Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Meriwether Wilson

Senior Lecturer

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Washington
Master of Environmental Science, Yale Univeristy
Bachelor of Arts, Duke University

Current Research Interests

Dr. Wilson is a Senior Lecturer in Marine Science and Policy at the University of Edinburgh focusing on the science-policy-society intersections of transboundary marine ecosystems and services, in particular biodiversity and ocean governance in international and transboundary waters.  She is in the School of GeoSciences, and part of the Global Change Research Institute, and the Oceans Research Group. Her current research explores emerging challenges in coastal-marine governance and marine ecology regarding infrastructure establishments in nearshore and offshore marine areas.  This research builds upon two decades of experience with international organizations (World Bank, UNESCO, UNDP, IUCN, NOAA) on the establishing marine protected areas globally across diverse ecological scales, cultures and economies. 

Dr. Wilson has a decade of research and teaching experience with the University of Washington and University of Edinburgh, including directing the "MSc in Marine Systems and Policies" at the University of Edinburgh.  She is the lead course organizer for related courses on conservation, blue growth and field trips (e.g. Maldives, Jamaica).  She has supervised over 40 marine focused MSc dissertations.


She also is supervisor to several PhD students working on diverse marine topics, e.g. marina designs to minimize invasive species; women's roles in balancing intertidal reef resources harvesting and conservation; ecosystems service trade offs of coastal managed realignment; and evolving marine governance and regional planning in Scotland.

Dr Wilson has various publications on diverse "marine science to policy topics" in leading journals, ranging from marine mammal codes of practice to disconnects in communicating coastal climatic risks.  She is currently a Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator (CI) on several research grants:

- Foundation Prince Albert II de Monaco (FPAII) - Community Based Aquaculture as a Catalyst for Locally Managed Marine Areas in Madagasgar (PI for University of Edinburgh, in partnership with NGO Blue Ventures (https://blueventures.org)

- European Union (EU) FP7 Consortium Grant - OPERAS - Operationalizing Ecosystem Services, focusing on coastal marine ecosystem services (http://operas-project.eu) (CI for University of Edinburgh, in partnership with 27 partners across Europe.)

-  NERC/ESPA Blue Skies Grant - "Marine Benefits - Sharing the benefits of sustainable fisheries: from global to local legal approaches to marine ecosystem services for poverty alleviation. (CI for University of Edinburgh, in partnership with University of Strathclyde) (http://www.strath.ac.uk/research/strathclydecentreenvironmentallawgovernance/marinebenefits/


Other activities include:

  • Co-Directing the "Edinburgh Marine Network" - a consortia of interested academics and practioners across the university (e.g School of Law) and practioners in NGO, government and private practice.
  • IPBES (Current) Contributing Author on the IPBES- 5 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform (Contributions on the Regional  Assessment Europe and Central Asia)
  • IPCC, 2014 - Contributing Author on European coastal and marine ecosystems for the IPCC AR5, Working Group II report. 
  • Member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas since 1995.

Recent invited talks and international workshops include:  Monaco Blue Initiative Conference (MBI 2018), UK JNCC Workshop Sustainability Partnerships in the South Atlantic (SPaNSA), EU/EEA Workshop on Marine Ecosystem Accounting, EU Mapping and Assessing Ecosystem Services (MAES); EU/IUCN Gudadeloupe Conference on Biodiversity Climate Change for EU Overseas territories and regions.

My research in a nutshell

In this video Meriwether describes how as urbanization and energy push infrastructure into ever expanding new marine realms, opportunities exist to create “hybrid” coastal and marine habitats that could potentially generate ecologically positive ecosystem trajectories over time.

ID: 201381