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Rachel Seary

Rachel Seary

PhD candidate, St Catharine's College

Rachel's research focuses on understanding mangrove-fishery-community linkages and the impacts of future mangrove loss or change.



  • 2015-2019: PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
  • 2014-2015: MSc Ecosystem-based Management of Marine Systems, University of St Andrews
  • 2012- 2013: Research assistant and supervisor of fisheries research base at Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation, Greece.
  • 2010-2014: BSc Marine Biology, Swansea University


  • MSc Ecosystem-based Management of Marine Systems, University of St Andrews, 2014-2015.
  • BSc Marine Biology, Swansea University, 2010-2014.

Funding and awards

  • 2015-2019: Nippon-Foundation Nereus Program Fellow: PhD Fellow within a global network of researchers working on understanding of the global human-ocean system across the natural and social sciences.

  • 2019: Philip Lake II Award: Postgraduate research and travel fund at the University of Cambridge.

  • 2018: Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Postgraduate Research Award: Albert Reckitt Award to support postgraduate fieldwork costs.
  • 2014: The Fishmongers' Company Bursary: An award to cover the tuition fees of one MSc student based on academic merit and ability to contribute to the Fishmongers' Company aims.
  • 2014: Graham Ralston Memorial Prize in Marine Biology: For the marine biology student who has demonstrated exceptional enthusiasm, commitment and scientific excellence in the execution of the final year project.
  • 2010: School of the Environment and Society Bursary (Swansea University): Awarded for undergraduate examination performance.


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

My PhD has been conducted between The Department of Geography, University of Cambridge and the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) under the Nereus Program, a cooperation between the University of British Columbia and The Nippon Foundation. The Nereus Program is a large scale research network designed to develop scientific capability for predicting future seafood production.

My research focuses on exploring the importance of coastal habitats for fisheries production and seeks to understand the potential impacts of mangrove loss or change (e.g. degradation or conversion) on economies and food security. Mangrove decline is cause for concern for the provision of a number of vital ecosystem services, particularly in supporting fisheries which sustain lives and livelihoods in some of the world's most fragile coastal communities.

Despite this, the importance of mangrove habitat and the role they play in supporting artisanal fisheries and further the potential impact of their loss is not well understood and has yet to be explored in a systematic way. As such, my research investigates various aspects of mangrove-fishery-community linkages, from local to global scales.



  • Seary, R. (2019) The future of mangrove fishing communities. In W. Cheung., Y. Ota., A, Cisneros-Montemayor (Eds.), Predicting future oceans: Sustainability of Ocean and Human Systems Amidst Global Environmental Change (pp. 283-293). Amsterdam, Netherlands. Elsevier.
  • Cullen-Unsworth, L.C., Jones, B, L., Seary, R., Newman, R & Unsworth, R.K.F. (2017) Reasons for seagrass optimism: Local ecological knowledge confirms presence of dugongs. Marine Pollution Bulletin. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.11.007.

Conference publications

  • Seary, R., Apostolidis, X., Bintoudi, E., Shepperson, J., Jeffery, A. & Miliou, A. (2013) Artisanal fisheries landings by seabed habitat in Fourni, NE Aegean, Greece: Preliminary results. 40th CIESM Congress Proceedings. Available at:
  • Seary, R., Acasuso- Rivero, C., Miliou, A., Standerwick, R., Demitriou, M., Chuda, D. & Siwka, I. (2013) Multiple phase microplastic assessment of the Greek Marine Environment. 40th CIESM Congress Proceedings. Available at:


  • Seary, R., Bithell, M., Spencer, T., McOwen, C. Investigating the relationship between mangrove extent and fishing at the global scale. Presented at the Conference on Mangroves, Macrobenthos and Management, Singapore, 2019.
  • Seary, R., Spencer, T., Bithell, M., McOwen, C. Defining mangrove-fisheries. Presented at the Conference on Mangroves As Fish Habitat, Kuala Lumpur, 2018.
  • Seary, R., Spencer, T, McOwen, C and Bithell, M. Measuring mangrove-fisheries: Case study of the Peam Krasaop Fishing Community, Cambodia. Presented at the Nereus Program AGM, Seattle, 2018.
  • Seary, R., McOwen, C., Spencer, T and Bithell, M. Exploring the impacts of future global change on mangrove-fishery-community linkages. Presented at FishAdapt: A global conference on climate change adaptation for fisheries and aquaculture, Bangkok, 2016. Available at: