Dr Simon J Pittman
Simon is an Associate Researcher at the University of Plymouth in the UK and Director of Seascape Analytics and Project Seascape CIC. He has been instrumental in building the foundations for the newly emerging field of seascape ecology and is the editor of the first book dedicated to the subject. It features contributions on topics such as marine protected area (MPA) design, ecological connectivity, seascape mapping and modelling, pelagic seascapes, seascape economics and holistic systems science.
Simon has been working in and around MPAs for 25 years, providing ecological information, training and decision-support tools to reserve managers and marine spatial planners. He has trained park rangers to monitor MPAs in Kenya, the Seychelles and the Caribbean. He has worked with NOAA as a consultant for the past 15 years and collaborated closely with staff of the National Park Service, NGOs, community groups and local government agencies in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). He lived in the USVI for several years, providing science to support ecologically meaningful management. This work has produced in-depth assessments of MPA ecological performance, helped determine threats to marine ecosystem health and identified priority areas for conservation action, such as vulnerable coastal habitats, diverse coral reefs, and fish spawning areas.
Simon has contributed to marine spatial planning in Hawaii, the Gulf of Maine and Oregon to help guide environmentally-informed decision-making, including planning for offshore renewable energy operations. His current work has become more holistic, with a focus on blue urbanism and the concept of community-led marine parks for coastal cities as a spatial nexus to address multiple sustainable development targets.
He serves as a science advisor to the World Commission on Protected Areas’ Specialist Working Group on Marine Connectivity Conservation and Blue Parks. He is affiliate faculty of the University of the Virgin Islands’ Institute for Geocomputational Analysis and Statistics (GeoCas), which he co-founded in 2009. Simon mentors graduate researchers globally and lectures on seascape ecology at the University of Oxford.
Kate's work focuses on mental health and well-being. Kate has substantial experience in social change and has established and led a national charity and various community projects to better serve communities. She has provided expert advice to inform government health policy.
She is a scholar in spiritual ecology and an experienced senior psychotherapist who has practised for over twenty years and has taught postgraduate courses at the University of Manchester. Kate’s specialisms are in complex and relational trauma and ecotherapy. Kate is a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and works part-time in the NHS.
She is a respected member and voice in the movement for compassionate cities in Plymouth and involved in the building of trauma-informed cultures. Her passion is to create safe spaces for people to become who they are and explore how they relate to the world around them - especially water. She works to cultivate a deep inter-relatedness of human beings and the other than human world and is currently exploring the therapeutic value of seascapes. In our world of accelerated change, Kate also explores the psychological and spiritual issues of the consequences of environmental degradation and loss. She currently studies Ecology and Spirituality at Schumacher College and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.