People > Professor Nicola Beaumont

Professor Nicola Beaumont

Head of Science - Sea and Society

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)


Professor Nicola Beaumont leads the Sea and Society team at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory and is an internationally established expert in the assessment and valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. She has honorary professorships at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, and the College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter. Her research spans scales from local to global, including international development and a variety of environmental challenges, for example: renewable energy, plastics, flood and erosion management, climate change, ocean acidification, and marine planning and policy. She has extensive people and project management experience, with a particular focus on interdisciplinary projects. Nicola has secured and managed >£3.8million of research funding as PI, including leading two large (£1.2million+) multi-institute collaborative projects. Nicola has a sustained publication record and has contributed to a number of high level reports, including acting as the lead economist for marine and coastal margins for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA).

Nicola’s research has recorded impact in the policy sphere, including underpinning the designation of marine conservation zones and shaping government policy such as the Marine Bill and the Natural Environment White Paper, The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature. Nicola is skilled in research communication including working with academics, policy makers, managers and varied research user groups. She embraces outreach and media, including festival related STEM activities, YouTube, and interviews with radio, newspaper and television. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is of paramount importance to Nicola and she is experienced in the development and implementation of EDI strategies. As a senior academic Nicola draws on her people management skills to support and guide numerous teams, colleagues, and students, including formal and informal mentoring.


DREAMS - Decommissioning - Relative Effects of Alternative Management Strategies

Contact: Dr Paul Somerfield

The highly integrated DREAMS project is designed to bring together information about the effects of man-made structures on the marine ecosystem and...

Other key projects

  • UKERC (UK Energy Research Centre) Phase 4 Theme 3: Energy, environment and landscapes Lead PI for the Theme and Co-director of UKERC. 2019 – 2024
  • The Economics of Marine Plastic Pollution: What are the Benefits of International Cooperation? ESRC funded. 2019 – 2022 (co-I)
  • Reducing the impacts of plastic waste in the Eastern Pacific Ocean GCRF funded 2019 – 2022
  • North Atlantic Microplastic Centre (NAMC) Lead of Society and Regulation pillar. Funded by Agenda Vestlandet 2020–23
  • Risks and Solutions: Marine Plastics in Southeast Asia (co-I) UKRI funded 2020-23


Selected key publications

Beaumont, N. (editor), 2020 Demystifying Interdisciplinary Working (in Valuing Nature) Valuing Nature Paper VNP25.


Abate, T.G., T. Börger, M. Aanesen, J. Falk-Andersson, K.J. Wyles, N.C. Beaumont. 2020. Valuation of marine plastic pollution in the European Arctic: Applying an integrated choice and latent variable model to contingent valuation. Ecological Economics, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.106521


Beaumont, N.J, M. Aanesen, M.C. Austen, T. Börger, J.R. Clark, M. Cole, T. Hooper, P.K. Lindeque, C. Pascoe and K.J. Wyles. 2019. Global ecological, social and economic impacts of marine plastic. Marine Pollution Bulletin, doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.03.022


Botterell, Z.L.R., N.C. Beaumont, T. Dorrington, M. Steinke, R.C. Thompson and P.K. Lindeque. 2019. Bioavailability and effects of microplastics on marine zooplankton: A review. Environmental Pollution, doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.10.065


Hooper, T., T. Börger, O. Langmead, O. Marcone, S.E. Rees, O. Réndon, and N.C. Beaumont 2019. Applying the natural capital approach to decision making for the marine environment. Ecosystem Services, doi: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2019.100947


Macreadie, P.I., A. Anton, J.A. Raven, N.C. Beaumont et al. 2019. The future of Blue Carbon science. Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11693-w


Rendón, O.R., A. Garbutt, M. Skov, I. Möller, M. Alexander, R. Ballinger, K. Wyles, G. Smith, E. McKinley, J. Griffin, M. Thomas, K. Davidson, J.F. Pagès, S. Read and N.C. Beaumont.2019. A framework linking ecosystem services and human well‐being: Saltmarsh as a case study. People and Nature, doi: 10.1002/pan3.10050.


Tinch, R., N.C. Beaumont, et al. 2019. Economic valuation of ecosystem goods and services: a review for decision makers. Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, doi: 10.1080/21606544.2019.1623083


Beaumont N.J., M.C. Austen, J. Atkins, D. Burdon, S. Degraer, T.P. Dentinho, S. Derous, P. Holm, T. Horton, E. van Ierland, A. H. Marboe, D.J. Starkey, M. Townsend, T. Zarzycki. 2007. Identification, definition and quantification of goods and services provided by marine biodiversity: implications for the ecosystem approach. Marine Pollution Bulletin 54 (2007) 253-265. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2006.12.003


Worm B., E. B. Barbier, Beaumont N.J, J. E. Duffy, C. Folke, B. S. Halpern, J. B.C. Jackson, H. K. Lotze, F. Micheli, S. R. Palumbi, E. Sala, K. A. Selkoe, J. J. Stachowicz, R.Watson (2006). Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services. Science, 314, 787-790, doi: 10.1126/science.1132294

Other activities

  • NERC Science Committee
  • Ecosystem Service Partnership. Marine Biome Expert Group Lead
  • Member of Scientific Steering Committee of H2020 BESIDE (Institutional, BEhavioural, critical and adaptive economics towards Sustainable Development, management of natural capital and circular Economy) project
  • Member of Expert panel of “MarES: Changing uses and values of marine ecosystem services in the Norwegian Arctic” A Norwegian Research Council (Marinforsk) funded project. 2016-2019
  • Member of Productive Seas Evidence Group (PSEG), this group aims to ensure that appropriate monitoring programmes are in place to produce periodic assessments to identify the nature and influences that human activities have on the socio-economic uses of the marine environment