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The University of Southampton

Southampton Research Fellow named amongst world-leading ocean changemakers

Published: 25 February 2020
Kate St John Glew
Dr Katie St John Glew - one of three winners of the 'Women and the Ocean: Changemakers Challenge'.

A postdoctoral researcher from the University of Southampton is amongst the inspiring women from across the globe recognised for leading the way in ensuring a sustainable future for our ocean economy.

Dr Katie St John Glew, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ocean and Earth Science and the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute, is one of three winners of the 'Women and the ocean: Changemakers Challenge'.



The competition, sponsored by The Nature Conservancy,  is part of The Economist’s Group World Ocean Initiative which aims to showcase leading female changemakers and entrepreneurs, often overlooked, who are working to develop business solutions to achieve ocean-related sustainability and offering innovative solutions to some of the ocean's greatest challenges. The goal is to ensure that women are visible across the ocean supply chain, recognising and elevating their invaluable contribution.

Applicants were invited to submit a short video of no longer than one minute in which they addressed the following questions: 'How are you contributing to the sustainable development of the ocean economy? How would you benefit from an ocean leader as a mentor?'

The Changemakers Challenge has recognised Dr St John Glew’s passion for impact driven research and implementing innovative science solutions to address the current challenges facing our environment.

One of Dr St John Glew’s current projects, in collaboration with the Marine Stewardship Council, looks to bring her academic work in fisheries traceability to a commercial market using science to help fisheries inspectors know where fish landed at ports have actually been caught.

Dr St John Glew, a marine spatial ecologist, uses the naturally-occurring chemical isotopes of elements detected in fish to identify where they were harvested. This valuable information could support efforts to conserve stocks and manage trawler fleets. It could also be used to identify products made for sale but caught illegally.

“I am delighted to have been chosen as one of the three Women in Ocean Science Changemakers and am honoured to have my project idea recognised as being an exciting solution to one of our ocean’s challenges,” she enthused. “I am so excited to attend the World Ocean Summit and to meet the other Changemakers!”

To help bring Dr St John Glew’s ideas to life, she will receive guidance from renowned female ocean leader Maria Damanaki as part of a 12-month mentorship programme. Damanaki is a Global Ambassador for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy who leads a global team focused on transforming how the world manages its ocean including sustainable fisheries management.

As part of her prize, Dr St John Glew will also present her vision for a blue economy at the World Ocean Summit on 9-10 March 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

“I am at the very early stages of turning our research ideas into a real-world solution, and I think having the opportunity to benefit from Maria Damanaki’s expertise and guidance will be extremely valuable in helping get our project off the ground,” she continued. “During my PhD and postdoctoral research project, we have conducted some small-scale proof of concept studies, demonstrating the feasibility of our tool. However, we are struggling to find the resources and funding opportunities to take our project to the next stage. I really hope this amazing mentorship programme will provide me with the skills, knowledge and confidence to pursue my research ideas and will open doors for future possibilities.”

Since 2012, the World Ocean Summit has become the main global event at which policymakers, business leaders, civil society and scientists gather for important discussions about the blue economy. The term 'blue economy' describes a sustainable ocean economy that harnesses marine ocean resources for long-term economic development and social prosperity while protecting the environment in perpetuity.


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