ACCESS - Advancing Capacity for Climate  and Environment Social Science
ACCESS - Advancing Capacity for Climate  and Environment Social Science
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Dr Pamela Buchan

Last modified: December 1, 2023
ACCESS Leadership College Fellows

Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Exeter


The sector(s) I work in: Academic

Professional qualifications:

BSc Marine Biology 

MSc Coastal Zone Management 

MRes Environment, Energy & Resilience 

PhD Environment, Energy & Resilience 

Level 3 Award in Effective Management 





Personal webpage 

Research Gate  


About the organisation(s) I've worked for

Organisation name:

University of Exeter

About my experience and expertise

Personal statement:

I am an interdisciplinary researcher at Exeter University, working in the broad field of marine social science. My goal is to transform humanity’s relationship with the ocean towards sustainability and I work towards this goal with her research and public roles.

I am a former Plymouth City Councillor, current Vice Chair of Devon & Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, and Cattewater Harbour Commissioner in Plymouth. I am a Director of Labour: Coast & Country, member of the Ocean Literacy Working Group, and the founding author of the Local Government Ocean Recovery Declaration 


Key topic areas of research or interest:

My research contributes to transformation of the human-ocean relationship by investigating marine citizenship, marine governance and decision-making, and psychological factors and place relationships that influence how people connect to and use the sea. My research is informed by fields as diverse as human geography, environmental psychology, marine sciences, corporate governance, environmental law, and green [blue] politics.

I collaborate with The Crown Estate, the Marine Management Organisation, Natural England, and the PPlymouth Sound National Marine Park to embed marine citizenship principles into marine governance and practice.

Collaboration opportunities:

Open to collaborations and consultancy subject to capacity. Always interested to hear from people and organisations interested in marine social science.

Lead editor of RGS Journal Geo theme ‘The Place and Politics of Marine Governance’, which is open to articles in non-traditional formats and with non-academic co-authors. Find out more:



  • University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). (2023). Trends in board practice: Insights from our Initial Exploratory Research (Phase 1, Part 3). Cambridge, UK:
  • University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). (2023). Future of Boards Foundation and Methodology (Phase 1, Part 1) Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
  • Buchan, P.M. (2021), Citizens of the Sea – a PhD thesis summary report.
  • Buchan, P.M. & Bradshaw, N. (2022) Evaluating Coastal Partnerships: Report to the Coastal Partnerships Network (CPN) Championing Coastal Coordination ‘3Cs’ National Framework.
  • Buchan, P.M. (2019), We can all be citizens of the sea. In Plymouth White Papers: Marine. Office of Luke Pollard MP, Plymouth, former Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA. 


Other projects and networks:

Local Government Ocean Recovery Declaration #Motion4TheOcean [hyperlink hashtag:] – a Model Motion putting the ocean into local policy and climate conversations.



Motion for the Ocean

ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize 2022 – Winner Outstanding Early Career Impact

Values at Sea Podcast (2023)

Marine Social Science Network Citizens of the Sea Webinar

Personal blog (occasionally updated)


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