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Ecology and Conservation

 Madison Bowden-Parry

Madison Bowden-Parry

PhD Student

 The Farmhouse 


The Farmhouse, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


I am a CDT SuMMeR PhD student in the College of Life and Environmental Science, within the Exeter Marine research group. 

My research aims to understand the long-term dynamics of kelp habitats along the coast of Sussex, and provides an important historical dimension to, and partnership with, the Sussex Kelp Recovery Project. Historically, this habitat covered 17,000 ha across ~30km of coastline. As of 2019, only 4% of this habitat remained, and our current knowledge of the historical extent of kelp, and the subsequent timings and drivers of its decline along this section of coastline are limited. Additionally, the influence that kelp, and its decline, has had on local communities and fisheries also remains unknown. 

By utilising approaches from the field of marine historical ecology, I will seek to generate a deeper understanding of a) the sociocultural impact and value of historic kelp habitats to local Sussex communities, b) the fine-scale interactions between fisheries and the historic kelp habitat, including the socio-ecological impact of kelp, and its decline, on local fisheries and, c) the historical extent and spatial dynamics of kelp habitats across the twentieth century. 


2022 PADI Divemaster

2019 RYA Powerboat Level 2

2017 - 2018 MSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology (University of Exeter)

2014 - 2017 BA (Hons) Marine and Natural History Photography (Falmouth University)


2022 - present PhD Biological Sciences (CDT SuMMeR) - Investigating the history of Sussex kelp habitats and their impact on local communities 

2021 - 2022 Digital Fundraising and Communications Officer (The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales)

2020 - 2021 Environmental Engagement Officer (Mumbles Community Council)

2018 Research Assistant (Dolphin Alliance Project)

2017 - 2018 MSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology (University of Exeter)

2017 - 2020 Marine Biologist and Guide (Gower Coast Adventures, seasonal)

2014 - 2017 BA (Hons) Marine and Natural History Photography (Falmouth University)

Research group links

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Research interests

My interests are predominantly centred around marine historical ecology, marine social-ecological systems, past ecosystem dynamics and shifting baselines. As an interdisciplinary researcher, I am interested in using mixed-method approaches to generate a deeper understanding of change within, impact on and use of marine ecosystems, for application in contemporary restoration and management goals. 

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