Dr Rebecca Short is working on the Seas, Oceans and Public Health in Europe (SOPHIE) project, conducting a systematic evidence mapping exercise to synthesise the current evidence of human health links with the oceans in Europe. This research will underpin the development of strategic research agenda for Oceans and Human Health within Europe.
Rebecca followed a degree in Marine Biology from Plymouth University and an MSc in Conservation Science from Imperial College with roles in several environmental NGOs, including 4 years at the Zoological Society of London within the Marine and Freshwater Conservation Programme. Here Rebecca was responsible for delivery of the Tidal Thames Conservation Project with extensive fieldwork assessing the status of fish, seals and European eels within London’s rivers. She also oversaw the marine-focused aspects of the EDGE of existence Programme, delivering training for EDGE fellows and developing international projects with in-country partners. Rebecca was also heavily involved with ZSL’s work within the British Indian Ocean Territory, facilitating logistics of this remote research as well as developing an outreach progamme, Connect Chagos, for displaced Chagossian communities within the UK; aimed at re-connecting these communities with their natural heritage.
This time at ZSL transitioned in to a PhD co-supervised through Imperial College and Oxford University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science, with additional time spent at the University of Exeter’s Centre for Ecology and Conservation. Rebecca’s research was the first investigation in to the issue of the use of mosquito nets as fishing gear, focusing on a case study in Northern Mozambique with ZSL’s Our Sea Our Life fisheries co-management project. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this research gained the first empirical insights in to the potential ecological implications of mosquito net fishing, linking this to subsequent impacts on food security, health impacts and local-level livelihoods. An additional, global look at the issue was complimented by a review and subsequent further recommendations for policy at various levels of governance.