Photo of Dr Marta Meschini

Dr Marta Meschini BSc, MA, PhD

Research Associate School of Environmental Sciences


Research Overview

Resilient Coasts: Optimising Co-Benefit Solutions (CoOpt project)
Sea and society interact most strongly at the coast where communities both benefit from and are threatened by the marine environment. Coastal hazards will be increasing over the next century primarily driven by unavoidable sea level rise. At the same time, the UK is committed to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

It is therefore essential to ensure that UK coasts are managed so that coastal protection is resilient to future climate and the net zero ambition is achieved. Coastal protection can be delivered by maintaining hard ‘grey’ defences or by softer ‘green’ solutions that work with nature, are multifunctional, and can deliver additional benefits.

Project aim
Develop a new integrated and transdisciplinary system-based framework that will effectively support the required transition from hard ‘grey’ defences to softer ‘green’ solutions in coastal and shoreline management

Transdisciplinary science
Co-Opt brings together approaches from different disciplines that will enable the provision of a holistic conceptual representation of the complex coastal socio-ecological system and consideration of key drivers in this, including quantitative valuation of coastal ecosystem services now and into the future, and the influence of social perceptions and values.

Specific objectives and workplan
We will start by focusing on a generic coastal system. Because of the multiple spatio-temporal scales inherent to coastal systems, we will then step down in scales to focus on our four case studies. We will involve agencies with the statutory duty in each case study area as well as a broader set of stakeholders and experts throughout the project. They will be brought together for workshops at four points through the project to facilitate co-learning across agencies and broader interest groups.