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Cllr Pamela Buchan

Cllr Pamela Buchan

PhD student



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


I pursued Marine Biology through degree and into postgraduate research, specializing in tidal and lunar chronobiology (body clocks) in juveniles of the King Ragworm. I then moved into a nine year career in public engagement with science, predominantly working across the North of England with the British Science Association delivering events, running networks, and managing volunteers, during which time I also grew my young family. Towards the end of my time with the BSA I completed a part time MSc in Coastal Zone Management, with a view to returning both to research and to my former marine specialism. Since 2018, I am an elected councillor with Plymouth City Council. Through my council role, I sit on a number of boards that work at the interface of the marine environment and the public. I volunteer as a mentor with the Social Mobility Foundation.

Broad research specialisms:

My interdisciplinary PhD research examines the ways in which people pursue active citizenship for the marine environment. This draws on a range of disciplines including marine environmental science, geography, psychology and environmental law. I hope my research will help identify effective ways to develop a sense of citizenship duty towards good marine environmental health.


BSc (hons) Marine Biology,
MSc Coastal Zone Management,
MRes Environment, Energy and Resilience



Buchan, P.M. (2019) Citizens of the Sea: defining marine citizenship. International Conference on Environmental Psychology, Plymouth.

Buchan, PM & Yates, KL (2019) Stakeholder dynamics, perceptions and representation in a regional coastal partnership. Marine Policy 101:125-136.

Buchan, PM (2019) We can all be citizens of the sea in Plymouth White Papers Issue 2: Marine. pp25-29.

Research group links


Research interests

Marine-society interface: marine citizenship, values and perceptions, pro-environmental behaviour, marine policy and governance.

Research projects

Project Title: Investigating marine citizenship and its role in creating good marine environmental health

Supervisors: Dr Louisa Evans (Exeter), Prof. Stewart Barr (Exeter), Dr Margherita Pieraccini (Bristol)

Funding Body: ESRC

Project Description:
This research will critically analyse the spectrum of stakeholder engagement and participatory approaches employed within the marine environmental sector in the UK. In collaboration with case-study partners it will empirically examine examples of applied citizen science and engagement in marine policy and planning, to illuminate successful methods that can be applied to environmental policy more broadly. This interdisciplinary research will bridge the interface between marine science, governance and policy, and behavioural and educational theories. The application of the findings will support marine and coastal environmental management through a greater understanding of how policy and management intersect with the public.

Research networks

Marine Social Science Network: Plymouth #MarSocSciPlym

External Engagement and 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

Ocean Literacy Working Group member


Supervision / Group

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