberger is a Principal Marine Ecologist and Science Leader at Cefas. 
  • Dr Murray Thompson is a Senior Marine Ecologist and biodiversity and food web topic lead at Cefas. 

Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels

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