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, in particular biodiversity, ocean governance and climate adaptation for small island developing states (SIDS) and large-ocean island nations.  She is in the School of GeoSciences, with the Global Change Research Institute/Oceans Research Group. Her current research explores emerging challenges in coastal-marine governance and marine ecology regarding marine conservation and infrastructure development 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, including project management and field experience across the Pacific (Galapagos, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia), and a decade of working with coastal nations of the Red and Black Seas.

Dr. Wilson has a decade of research and teaching experience with the University of Washington and University of Edinburgh.  At Edinburgh, she is co-founder and co-Director of the Edinburgh Ocean Leaders Programme (2019 onward, https://www.ed.ac.uk/ocean-leaders).  In 2013 she founded the interdisciplinary "MSc in Marine Systems and Policies" (2013-2018), and lectures on courses focusing on marine policy, ecology conservation, blue growth and field-based learning (e.g. Maldives, Jamaica). She has supervised over 50 marine focused MSc dissertations, with academic, NGO, government and industry partners, as well as several PhD students working on marine topics, e.g. marine biosecurity invasive species, intertidal reef harvesting; coastal managed realignment; and marine conservation and climate horizons.

Dr Wilson has publications on across marine science to policy topics in leading journals, ranging from assessing coastal climatic risks and security, to marine mammal codes of practice and is Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator (CI) on research grants:

  • Foundation Prince Albert II de Monaco (2020-2023, Co-PI): Accelerating the reach and influence of global young professionals working on solutions for the oceans and society.
  • Foundation Prince Albert II de Monaco (2018-2019, PI): Community Based Aquaculture as a Catalyst for Locally Managed Marine Areas in Madagascar (UoE in partnership with NGO Blue Ventures).
  • European Union (EU) FP7 Consortium Grant (2014-2017, CoI): OPERAS - Operationalizing Ecosystem Services, focusing on coastal marine ecosystem services (http://operas-project.eu)
  • NERC/ESPA (2015-2018, CoI): Marine Benefits - Sharing the benefits of sustainable fisheries: from global to local legal approaches to marine ecosystem services for poverty alleviation

 Other activities include:

  • 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 2019, 2018), UK JNCC Workshop Sustainability Partnerships in the South Atlantic, EU Workshop on Marine  Ecosystem Services; 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.

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