About us

Seascape Consultants was established in 2010 to provide solutions and high-level advice to the rapidly developing offshore sector including industry, policymakers and regulatory bodies. Our team of scientific specialists provide expertise in the fields of ocean governance, marine biodiversity, ecosystems, seafloor geological processes and habitat mapping.  Data management, legislative advice and programme management is a key part of our portfolio with our senior partners enjoying well-established and productive relationships with stakeholders across the EU and internationally.  


Professor Philip Weaver, Managing Director

Phil WeaverProfessor Phil Weaver trained as a geologist and completed a PhD in micropalaeontology in 1978.  He joined the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences in the UK in 1980 and transferred with them to the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton in 1995.  Through most of his career he has been involved in studies of sedimentary processes in the deep ocean, especially investigating the history of landslides from the Canary Islands and NW African margin.  In 1993 he was co-chief scientist on an International Ocean Drilling Project to the Canary Basin that studied the volcanic development of Gran Canaria and the history of continental margin erosion by landsliding and sediment mass wasting.  He has conducted many investigations around the world into sediment stability on continental margins, including numerous site and pipeline investigations for the hydrocarbon industry.

Phil has been involved in a large number of international projects and has coordinated five EC-funded European research projects investigating a range of marine topics.  His career has gradually taken him into research areas with more environmental focus.  He was scientific coordinator of the highly successful FP6 HERMES project (2005-2009) and its FP7 successor, the HERMIONE project (2009-2012). These two projects led him to develop a strong interest in sustainable management of the deep sea. Phil presented results from the HERMIONE project at the UN General Assembly in September 2009 regarding the impacts of bottom fishing in the deep-sea.

Phil recently coordinated the MIDAS project (2013-2016) that investigated the environmental impacts of deep-sea mining. This project brought together a group of scientists, legal experts, policy makers and industrial partners to understand the potential scale of the environmental issues and it has made many recommendations to aid the development of regulations to control this new industry. Phil is also involved in the Blue Nodules project that is developing deep-sea mining equipment; his role is to identify areas where improved equipment design can reduce environmental impacts.

Professor Weaver was Director of the NERC Strategic Research Division at NOC from 2006 – 2010. He left NOC in 2010 to set up Seascape Consultants Ltd, though he remains a Senior Visiting Fellow of NOC and still actively publishes his research in leading marine science journals. Phil is also a director of Seascape Belgium.

> Publications

Professor David Johnson, Director

Professor David Johnson trained as a physical geographer and completed an MSc in Recreational Land Management (National Parks) in 1982. He spent time as a Royal Navy officer (hydrography, fishery protection), co-ordinated practical conservation work (habitat restoration), and practised as an independent environmental consultant (EIAs, environmental auditing, corporate social reporting). In 1992 he joined Southampton Solent University as a Senior Lecturer in marine resource management, becoming first Head of the Maritime Studies Department and in 2003 Professor of Coastal and Ocean Management. He completed his PhD on the ecosystem goods and services of intertidal wetlands in 1998 and was a short-term Caird Fellow of the UK National Maritime Museum in 2002.

In 2006, David was appointed as Executive Secretary to the OSPAR Commission, the international convention for the environmental protection of the North-East Atlantic. This role confirmed him as a leading expert in global ocean policy. He was intensively involved in the production of the OSPAR Quality Status Report 2010 and subsequent regional implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Amongst other achievements, David coordinated and negotiated legislation for carbon capture and storage in deep sea geological formations (2007), Recommendations for the management of threatened and/or declining deep sea species and habitats (2010/11), and the establishment of the world’s first network of marine protected areas in Area Beyond National Jurisdiction (2010/2012). David has convened Ministerial meetings for both the OSPAR Commission and the Bonn Agreement; chaired an EU Workshop on marine spatial planning; moderated sessions for both the United Nations Environment Programme and the Convention on Biological Diversity, and presented at many high-level meetings including the UN Working Group and Preparatory Committee on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction.

David has also successfully concluded and operationalised partnership arrangements between OSPAR and the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, the International Maritime Organisation and the International Seabed Authority. He is currently registered as a GESAMP expert and is a Visiting Professor at the World Maritime University in Sweden. David is the Coordinator for the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) and also a Director of Seascape Belgium.

> Publications

Dr Vikki Gunn, Director

Dr Vikki GunnDr Vikki Gunn trained as a geologist and completed her PhD in mining geology and petrology at the University of Southampton in 2002. Shortly afterwards, Vikki took up a position as a Project Manager at the National Oceanography Centre, and now has over 10 years’ experience in managing EC-funded marine research, dating back to the EUROSTATAFORM project in Framework Five. She was the Project Manager for the FP6 HERMES project and supervised the project management team for the FP7-funded HERMIONE project, as well as leading the outreach and training activities for HERMIONE. Vikki also has over 4 years’ experience as the senior administrator and divisional manager for the Directorate of Science and Technology at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton (2009-2013). Vikki joined Seascape Consultants in 2013, bringing expertise in project coordination, communication, stakeholder liaison, project planning, reporting and reviews. Vikki managed the recently-completed MIDAS project on deep-sea mining and currently provides support to the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI), the EMODnet Secretariat, and leads the knowledge sharing activities for the H2020 STEMM-CCS project. Vikki is also a Director of Seascape Belgium.

Mr Jan-Bart Calewaert, Senior Consultant

Jan-Bart Calewaert trained as a bio-engineer in cellular and genetic biotechnology at the University of Ghent in 2001 and completed an additional Masters in Marine Environment Management from the Free University of Brussels and University of Antwerp in 2004. Through most of his career, Jan-Bart has been involved in a range of multidisciplinary research projects and science policy advisory bodies in support of marine research, sustainable management of marine and coastal environments and related policy frameworks. He has been involved in a large number of initiatives at the interface between science and policy, combining his broad expertise in marine sciences with strong knowledge of the marine and maritime policy landscape in Belgium and Europe.
Jan-Bart has worked for key institutes and organisations in Belgium and Europe, including Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), the Maritime Institute (UGent) and the Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology (UGent). For more than six years at the Marine Board-ESF Secretariat, Jan-Bart Calewaert coordinated foresight and policy activities in various working areas including marine biotechnology, oceans and human health, climate change impacts on the marine environment and marine pollution. Jan-Bart joined Seascape Consultants in 2013, bringing expertise in coordination of science support activities, marine environmental management, project coordination and science policy communication. Jan-Bart is the Head of the Secretariat of the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet), and is also the Managing Director of Seascape Belgium.

Dr Oonagh McMeel, Senior Project Officer

Oonagh holds a BSc in genetics and a PhD in molecular phylogenetics from Queen’s University Belfast. She worked as a molecular biologist for more than ten years in a range of academic and government institutions including the National University of Ireland, Galway, the Northern Ireland Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute and the Irish Marine Institute. Her research focused primarily on the use of advanced molecular techniques to address life-history and conservation management questions in selected fish species. From 2012 to 2014, Oonagh worked as a Senior Scientist with eCOAST Marine Research in Ostend, Belgium. As work package leader in the FP7 PharmaSea marine biodiscovery project, she worked in partnership with key stakeholders to promote a dialogue on legal and policy frameworks governing the access and use of marine genetic resources for scientific and commercial purposes. Oonagh joined Seascape’s EMODnet team in Spring 2015 as a Knowledge Transfer Officer, working on the translation of marine observations and data to the private sector as part of the H2020 COLUMBUS project.

Dr Christopher Barrio Frojan, GOBI Project Officer

Chris is an applied biologist with a background in taxonomy and biodiversity research (BSc and MSc from Imperial College and the Natural History Museum, London). He has spent the past 10 years working as a Benthic Ecologist for the UK government after attaining his PhD in Oceanography from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. Over the years, Chris has contributed to national and international interdisciplinary projects, gathering, processing and presenting evidence in support of marine protected area designation, mapping habitats and biological resources, investigating the effects of man’s activities on the environment, recommending management strategies for resource sustainability, advising Government on the ecological aspects of licensing offshore developments, and participating in capacity building initiatives. Chris joined Seascape Consultants Ltd in September 2016 as part of the GOBI Secretariat team.

Dr Pascal Derycke, GIS and Marine Data Specialist

Dr Pascal Derycke obtained a PhD in Science at the University of Metz (France) in the field of physics in 1996. After his degree, he pioneered in IT and web design and developed an excellent understanding of all aspects involved in web communication. He was managing a web agency in Metz when he moved to Brussels in 2002 where he was offered a position as IT manager by the NGO GRIP (Group for Research and Information on Peace and security). In 2011, Pascal joined the Marine Department of the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (EC/JRC/IES) as a scientific programmer and data analyst where he expanded his skills to earth observation science and GIS technologies used in the monitoring of climate change and assessment of the environmental status of marine and coastal waters. During these 6 years he was responsible for the maintenance and upgrading of the marine geo-portal EMIS (Environmental Marine Information System) and provided scientific programming support for mapping bio-geophysical products. Alongside this he contributed to the development of INSPIRE services and server applications related to the marine environment and participated in the release of the JRC data catalogue and the MSFD Marine Competence Centre. Pascal brings his expertise in data and GIS to Seascape’s EMODnet team in Ostend.

Dr Rachel Boschen-Rose, Senior Project Officer

Rachel is a marine biologist with interests in seabed communities, habitat distribution and species connectivity, with experience in deep-sea mining and ocean governance. Rachel completed an MScI in Marine Biology at Southampton University in 2012, and a PhD in Marine Biology jointly with Victoria University of Wellington and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand, in 2015. From 2016 – 2017 Rachel was a postdoctoral research fellow within the Canadian Healthy Ocean’s Network II at University of Victoria, B.C. Rachel’s previous research includes the ecological impacts of Seafloor Massive Sulphide mining on New Zealand seamounts, brittle star ecology near sub-Antarctic hydrothermal vents, and community function of hydrothermal vent fauna in the Canadian North-Pacific. As part of her research, Rachel has worked with scientists, policy makers, government officials, and industry, from New Zealand, Pacific Island Nations, Europe and Canada. Rachel joined Seascape Consultants Ltd in February 2018 as part of the SEMPIA project team.

Professor Doug Masson, Associate Consultant

Doug MassonDoug has over 30 years experience of marine geology and geophysics and a wide knowledge of marine geology and geophysics data interpretation, including multibeam bathymetry, sidescan sonar, high resolution seismic data and sediment cores. He has extensive experience of marine geophysical data collection at sea and has carried out numerous consultancy contracts for the oil and gas sector, including Shell, Woodside, Exxon and Norsk Hydro, mainly in relation to analysing submarine landslide risk, dating landslides, and assessing landslide and turbidity current processes on slopes and in submarine canyons.

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