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Department of Geography


Frédérique Fardin BSc MSc

PhD student, Cambridge Coastal Research Unit, Department of Geography and UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Magdalene College.

Frédérique’s research focuses on the perception of small-scale fishers around mangrove areas in the context of climate change and dependence on healthy coastal environments, with case studies from South-East Asia and the Caribbean.


Frédérique is an associate PhD student with UNEP-WCMC and is part of the Nippon Foundation Nereus Program, a global partnership with the mission to advance our comprehensive understanding of the global human-ocean system across the natural and social sciences. Prior to starting her PhD, Frédérique worked in the Caribbean for the Regional Activity Centre for the Protocol for Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW-RAC) under the UN Environment, Caribbean Environment Programme, and for the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), focusing on coastal and marine biodiversity conservation and the management of natural resources and environmental issues.


  • October 2018 – Present: PhD student, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge and UN Environment World Conservation monitoring centre, UK.
  • May 2017 – July 2018: Technical officer, CANARI (Caribbean Natural Resources Institute), Trinidad & Tobago.
  • June 2015 – April 2017: Project coordinator, SPAW-RAC / UNEP-CEP (Regional Activity Centre for the Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife/UN Environment – Caribbean Environment Programme), Guadeloupe.
  • January – July 2014: Research assistant, Department of Botany, Institute of Biosciences of the University of São Paulo, Brazil.
  • July – August 2013: Research assistant, Laboratory of General Ecology, French National Museum of Natural History, Paris.
  • 2015 – 2018: Various experiences as a short-term volunteer for Natural Reserves, NGOs in the Caribbean and at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.


  • Advanced Master degree in International Environmental and Social Management, AgroParisTech. 2014-2015.
  • MSc in Systematics and Evolution, major in Terrestrial Tropical Ecosystems. Université Pierre et Marie Curie and French National Museum of Natural History. 2012-2014
  • BSc in Biology, major in Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Université Paris-Sud. 2012.


Fluent in French (native), Creole (native), English, Portuguese. Conversant in Spanish.

Funding and awards

Scholarships and fieldwork grants

Other grants/awards

  • MMM5 (Mangrove Macrobenthos Management 5th Conference) Student Travel Sponsorship (2019)
  • Moorman Fund – Magdalene (2019-2023)


Supervised by: Professor Tom Spencer, Dr Mike Bithell and Dr Chris McOwen.

Mangroves provide many ecosystem services, including the support of fisheries, coastal protection, and carbon sequestration. Accelerated sea-level rise has been seen as a particular threat to the continuation of these services. Crucially, mangroves have, under certain conditions, the capacity to keep pace with sea-level rise, and avoid in-place drowning, and conversion to mudflat and open water through a vertical accretion mechanism.

Within this context, from the biophysical sciences, it is important to establish the extent to which local communities are experiencing climate change, are knowledgeable about it, and are able or unable to change their behavior actively and manage risks. A specific objective of my research is therefore to address the gap between the environmental changes revealed by biophysical methods and the knowledge and perception of local communities.

Two study sites from two regions (South-East Asia and the Caribbean) have been selected, respectively in Thailand and Jamaica, to evaluate the scenario-modelling of mangrove-forest futures in terms of their implications for fisheries. The choice of the sites tends to illustrate two contrasting ecosystems that are both facing climate-change effects and various anthropogenic threats. Moreover, collaboration with local institutions (academic, civil-society organisations, such as fisherfolk associations, and non-governmental organisations) are being developed to ensure the smooth conduct of the fieldwork and the data-collection process. Additional sites might be explored, depending on the timeframe and funding availability.

Using an innovative, replicable, and adaptive mixed-method approach, I will combine biophysical information with a socio-economic study. The biophysical data will assess the actual performance of mangroves under environmental change, including available historical/contemporary data (e.g. vertical sediment accretion), as well as local measurements (sea level rise, forest structure/degradation, and land-use dynamics). The socio-economic analysis aims to understand the perception of climate change and its consequences within coastal communities—with a focus on fishing communities—through the conduction of semi-structured interviews.

Additionally, the project aims to recommend interventions for addressing the adaptive capacity gaps that the communities may possess in relation to the various environmental, economic, and climatic changes occurring now and into the near-future. Finally, the outcomes will be communicated to the general public and policy makers through a short video with footage from the field sites.

Fisherman boat in a mangrove area in the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA) in the south of Saint Lucia. F. Fardin. (2016).



Other papers

Conference contributions

  • Fardin F, Creswell L, Doyle E, Franks J, Oxenford H and Russell M. (2018). The Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute: An institution promoting education, research and cooperation in the marine sciences throughout the Gulf and Caribbean region. Oral presentation at the 3rd Caribaea Initiative Research & Conservation Workshop, Guadeloupe.
  • Fardin F, Belmont J, Fontaine A, Vanzella-Khouri A, McDonald Gayle K. (2015). Regional cooperation on the Sargassum influx around the Wider Caribbean. Oral presentation at the 68th GCFI annual meeting, Panama.
  • Fardin F, Loeuille B, Pirani JR. (2015). Calea L. (Asteraceae-Neurolaenae) in the Serra do Cipó, Minas Gerais, Brazil: taxonomic treatment with an interactive key. Poster at the 66th Congresso Nacional de Botânica, Santos, Brazil.

External activities

  • Founder of Roots of the Sea: NGO based in Martinique, bringing conservation of marine and coastal environments through education and training of youth, founded in July 2020
  • January -December 2019: Environmental officer of the Graduate Union of the University of Cambridge.
  • Ongoing membership with the following organisations:
    • GIFT (Gender in FIsheries Team) with CERMES-UWI (University of the West Indies)
    • The Society for Conservation Biology. Latin America and the Caribbean regional section.
    • Black Women in Ecology Evolution and Marine Science
    • The Linnean Society of London
  • Reef Check Eco-diver certification for the Caribbean region.