Title: It’s Not All About The Fish
Speaker: Mel Austen
Head of Science for ‘Sea and Society’ at Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Mel Austen is Head of Science for ‘Sea and Society’ at Plymouth Marine Laboratory and originally was a marine ecologist who researched very small worms in mud for many years but struggled to answer the ‘so what?’ question of anyone she spoke to about this work. She realised that she needed to look at the marine environment from a people’s perspective to be able to keep them listening. So she started working with economists and social scientists, public health researchers and policy makers in the UK and internationally.
She will talk about why the marine environment is important to people and how we measure that importance (and not always in money), how we relate that back to managing the marine environment and to supporting development of policy to do so. As well as undertaking research she has served in Government roles including currently as a member of the Natural Capital Committee and of the JNCC.
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