The Bio-Economy

Ana Bras

I am Ana Bras, CEng, FICE, PhD and Reader (Associate Professor) in Bio-materials for Infrastructure at the School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), with 19 years of experience on development of construction materials and systems aligned with UK net-zero strategy for infrastructure. I established a research group to develop and implement innovative self-healing bio-based materials, making infrastructures more resilient and durable to water environments, through the re-use of locally available soil and wastes. The aim is to promote recovery and adaptation to environment change, limiting resource depletion. I generated over £1.8 million of direct contribution to LJMU as PI/Co-I (MSCAs Horizon Europe, H2020, Royal Society, ICE, RAEng, British Council, etc).

Themes: Blue Green Energy, Ports and Maritime, The Living Ocean

Affiliation: Liverpool John Moores University

Jill Burgess

I’m a Liverpool girl born and bred and even stayed in our wonderful city to study Geography at the University of Liverpool.  I’ve been at the National Oceanography Centre since 2004 working within the Marine Information Products and Services Team which is the commercial arm of the NOC. My aim within LISCO is to develop new collaborations, business partnerships and new opportunities with those interested in coastal processes, tidal predictions, and coastal management. Additionally I am particularly interested in continuing to develop good public engagement activities in order to raise public awareness of the research within LISCO.

Themes: Blue Green Energy, Coastal Resilience, Oceans and Climate, Ports and Maritime, The Living Ocean, Sea and Society
Affiliation: National Oceanography Centre

Simone Durr

I am a benthic community ecologist and work applied in biofouling and antifouling. My interests are in the multidisciplinary development of non-toxic antifouling solutions, biofouling quantification methods, ballast water, invasive species, larval behaviour and species interactions in a changing environment due to the climate change.

Themes: Blue Green Energy, Oceans and Climate, Ports and Maritime, The Living Ocean
Affiliation: Liverpool John Moores University

Çağatay Iris

Çağatay Iris is a Lecturer (equivalent, Assistant Professor) in Operations and Supply Chain Management at the University of Liverpool Management School. Çağatay has research interests in transport and logistics (including freight transport, next-generation ports, shipping, hinterlands, urban logistics, crowdshipping), shared economy and energy management. Recently, he has projects related to energy efficiency in seaports, port microgrids, economic investment analysis in maritime energy projects and fuels. He mostly uses mathematical modelling and data analytics methods to help decision marking in logistics investments, improve the performance of logistics systems, and reach net-zero targets. 

Themes: Blue Green Energy, Oceans and Climate, Ports and Maritime, The Living Ocean, Sea and Society
Affiliation: University of Liverpool Management School


David Jones

I am the Head of Mechanical Engineering at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) Liverpool, where I have worked since 1990. My role is to design and oversee the manufacture of bespoke equipment used in all NOC projects. I design build, and deploy equipment for tide gauge systems in the UK and overseas, deep ocean landers, instrument platforms, instrument deployment and recovery systems. I also manage the mechanical workshop; which is equipped with CNC machinery enabling us to produce precision parts and prototypes. We also have an area for the assembly and testing of equipment prior to deployment.  

Themes: Blue Green Energy, Coastal Resilience, Oceans and Climate, Ports and Maritime, The Living Ocean, Sea and Society
Affiliation: National Oceanography Centre

Stefano Mariani

I am Professor of Marine Biodiversity at LJMU and my research explores biodiversity at population and community levels, primarily through the lens of DNA variation. My investigations have explored fish stock structure and gene flow, DNA metabarcoding of water, sediment and gut contents, and seafood traceability and illegal trade in marine wildlife. My efforts are aimed to improve our ability to manage and sustain marine resources for many generations to come. For nearly two decades, I have been involved in project with a strong stakeholder involvement at both national and international levels, which generated impact on policy and offered solutions to challenges in fisheries management and environmental monitoring. Some recent examples include: SeaDNA, SEATRACES, Sharks & Rays IWT, Labelfish, e(lasmo)DNA, StockDNA

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Themes: The Living Ocean
Affiliation: Liverpool John Moores University

Fabienne Marret-Davies

I am a micropalaeontologist working with phytoplankton microfossils (dinoflagellate cysts) as tracers of oceanic conditions for the Quaternary period, in particular sea-surface conditions that can be used to create and/or calibrate climatic models. I am particularly interested in past warm periods to understand mechanisms and processes that could be applied for future climate change, as well as looking at potential biological hazards such as harmful algal blooms. Dinoflagellates can produce lethal toxins that affect marine ecosystems, in particular fisheries, and some species can be preserved as seed banks in sediments; such phenomena are therefore critical to be studied for resource management.

Themes: The Living Ocean, Sea and Society
Affiliation: University of Liverpool

Jack Thomson

I am a marine biologist whose research largely focuses on animal behaviour and its relationship with physiology, particularly under stress. Intertidal organisms are frequently exposed to a wide range of stressors as the environment changes dramatically each day. This influences how the community on a shore is structured, but also gives us an indication of how resilient organisms are to environmental perturbations over various timescales, and how they adapt to these challenges. As such they may provide valuable insight into how populations and communities adapt to climate change. However, I also have a keen interest in the relationships organisms have with the world around them and with each other, including how they may be impacted by human activity particularly the varied pollutants common among coastal environments.

Themes: Oceans and Climate, The Living Ocean
Affiliation: University of Liverpool

Monica McCard

I am an aquatic ecologist and Environmental Science lecturer at Liverpool John Moore University (LJMU). My primary research centres on the consequences of non-native species, emphasising recent work on environmental stressors. I have led projects exploring the impacts of non-native species and predator-prey dynamics in both freshwater and marine environments. Collaborating with Natural Resource Wales, I currently work on the impacts of invasive Chinese mitten crabs and management in the river Dee. Another key focus is my research on the feeding impacts of invasive lionfish, identified as highly destructive invaders in southern European waters. Currently, I am conducting a project in Honduras, Central America, analysing lionfish stomach contents to assess their potential as pollution indicators.

Themes: Coastal Resilience, The Bio-Economy, Oceans and Climate
Affiliation: Liverpool John Moores University

Kennedy Edeye Osuka

With a background in fisheries management and marine conservation, my expertise spans various facets of environmental management. I have spearheaded fish conservation and research initiatives, harmonising data collection methods across Western Indian Ocean nations. My contributions have informed fisheries policies in East African countries, showcasing a commitment to both research and policy development. My interests lie in human-ocean interactions, emphasising fisheries management, conservation efforts, and species protection. Exploring marine ecosystems, from shallow to deep reefs and pelagic environments, fascinates me, especially understanding the dynamic roles of piscivores and herbivores in ecosystem resilience. Additionally, I engage in influencing national and regional legislation, conducting research to overcome policy barriers.

Themes: Coastal Resilience, The Bio-Economy, The Sea and Society
Affiliation: University of Liverpool 

Iain Young

Iain promotes cross-disciplinary approaches addressing sustainability and food security challenges while delivering impactful R&D with industry partners. His projects address issues such as improving the sustainability of nutrition for aquaculture and agriculture, novel sensor development for water quality, smart approaches for control and monitoring and food chain optimisation.

Research and Knowledge Exchange highlights: Black Soldier Fly larvae as a Bioconverter of food waste into fish feed, development of novel water treatment systems, detection methods for flavour tainting compounds and pathogens in water, the use of fish waste in renewable energy production, hydrogen powered aquaponics systems and outreach projects engaging local schools in urban farming.

Themes: Blue Green Energy, Coastal Resilience, Oceans and Climate, The Sea and Society
Affiliation: University of Liverpool