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Dr Pamela Buchan

Dr Pamela Buchan

ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow



Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK


I have a varied academic and professional career history including marine biology, public engagement with science, volunteer management, coastal zone management, and marine social science research and consulting. I have served as an elected councillor in Plymouth City Council, and continue to contribute to public office as an MMO appointee and Vice Chair of the Devon & Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority. I've sat on a number of boards that work at the interface of the marine environment and the public, across a range of marine and non-marine sectors.

Broad research specialisms:

I am interested in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and practice related to the human-ocean relationship, including governance and decision making. My PhD research invetigated marine citizenship through a range of disciplines including marine environmental science, human geography, environmental psychology and environmental law. Through this work, the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park has embedded marine citizenship as a key goal, and the Ocean Recovery Declaration has been developed as a vehicle for marine citizenship.


  • PhD Environment, Energy and Resilience (Thesis and easy access summary report)
  • MRes Environment, Energy and Resilience
  • MSc Coastal Zone Management
  • BSc (hons) Marine Biology



ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Exeter University (2022 - current)
Research Associate, 'Future of Boards' project, Cambridge University Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) (2022)
Postgraduate Researcher, Exeter University (2016 - 2022)

Public office and responsibilities:

Devon & Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Vice Chair (2021 - current)
Cattewater Harbour Commissioners, Port Duty Holder (2019 - current)
Plymouth City Council, Honicknowle Ward (2018 - 2022)




  • Buchan, P.M. (2022) Marine citizenship (Keynote). European Marine Science Educators Association Annual Conference. Palma, Majorca.
  • Buchan, P.M. (2022) Connecting research and policy with the Ocean Recovery Declaration. In: Oceans Beyond Recovery? New directions in coastal and marine research. Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) Annual Conference. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
  • Buchan, P.M. and Bridge, N. (2022) The Local Government Ocean Recovery Declaration. SMMR Conference. Bristol, UK.
  • Buchan, P.M. (2022) Marine citizens or marine people? SMMR Conference. Bristol, UK.
  • Buchan, P.M. and Percival, S. (2021) Geographies across boundaries: Connecting the spaces between us. Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) Annual Conference, London, UK.
  • Buchan, P.M. (2020) Understanding marine citizenship - an interdisciplinary approach. Coastal Futures Conference, London, UK.
  • Buchan, P.M. (2019) Citizens of the Sea: defining marine citizenship. International Conference on Environmental Psychology, Plymouth, UK.


  • Buchan, P.M. (2022), Motion for the ocean. First Magazine, Local Government Association.
  • Buchan, P.M. & Bradshaw, N. (2022) Evaluating Coastal Partnerships: Report to the Coastal Partnerships Network (CPN) Championing Coastal Coordination ‘3Cs’ National Framework.
  • Buchan, P.M. (2021), Citizens of the Sea – a PhD thesis summary report.
  • Buchan, P.M. (2019), We can all be citizens of the sea. In Plymouth White Papers: Marine. Office of Luke Pollard MP, Plymouth, former Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA.
  • Buchan, P.M. (2006), Junior Café Scientifique. Education in Science 219:16-17. The Association for Science Education.
  • Garside C.J., Edwards, P.M. & Frid C.L.J. (2003), Fishing Effort in the Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast European Marine Site in 2001-2003, Final report of the Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast European Marine Site "Sustainable Fisheries Project".
  • Edwards, P.M. & Frid, C.L. (2001), Fishing Effort in the Berwickshire and North Northumberland European Marine Site (EMS). First report of the Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast European Marine Site "Sustainable Fisheries Project".


Research group links


Research interests

Humanity's relationship with the ocean: marine citizenship, marine identity, values and perceptions, pro-environmental behaviour, marine policy and governance.

Research projects

Project Title: International researcher-practitioner collaboration to co-produce conceptualisation of marine identities & put marine citizenship theory into practice.

Mentor: Prof. Patrick Devine-Wright

Funding: ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship

Project Description:
This project responds to Challenge 10 of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development : “Change humanity’s relationship with the ocean”.
The project includes:
1) A workshop with a network of international researchers and practitioners to: develop a conceptualisation of marine identities through diverse perspectives, knowledge, research and practice in global communities; interrogate relationships with marine citizenship and ocean literacy; and publish the findings to reach leading environmental researchers.
2) A collaboration with the UK’s first National Marine Park in Plymouth Sound (PSNMP) to pilot methods of developing marine citizenship and marine identity through participation and impact.
The Fellowship will provide the foundations for the development of future research into marine citizenship and marine identities.

Research networks

Research grants

  • 2022 ESRC
    Grant No. ES/X006379/1

External Engagement and Impact


ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize 2022 Winner: Outstanding Early Career Impact


Advice to Government, Parliament, devolved and English regional administrations, other national, international, regional or local agencies; advice to non-government organisations and to private practice

  • Founder and co-author of the Ocean Recovery Declaration, advising local authorities across the UK on declaring and implementing the motion; engaging with a range of other stakeholders, e.g., the MMO, Natural England, Association of IFCAs, IFCAs, and NGOs.
  • Advisor to DEFRA: Ocean Literacy Working Group member; inshore fisheries and marine social science advisor.

Competitively funded studentships and postdoctoral fellowships

  • ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship 2022
  • ESRC 1+3 Studentship Environment, Energy & Resilience 2015

External positions

Keynote addresses or prestigious public lectures given in international forums

Other Consultancy (i.e. income generating work that is not research)

Marine Social Science research and evaluation for DEFRA, WWF, Ocean Conservation Trust, Coastal Partnerships Network.


How can we promote social transformation to tackle climate change? Geography department panel discussion (Exeter sign in required - Societies and events tab).

Supervision / Group

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