Professor Tavis Potts

Professor Tavis Potts
Professor Tavis Potts

Professor Tavis Potts

Personal Chair in Sustainable Development. BAppSc (Environmental Management); Bsc Antarctic Science (Hons); PhD. Director of the Centre for Energy Transition

Personal Chair


University of Aberdeen
Department of Geography and Environment

St Marys Building

Elphinstone Road

Aberdeen  AB24 3UF


Dr Tavis Potts is a Professor of Sustainable Development and interim Director of the new Centre for Energy Transition at the University of Aberdeen. Dr Potts interests include understanding just transitions and social dimensions of climate and energy; marine resource governance; natural capital and ecosystem services in the coastal and marine systems; and public perceptions and values in environmental decision making and governance. 



Research Overview

Dr Tavis Potts is a Reader in environmental geography and interim Director of the Centre for Energy Transition. . Dr Potts is engaged in research projects and policy initiatives that work with coastal communities and industries in developing ecosystem based approaches to marine planning; energy transition, conservation and management. Topics include: 

  • Exploring the concepts of the Just Transition within Net Zero ambitions, deepening societal engagement around energy transition, and analysing policy effectivness. 
  • The application of natural capital and ecosystem service concepts to marine governance and planning;
  • Developing participatory and survey based approaches to map social values, perspectives, uses and benefits of the coastal environment and wellbeing;
  • Exploring the evolution and effectivness of market based approaches to conservation, with a focus on seafood and consumers. 
  • Understanding the emergence, effectiveness and components of the blue economy from international to local scales



Dr Potts has geographical research interests in Scotland and the UK, North-East Europe, the Polar regions; East Asia; Australia and Peru. Dr Potts is actively involved moving between social science and policy practice in the UK. He is a member of the Scottish Coastal Forum and Director of the East Grampian Coastal Partnership; is a non-executive member of the UK Government Marine Science Coordination Committee and Chair of the recent Marine Social Science Task Group that will promote dialogue and knowledge sharing between social scientists and policy makers. 

Funding and Grants

Selected Grants 

  • Interreg EU. SEATRACES 2019-2021 (£250k). 
  • University of Aberdeen Impact Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation award (2017 10k)
  • British Council Peru - Researcher Links Grants. Advancing Green Growth in Peru: A spotlight on tourism, transport and the blue economy (2016, £32k).
  • Royal Geographic Society of Edinburgh and Natural Science Foundation of China. Mapping Coastal Ecosystem Services in Scotland and China. Scientific Exchange Network. (2015-17, £13k)
  • NERC Knowledge Exchange: Cooperative Participatory Evaluation of Renewable Technologies on Ecosystem Services (CORPORATES) (2014-16, £110k – Co-Investigator.
  • World Bank: Review of STAP Marie Litter Program (2014 , £1500)
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) Implementing an ecosystem service approach in the UK (2013, £40k).
  • EU FP7 IDREEM (Increasing Industrial Resource Efficiency in European Mariculture)(Co-Investigator & Work Package leader on Social and Policy Analysis (2012-2014; £200 000)
  • EU LIFE+ Celtic Sea Partnership (Policy Network Analysis and community engagement) (2013, £110k).
  • MSP-LED (Local Economic Development and Marine Planning) Centre of Expertise in Water (CREW) (2012-13, 50k)Centre of Expertise in Water (CREW) Coasts and Catchment Integration. £22 k
  • ECOBAR: Environmental and Benthic Indicators for industrial development in the Barents Sea. Norwegian Funding Council. (WP Leader) £35k 2009-10
  • Knowledge Based Development of Europe’s Seas (KNOWSEAS) EU FP7 2009-2013 Co-Investigator & Work Package leader (£150k) overall project €9 million). 

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