Research and teaching about coastal wetlands and the communities that rely on them.

understanding coastal wetlands

- from local to lanscape scales.

Salt marshes, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows – collectively known as coastal wetlands – are amongst the most productive environments on Earth. Not only do they provide homes for thousands of species including insects, fish, and birds, coastal wetlands are vital to human wellbeing in a myriad of ways.

As with much of the Earth’s biosphere, coastal wetlands have been severely degraded by the actions of people. Reclamation, land use change, and pollution in particular have led to losses of ~20% in coastal wetlands around the world since the Industrial Revolution.

In response to these losses, steps have been taken across local and international levels to halt and even reverse the decline of coastal wetlands. We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel – rates of areal extent loss are declining across all coastal wetland habitats.

Yet, pressure to develop coastal areas continues to grow as the world’s population increases and climate change erodes the resilience of coastal wetlands. Areas that were once thought stable are showing signs of collapse.

Our work aims to better understand the drivers of coastal wetland change, so that we can collectively take steps to conserve them.


Our research is providing a deeper understanding of how people, plants, water, and sediment interact across local and landscape scales, to find solutions for protecting coastal wetlands globally 
– safeguarding them for future generations.


Mini Buoys

The Mini Buoy is a low-cost and easy-to-assemble device that measures currents, waves, and tides using accelerometers.

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Saltmarsh change

Salt marshes are ephemeral landscapes, which commonly erode and expand by tens of metres a year. Understanding historical patterns of marsh change and identifying the drivers which cause change can help  predict how marshes will likely change in the future. 

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Biogeomorphic behaviour

Coastal plants engineer their surrounding environment to increase changes of survival. Depending on how energetic the environment is, plants that use different survival strategies might emerge – ones that are resistant to erosion, and others that reinforce it.

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Tipping points

Marshes sit on a knife-edge. It only takes a small change in wave exposure, current velocity, or tidal inundation to cause the marsh edge to expand or erode. This project is searching for the point at which hydrological forcing tips the marsh edge from an expanding to an eroding state.

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Cwm Ivy

In August 2014, the seawall at Cwm Ivy on the northern Gower peninsula failed and the land behind was once again connected to the sea. The landscape is changing rapidly as saltmarsh plants replace grasslands, new channels propagate, and old marshes erode – making this the first restored marsh in Wales.

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Processes & management

For centuries, saltmarshes around the world have been lost to land claim. What’s left is now threatened by climate change and use of the coast by people. My review discusses the latest knowledge on the processes of saltmarsh expansion and erosion, and how attitudes towards saltmarsh management have changed over the years.

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questions we're addressing

- from sea to sky.

Remote Sensing
Soil Coring
Citizen Science


Sharing knowledge is our best chance at tacking coastal wetland loss. Our research is always open-source, and we endeavour to transform that knowledge into practical tools and educational material
– for the benefit of all.  

Structure from Motion

Structure from Motion (SfM) has wide application across the fields of robotics, media, and geography. In this course, you will learn the principles of SfM using open-source (freely-available) software to create our own 3D models.

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Introduction to R

In this course, we will get comforable using R through a series of four tutorials covering the basics, data wrangling, creating plots, and statistical examination of data.

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Tidal theory

A short film about how the tides work – as Sir Issac Newton envisaged them over 300 years ago.

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