Project Advisory Group

The Project Advisory Group (PAG) is a committee of experts who have agreed to share their knowledge with the project partners. They are drawn from many disciplines and have agreed to:

• Attend specific meetings and workshops according to their expertise

• Provide guidance, comment on, and review methods, reports and other project outputs

• Attend the final VALMER conference

• Where possible, act as ambassadors for the project.

The PAG is co-chaired by Professor Ed Maltby and a French equivalent [tbc], who maintain a strategic overview of VALMER and act as wider ambassadors for the project. They attend the VALMER six-monthly PMC meetings, where they provide feedback to project partners.

Members biographies:

UK Chair: Professor Ed Maltby

Ed Maltby is currently Emeritus Professor of Wetland Science, Water and Ecosystem Management at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool.  He is also Chair of the Devon Maritime Forum and in 2012 he won the International Fellow Award of Society of Wetland Scientists ‘in recognition of outstanding achievements in wetland science and Society.’ He has over 40 years experience in scientific research with increasing advocacy of linkage to policy innovation; is an acknowledged pioneer in development of the Ecosystem Approach and in translating wetland science into awareness of the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services.  He provides both technical and policy advice for Supragovernment, government and non-government bodies, including the European Commission, DEFRA, the World Wide Fund for Nature, IUCN – The World Conservation Union, UNEP and the Biodiversity and Ramsar Conventions. He is also providing advice to South Australia on wetland ecosystem services in relation to required environmental water flows and drought management and carrying out new field research in Louisiana on the values of coastal ecosystems with application to policy development to deal with sea-level rise and climate change.  He is author, co-author or editor of more than 10 books and over 200 journal articles and reports. He has also developed and co-ordinated a number of wetland projects both here and abroad and is a member of the Technical Panel advising the EU on the Common Implementation Strategy for Wetlands under the Water Framework Directive.

Rachael Bice

My current role involves the supervision a small group of waste and environment policy officers working on a wide range of projects, such as maritime and sustainability policy, green infrastructure and climate change risk. I am also the Project Manager for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership that in summary, aims to promote sustainable and environmental growth. My interests and experience span a range of activities, beginning with a degree in Land Economy, my love of horses prevailed, so rather than becoming a surveyor, I studied an MSc in Equine Science and became a Stud Manager instead! When I returned to Cornwall, I worked on asset management, Coastline Housing followed by a short stint for an equine charity. I started work at Cornwall Council in 2006 in the waste management section; working on awareness, policy development and creating service delivery projects to attract funds and make savings.

Stephen Hull

Stephen is a Technical Director at ABPmer with over 20 years experience in applied marine environmental studies. He is a leading authority on UK marine spatial planning, marine conservation zone planning and marine policy. He has a particular interest in marine environmental decision-making frameworks and how they might support sustainable development.  He has led and contributed to a number of studies that have sought to develop ecosystem services frameworks in the marine environment and to apply them to decision-making. This includes work for Defra, Marine Management Organisation, Environment Agency, The Crown Estate and Marine Scotland. He also contributed to the marine elements of two of the NEA Follow-on project work packages.  Stephen has a particular interest in methods for the spatialisation of marine ES and the practical challenges this poses, given the limitations of existing data, tools and scientific understanding.

Paul Leonard

In 2009, Professor Leonard was a Founder Member of the Natural Capital Initiative, whereby the valuation of ecosystem services might be assessed.  This included marine research :   When Head of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs  (Defra) Marine Environment Science Unit, he supported a wide portfolio of research such as the instigation of the Marine Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund which included extensive biodiversity research in the English Channel as well as education & heritage components.  Other work for Defra, included support for the development of marine diversity databases e.g. and support for government policies:  .  His work included representing the UK internationally on the EU funded project COST – IMPACT which considered the valuation of ecosystem services in relation to fisheries.  He has also contributed to ‘The Secret Life of Stuff’ by Julie Hill, Vintage Originals, 357pp.  (2011) ISBN 978 – 0 – 099 – 54658 -0 which considers the origins and cost of what humans utilise. Paul continues to work nationally and internationally and is especially interested in providing scientifically robust evidence to support environmental policy initiatives.

Linwood Pendleton

Linwood Pendleton directs the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Pendleton’s work focuses on policies that affect human uses and enjoyment of ocean and coastal resources – both living and non-living. He is the Director of the Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership, author of many scholarly articles, and coordinates the Marine Secretariat of the international Ecosystem Services Partnership. Pendleton’s current projects include work with the United Nations Environment Program’s Green Economy Project, GRID Arendal’s High Level Steering Committee on Deep Sea Mineral Resources in the Pacific, and Blue Carbon Economics (joint with Brian Murray, also from the Institute). Pendleton served as Acting Chief Economist at NOAA from January 2011 through August 2013.

He holds a doctoral degree in resource and environmental economics from Yale University; a Master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School; a Master’s degree in ecology, evolution, and behavior from Princeton; and a Bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of William and Mary.

Jens Rasmussen

Jens is a Data Manager in Marine Scotland Science, part of the Scottish Government. He is responsible for managing the organisation’s data by defining the strategic approach, implementing solutions for enhanced data quality and sharing as well as guiding users on best practises.

Having studied for an MSc at Aarhus University in Denmark, and a PhD at Aberdeen University in Scotland, focussing on the early life stages of fish, he started working as a plankton ecologist for the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen in 2004. Here, he worked on new approaches, such as automated image analysis for plankton identification to use in food web ecology models. During this time, Jens was also getting involved in scientific data management, digitising historical data assets, and introducing metadata management in the organisation. Taking the post as scientific data manager in 2010, Jens focussed his efforts on bringing a strategic approach to how an organisation with more than 250 scientists can manage, locate, and share large volumes of data. Jens also has experience as a freelance programmer, having developed taxonomic databases for the web, and a range of smaller project. Today, he also works with a range of external data exercises in UK MEDIN, and ICES.

Mavra Stithou

Dr Stithou has significant experience in environmental economics and a strong interest in the marine environment. She has worked in diverse roles in academia and the public sector both in the UK and Europe. She is currently the Marine Management Organisation’s Environmental Economist. Mavra has previously held research positions at Athens University of Economics and Business (Greece) and the National University of Ireland, Galway (Republic of Ireland).Mavra has worked on a number of research projects, focusing on the marine and agricultural environments, particularly regarding biodiversity issues, water quality, coastal flooding and ecosystem services. Her main interests are based around methods of supporting decision-making and environmental policy design using a range of techniques, such as cost-benefit analysis and impact assessments, environmental valuation and benefit transfer methods. Mavra holds a BSc in Economics from Athens University of Economics and Business, an MSc in Environmental Economics from the University of York (UK) and a PhD from Stirling University (UK) on “The Economic Value of Improvements in the Ecology of Irish Rivers due to the Water Framework Directive”.

Spencer Wood

Spencer is a marine ecologist with the Natural Capital Project, an interdisciplinary team of scientists and practitioners developing tools that account for the multiple values of ecosystems.  His scientific research focuses on interactions between humans and the environment, through studies of nature-based tourism and the ways that humans fit into food webs.  Spencer also works with several marine management agencies around the world, supporting marine spatial planning with technical tools such as the Natural Capital Project’s InVEST software.  He earned his PhD from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and is currently based in Seattle, Washington.