Associate Chair (Academic)
Phone: 6592 3230
Office Location: N2-01c-56
Dr. Natasha Bhatia is a Marine ecologist and socio-economist, specialising in the social influences on marine environments, and the identification and assessment of ecosystem services and natural resources. She gained a 1st class honours degree from the University of Hull in Marine and Freshwater Biology, where for her dissertation she studied the toxicological impacts of petrochemical plant discharge on invertebrate ecology in an estuarine ecosystem. In order to build on her interest of the impacts and links between society and marine and coastal ecisystems, she remained at Hull to study for her PhD in environmental economics. Her research assessed the ecological and economic value of the ecosystem services associated with areas of coastal recreated habitat, which led to the development of a holistic management framework for these areas. After completing her PhD, Dr. Bhatia was employed as a Marine Ecologist and Socio-Economist at the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies, a multidisciplinary environmental consultancy. Here, Dr. Bhatia worked alongside Government bodies, NGOs, Private companies and other research institutions on projects for Conservation assessments and Marine Protected Areas, economic assessments of coastal hazards, and management framework development amongst others. Dr. Bhatia has an affinity for science communication and outreach, and was the chair for Cafe Scientifique in her region, a community outreach programme designed to present the latest ideas in science and technology to a non-academic audience; and was involved in bringing Soapbox Science to Hull, a public outreach platform which promotes women in science and their research.
Dr Bhatia's research interests are centered around understanding the interactions between environmental economics and the marine environment. Through the identification and valuation of ecosystem services, policy and management decisions can be made in a way which promotes the sustainable use of the environment, something which impacts us all. Specific projects have previously included socio-economic valuation of Special Areas of Conservation along the east coast of England; Non-market modelling of the changing value of coastal ecosystem services in the wake of the 2013 UK storm surge; the FP7 project ‘VECTORS’ which investigated the drivers, pressures and vectors of change in marine life and its impact on marine economic sectors; and the EU project ‘DEVOTES’ which aimed to develop innovative tools for understanding marine biodiversity and the assessment of good environmental status, as well as creating conceptual models for the effects these pressures have on society.