Constance Schéré

Thesis title:

The role of ecosystem management in how effectively marine protected areas in the Irish Sea reach their biological conservation objectives while maintaining sustainable use.


A wide array of methods is currently applied to adequately manage and protect marine resources, such as establishing marine protected areas (MPAs). MPAs should meet both biophysical objectives while maintaining sustainable use; in other words, they must ensure long-term ecological conservation of species and habitats while also considering socioeconomic outcomes. Ecosystem management and good governance are necessary for MPA success. This doctoral project will assess MPA effectiveness in the Irish Sea, which has almost 200 MPA designations across 112 sites.

To explore the state of MPAs in the Irish Sea, Constance’s research will first identify gaps in management and monitoring in Irish Sea MPAs to determine whether there are any paper parks. She will then assess equity (as called for by the Convention on Biological Diversity) in three case-study MPAs (Strangford Lough, Carlingford Lough, and the Solway Firth) to better understand stakeholder perceptions. Finally, Constance will use remote sensing via satellite imagery to evaluate the state of mudflats, an important yet threatened habitat in European MPAs, in these three sites, and look at population trends for bioindicator and priority species such as Branta bernicla (Brent goose) to understand some of the related impacts of declining mudflat conditions in MPA ecosystems.

Constance’s work draws on the fields of marine biology, ocean and coastal management, and marine social science to understand how different environmental management approaches impact MPA effectiveness. The outcome of this doctoral work hopes to give MPA managers, policy makers, scientists, and other stakeholders evidence on which to base more effective management of MPAs.

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First supervisor:

Kate Schreckenberg


9 – Political Ecology, Energy & Environmental Health




Bailey J.J., Cunningham, C.A., Griffin, D.C., Hoppit, G., Metcalfe, C.A., Schéré, C.M., Travers, T.J.P., Turner, R.K., Hill J.K., Sinnadurai, P., Stafford R., Allen D., Isaac N., Ross B., Russi D., Chamberlain B., Harvey Sky N., McKain S. (2022). Protected Areas and Nature Recovery. Achieving the goal to protect 30% of UK land and seas for nature by 2030. London, UK. Available at: 

Schéré, C.M., Schreckenberg, K., Dawson, T.P., and Jones, N. (2021) It’s just conservation: to what extent are marine protected areas in the Irish Sea equitably governed and managed? Frontiers in Marine Science. pp. 1-17. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2021.668919

Schéré, C., Dawson, T., and Schreckenberg, K. (2020) Multiple conservation designations: what impact on the effectiveness of marine protected areas in the Irish Sea? International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 27(7), pp. 596-610. doi: 10.1080/13504509.2019.1706058

Constance conducted her LISS-DTP internship working with the LPO (French partner of BirdLife International) on the Sept-Îles marine protected area in her native Brittany, France. She led a study on MPA governance and assisted in ecological monitoring of the reserve.