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Team & Partners

Image by Phil Botha

The project is being lead by the University of Exeter and supported by a Steering Group of regional stakeholders. You can read our team profiles and Steering Group members here: 


Dr Matthew Witt 

Project Co-Lead and Spatial Ecologist

Matthew is an Associate Professor in Natural Environment, whose work focuses on spatial ecology, ecological modelling, marine conservation and satellite remote sensing. His research group works on issues of human-wildlife spatio-temporal conflict and marine sustainability with a strong focus on “big data” in the marine environment.


Dr Rachel Turner 

Project Co-Lead and Social Scientist

Rachel is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Social Science focusing on coupled human-natural systems and their governance, in particular relating to fisheries and marine conservation. Her research explores issues such as how resource users respond to change, what drives spatial behaviour at sea, and how governance practices influence the social wellbeing of coastal communities.


Dr Stephen Pikesley 

Post Doctoral Research Assistant

Stephen is a marine spatial ecologist with expertise in dataset integration and statistical modelling. His research experience integrates the use of spatial ecological tools, including satellite tracking, aerial surveys, remote sensing, GIS and habitat modelling to help identify and gain insight, into marine vertebrate spatial and temporal distribution patterns and trends and, where possible, to ascertain potential areas of threat.


Owen has an interdisciplinary research background with experience in GIS, decision support software and stakeholder engagement. His previous research focused on combining socioeconomic and ecological data to inform marine spatial planning and spatial fisheries management in data poor regions. Owen will be responsible for sourcing and processing data, eliciting stakeholder input and ensuring iterative developments of OHI+ indicators are tailored to the South West region.


Chris Kerry 

Project Officer

Chris is a GIS specialist, he routinely works with geospatial data, dataset processing and the challenges of transposing data from aspatial to spatial formats. He is interested in utilising emerging technologies to study the spatial ecology of marine vertebrates and as a tool for fisheries management. Chris left the project in 2019 to pursue a PhD position at the University of Exeter but remains involved in the project.

Project Steering Group

The project is advised by a group of regionally relevant organisations that are either data custodians or have mandates likely to help
in the successful delivery of the project. Representatives have been identified from the following Government departments and Non-Government groups (please click on each logo to find out more):

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