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Chris Mcowen

Lead Marine Scientist | Conserving Land and Seascapes

Chris is an interdisciplinary scientist, whose research spans local, national, regional and global scales, combining experience in marine policy, ecology and biodiversity, ecosystem services, fisheries science and spatial conservation planning. Chris’s role is to manage and provide technical oversight and scientific knowledge to projects at the science-policy interface. His main activities revolve around the analysis of coastal and marine biodiversity, environmental and socio-economic datasets. He supervises PhD and post-doctoral students in collaboration with the University of Cambridge.

Previous experience & expertise

Chris has a research background in marine biology, biodiversity modelling and spatial ecology. Chris obtained his PhD from the University of St Andrews where he developed statistical models to identify species and regions of conservation importance. Prior to his current role, Chris was a post-doctoral scientist at UNEP-WCMC and the University of Cambridge. In this role he identified the ecological, oceanographic and socio-ecological drivers of fisheries production, in order to predict patterns of resource utilisation and develop polices to exploit marine ecosystems more sustainably.

Recent work by Chris Mcowen

NEREUS | Project Lead

The Nereus Project is an interdisciplinary research partnership which provides guidance on how to use current and future fisheries resources sustainably. Chris coordinates UNEP-WCMC’s role, which is to 1) simulate future fisheries dynamics and outline policy options and 2) highlight the reliance of local fishing communities upon coastal habitats to decision makers.

The Global Environment Facility, Blue Forests | Project Lead

Coastal ecosystems help mitigate climate change through the sequestration and storage of carbon. Chris is working with colleagues to develop a “Blue Carbon Toolkit” which utilises remote sensing, innovative technology and scientific research to provide decision makers with the information they need to integrate blue carbon into climate change mitigation strategies.

Marine Ecological Restoration in Changing European Seas | Project Lead

MERCES will seek to provide European guidance on marine restoration for the benefit of people. UNEP-WCMC’s role is to identify factors that influence restoration success and quantify the resulting benefits in order to ensure future restoration efforts have the maximum conservation, economic and societal impacts.