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School of Environment and Life Sciences

Dr Katherine Yates

Lecturer in Global Ecology and Conservation


My academic career started at the University of East Anglia, where I studied Environmental Science and where I first began to really grasp the multi-disciplinarity of environmental management problems. I then spent several years working for conservation NGOs, including Coral Cay Conservation and ARCAS. I returned to University to undertake my MSc at the University of York with Callum Roberts and got interested in marine protected areas and fisheries management. As part of my MSc I won a grant to work in Bermuda and develop spatial conservation plans for their nearshore reefs.

I then worked as a Field Instructor for Ecology Project International, where I had the opportunity to take groups of students to remote field stations for up to two weeks. I delivered a range of classes in tropical ecology and conservation, ran team building exercises and supported the students in conducting independent research projects. Having found my ideal PhD, I returned to the UK to study at Ulster University with Dr David Schoeman and undertake a project looking at Northern Ireland’s network of marine protected areas.

From my PhD I published five papers and provided data that feed directly into the local marine spatial planning process. Whilst at Ulster University I also worked as a tutor on an MSc Coastal Management course and I have published with a number of my students. During my PhD I won a scholarship to spend six months at the University of Queensland in Australia, in the prestigious Centre for Excellence in Environmental Decisions (CEED) with Hugh Possingham.

I stayed in Australia after that and worked as a Postdoctoral Research for the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). There I was developing distribution models for various aspects of fish biodiversity and testing the transferability of those models in space. Now at Salford I plan to continue with research on spatial conservation planning and the research on biodiversity modelling and fisheries management that feeds into it. I am currently also a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow working with the UK Marine Management Organisation, facilitating the incorporation of cutting-edge science into policy and management.


MSc Module co-ordination and principle deliverer: Wildlife Conservation Planning 

Research Interests

Marine conservation, spatial planning, protected area design, participatory mapping, fisheries management, biodiversity distribution modelling

Qualifications and Memberships

PhD Spatial conservation planning and fisheries management, Ulster University

PGcertPD for Researchers, Ulster University

MSc Marine Environmental Management, University of York

BSc Environmental Science, University of East Anglia

Certified Associated in Project Management (CAPM), Project Management Institute

Certified facilitator, UK Association of Facilitators


Student (MSc) co-authors are underlined:

Yates, K.L., Mellin, C., Caley, M.J., Radford, B.T., Meeuwig, J.J. (2016) Models of marine fish biodiversity: assessing predictors from three habitat classification schemes. PloS one Vol. 11 (6) e0155634

Clarke, B., Thurstan, R., Yates, K.L. (2016) Stakeholder perceptions of a coastal marine protected area. Journal of Coastal Research. Vol. 75, 622 -626

Ramsey, V., Cooper, J.A.G., & Yates, K.L. (2015) Integrated Coastal Zone Management and its potential application to Antigua and Barbuda. Journal of Ocean and Coastal Management. Vol. 118, 259–274

Farrel, M., Cooper, A. & Yates, K.L. (2015) Challenges and benefits associated with designing coastal walking and cycling amenities: a green infrastructure perspective. Journal of Coastal Management. Vol. 43 (6), 628-650

Yates, K.L., Schoeman, D.S. & Klein, C. (2015) Multi-industry Ocean Zoning: integrating biodiversity conservation, fisheries management and marine renewable energy generation. Journal of Environmental Science. Vol. 152, 201-209

Yates, K.L. & Schoeman, D.S. (2014) Incorporating the spatial access priorities of fishers into strategic conservation planning and protected area design: reducing cost and increasing transparency. ICES Journal of Marine Science.

Yates, K.L. (2014) View from the wheelhouse: perceptions of marine management from the fishing community and suggestions for improvement. Marine Policy. Vol. 48, 39-50

Johnston, A., Slovinsky, P.A. & Yates, K.L. (2014) Assessing the vulnerability of coastal infrastructure to sea level rise using multi-criteria analysis in Scarborough, Maine (USA). Journal of Ocean and Coastal Management. Vol. 95, 176 - 188 

Yates, K.L. & Schoeman, D.S. (2013) Spatial Access Priority Mapping (SAPM) with Fishers: a Quantitative GIS Method for Participatory Planning. PloS one. Vol.8, e68424

Yates, K.L., Payo-Payo, A. & Schoeman, D.S. (2013) International, regional and national commitments meet local implementation: a case study of marine conservation in Northern Ireland. Marine Policy. Vol. 38, 140 – 150