Wed, 22 Sept



Blue Carbon - the role of UK salt marshes in climate change mitigation

Join our director Scott for this talk about his favourite coastal environment for Brighton Cafe Scientifique.

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Blue Carbon - the role of UK salt marshes in climate change mitigation

Time & Location

22 Sept 2021, 19:30


About the Event

Marine ecosystems like seagrass meadows, salt marshes and mangroves absorb or ‘draw down’ carbon dioxide from the water and atmosphere. The storage of carbon in marine habitats is called blue carbon.

• Globally, salt marshes and seagrass – blue carbon sinks – draw down and store between them[masked] million tonnes of carbon a year; almost half the emissions from the entire global transport sector. • Scientists estimate that salt marsh and seagrass habitats fix and store carbon at two to four times the rate of mature tropical forests. This means the UK’s salt marshes and seagrass beds have the carbon storage potential of between 1,000 and 2,000 km2 of tropical forests.

Yet despite these impressive numbers and the obvious importance of coastal wetlands for climate change mitigation and carbon sequestration, there is still much global scarcity in understanding the patterns and drivers of salt marsh carbon storing. In particular, little is known about how salt marsh carbon store will react to changes in marsh elevation due to sea level rise (SLR), and the drivers which determine variations of carbon store at depth levels below 50 cm are also not well described. I will present the findings of my research undertaken on 4 UK marshes which attempted to quantify the influence of elevation relative to local tidal range on soil carbon stores, thereby directly addressing the question how changes in relative elevation due to SLR might affect carbon store. I also investigated the relative change in importance of drivers of carbon store with increasing depth.

I hold a BSc in Environmental and Sustainability Studies as well as an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection. My research interest is in coastal ecosystems and coastal management, especially human-nature interactions and participatory methods in stakeholder engagement, as well as ABR (arts-based research). I am a former professional musician and am still active making “Music for the Planet” with my band The Lürxx (

I also hold a MA in Classics and am passionate about Latin and Ancient History as well as about nature conservation and science communication. I founded the Plover Rovers in 2020 whilst being on furlough from my job as a marine biologist. Plover Rovers is a charity dedicated to enhancing ocean literacy and empowering coastal communities through delivering exciting scientific talks all along the English Coast Path.

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