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Constance Schéré is a PhD student from Brittany (France), studying marine conservation biology. Her research focuses on the effectiveness of marine protected areas as a conservation tool. Constance has a MSc in Biodiversity, Territory, and Environment (BIOTERRE) from the Sorbonne (Université de Paris 1: Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2017) and a MSc in Environmental Policy from SciencesPo Paris (2013).

She completed environmental and research internships at Clean Water Action (2012), Dassault Systèmes (2013-2014), and Harvard University (2014). From 2014 to 2015, she was a sustainability specialist for Sodexo, where she worked in partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (United States) to promote the sustainable harvest of seafood and marine conservation.


Thesis title: 'The role of governance in how effectively marine protected areas in the Irish Sea reach their biological conservation objectives while maintaining sustainable use.'

Marine life is facing increasingly serious threats due to human activity. A wide array of methods is currently applied to adequately manage and protect marine resources, such as establishing marine protected areas (MPAs). MPAs are designed for the conservation of marine life in the face of exploitation and other threats related to human activity. There is no single definition of an MPA and the role of each one depends on its specific objectives.

MPAs should meet both biophysical objectives while maintaining sustainable use; in other words, they must ensure long-term conservation of species and habitats while also considering ecological, economic, and social outcomes. While most studies consider either the biological or the socioeconomic success of MPAs, an increasing number of studies take a more holistic approach to success, accounting for both outcomes in their assessments. However, there is a clear gap in the literature relating to what types of governance structures lead to better biological and socioeconomic outcomes.

This doctoral thesis will focus on the Irish Sea because it is a busy waterway and a strategic geopolitical location. As there is no tunnel linking the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, much of the exchange of goods and people is done via boat across the Irish Sea. There is a lack of research on MPAs in the Irish Sea, despite having almost 200 designations across 112 sites.

To explore the state of MPAs in the Irish Sea, this research study will analyse the governance regimes of several case study MPAs and compare their effectiveness in terms of reported biophysical outcomes and whether or not these can be met while maintaining sustainable use (i.e., equitable governance). It will also identify any data gaps in assessment reports. The outcome of this study hopes to give MPA managers, policy makers, scientists, and other stakeholders evidence on which to base more effective governance of MPAs.

PhD supervision

Further details

See Constance's research profile