INTRODUCTION

Project Seagrass is an environmental charity devoted to the conservation of seagrass ecosystems through education, influence, research and action.

Our four key principles define how we act. As such, we’re passionate about:

  • educating the wider community on the presence and importance of seagrass ecosystems, the services they provide and current seagrass management issues,
  • building the capacity of local stakeholders in the use of standardised scientific methodologies,
  • promoting and assisting with long-term monitoring of seagrass condition,
  • assisting with scientific research and supporting conservation measures that help facilitate the long-term resilience of seagrass ecosystems.
PHILOSOPHY
In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.
Baba Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist
UNITED APPROACH
Project Seagrass was created with the approach of turning cutting-edge research into effective conservation action and education schemes, by collaborating with local communities and other stakeholders. As a dedicated team of seagrass scientists, we work to protect seagrass, and through seagrass, we support marine conservation more broadly.
SIMPLE BEGININGS
The philosophy that Project Seagrass prides itself on evolved independently in the minds of its 3 founders. While pursuing masters degrees at Swansea University, Benjamin Jones and Richard ‘RJ’ Lilley each developed a passion for seagrass meadows and quickly realised that these ecosystems were under threat and were ignored in conservation agendas. In May 2013 Ben created Project Seagrass, a platform to help deliver seagrass science to the public, using social media to help disseminate information. At the same time, RJ, and their supervisor at the time, Dr Richard Unsworth were looking to strengthen seagrass science in Wales and formed the Welsh Seagrass Network.

Realising that they were all on a similar page, in July 2013, Project Seagrass was born, with the primary belief that education is key in the fight to conserve seagrass.

Directors

We’re a small team of scientists and conservationists with offices at the Sustainable Places Research Institute at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. We work all over the world, with current research and conservation projects in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.

Benjamin Jones

Founding Director

About Ben

Ben has a degree in Marine Biology from Swansea University and as part of the Seagrass Ecosystem Research Group he completed an MRes Degree in Aquatic Ecology and Conservation. Ben’s currently based at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University where he is conducting a PhD on the linkages between seagrass meadows, fisheries and poverty alleviation in the tropics. Ben has over 5 years of experience working with seagrass ecosystems across the globe.

Dr Richard 'RJ' Lilley

Founding Director

About RJ

RJ is passionate about education, particularly marine science communication and outdoor learning. His work focuses on the sustainable supply chain management of small-scale capture fisheries. He is particularly interested in the role of seagrass meadows in providing local food security and is currently working with an international team on an International Climate Initiative (IKI) project with this focus. His work domestically is focussed on developing seagrass meadow (Zostera marina) restoration opportunities across Scotland. RJ has over nine years experience of research in marine systems. He has primarily worked in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas and more recently the North Atlantic Ocean.  He is a qualified PADI and BSAC scuba-diving instructor and recreational free diver.

Dr Richard Unsworth

Founding Director

About Richard

Richard is a lecturer marine ecology and leads the Seagrass Ecosystem Research Group at Swansea University. Richard’s expertise lie in the ecological structuring processes of marine systems and the implications of these systems for society. This focuses primarily on the interrelationships between foundation species, habitat, and associated productive fauna (mainly fish). He is particularly interested in the consequences of cross-scale environmental changes on seagrass meadows functioning and the implications of this for global food security and other ecosystem services. Richard has more than twelve years’ experience of research in marine systems and conducts collaborative interdisciplinary research in Europe, Australia, Indonesia, Columbia and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Dr Leanne Cullen-Unsworth

Director

About Leanne

Leanne is a Senior Research Fellow at the Sustainable Places Research InstituteCardiff University. Leanne’s research interests are in coupled social-ecological systems and sustainability in the marine environment, in particular, marine and coastal resource use and management. She currently leads an international project investigating drivers of seagrass decline across multiple scales throughout SE Asia. Through her role as a director of Project Seagrass she is working to improve our understanding of seagrass systems in the UK and raise awareness of their ecosystem service value. Co-development of solutions to resource problems using a variety of mixed methodological approaches, including cooperative research, is a strong interest of hers.

CORE TEAM AND AMBASSADORS

Sam Rees

Technical Officer

Evie Furness

Education and Engagement Officer

Bethan Thomas

Project Officer

Jake Davies

Ambassador

STUDENTS, INTERNS & VOLUNTEERS

GOVERNANCE

INCOME
SPEND

Trustees’ annual report
& accounts

2015/16

Trustees’ annual report
& accounts

2016/17

Trustees’ annual report
& accounts

2017/18

Trustees’ annual report
& accounts

2018/19