Dr Tavis Potts

Dr Tavis Potts
Reader in Environmental Geography. BAppSc (Environmental Management); Bsc Antarctic Science (Hons); PhD. Director of the Centre for Energy Transition

Interim Director for the Centre for Energy Transition

Dr Tavis Potts
Dr Tavis Potts

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273837
The University of Aberdeen University of Aberdeen
Department of Geography and Environment
St Marys Building
Elphinstone Road
Aberdeen  AB24 3UF


Dr Tavis Potts is a Reader in environmental geography, interim Director of the new Centre for Energy Transition and Director of the MSc in Environmental Partnership Management at the University of Aberdeen. Dr Potts interests include understanding just transitions and social dimensions of transitions; marine pleanning and resource governance; natural captial and ecosystem services; public perceptions of marine environments; green consumerism and eco-labelling and the emergence of the blue economy.



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. 

Research 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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  • Integrating stakeholder knowledge through modular cooperative participatory processes for marine spatial planning outcomes (CORPORATES)

    Slater, A., Irvine, K. N., Byg, A. A., Davies, I. M., Kafas, A., Kenter, J., Macdonald, A., O'Hara Murray, R., Potts, T., Tweddle, J. F., Wright, K., Scott, B. E., Gubbins, M.

    Ecosystem Services, vol. 44, 101126

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Charting the course for a blue economy in Peru: a research agenda

    McKinley, E., Aller-Rojas, O., Hattam, C., Germond-Duret, C., San Martín, I. V., Hopkins, C. R., Aponte, H., Potts, T.

    Environment, Development and Sustainability, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 2253-2275

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Expanding the role of participatory mapping to assess ecosystem service provision in local coastal environments

    Burdon, D., Potts, T., McKinley, E., Lew, S., Shilland, R., Gormley, K., Thomson, S., Forster, R.

    Ecosystem Services, vol. 39, 101009

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • The Green Economy Research Centre: positioning geographical research in Aberdeen to address the challenges of green economy transitions

    Potts, T., Niewiadomski, P., Prager, K.

    Scottish Geographical Journal, vol. 135, no. 3-4, pp. 356-370

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • The “social” aspect of social-ecological systems: A critique of analytical frameworks and findings from a multisite study of coastal sustainability

    Stojanovic, T., McNae, H. M., Tett, P., Potts, T. W., Reis, J., Smith, H. D., Dillingham, I.

    Ecology and Society, vol. 21, no. 3, 15

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Who cares? European attitudes towards marine and coastal environments

    Potts, T., Pita, C., O'Higgins, T., Mee, L. D.

    Marine Policy, vol. 72, pp. 59-66

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Improving sustainability of aquaculture in Europe: Stakeholder dialogues on Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (IMTA)

    Alexander, K. A., Angel, D., Freeman, S., Israel, D., Johansen, J., Kletou, D., Meland, M., Pecorino, D., Rebours, C., Rousou, M., Shorten, M., Potts, T.

    Environmental Science & Policy, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 96-106

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • The implications of aquaculture policy and regulation for the development of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture in Europe

    Alexander, K. A., Potts, T. P., Freeman, S., Israel, D., Johansen, J., Kletou, D., Meland, M., Pecorino, D., Rebours, C., Shorten, M., Angel, D. L.

    Aquaculture, vol. 443, pp. 16-23

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Linking Ecosystem Services of Marine Protected Areas to Benefits in Human Wellbeing?

    Saunders, J., Potts, T., Jackson, E., Burdon, D., Atkins, J., Hastings, E., Langmead, O., Fletcher, S.

    Coastal Zones Ecosystem Services. Turner, R. K., Schaafsma, M. (eds.). Elsevier, pp. 167-190, 24 pages

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)

  • Marine spatial planning and various uses and interests relating to the marine environment

    Potts, T.

    Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning and International Law. Hassan, D., Kuokkanen, T., Soininen, N. (eds.). Routledge, pp. 42-60, 19 pages

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters

  • The Practicalities of the Ecosystem Approach in the Barents Sea: The ECOBAR Project

    Potts, T., Valcic, B., Carroll, J., Carroll, M., Potts, T.

    Limits of Maritime Jurisdiction. Schofield, C., Lee, S., Kwon, M. (eds.). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, pp. 589-606, 18 pages

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters

  • Marine litter: Progress in developing an integrated policy approach in Scotland

    Hastings, E., Potts, T.

    Marine Policy, vol. 42, pp. 49-55

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Marine renewable energy and Scottish west coast fishers: Exploring impacts, opportunities and potential mitigation

    Alexander, K. A., Potts, T., Wilding, T. A.

    Ocean & Coastal Management, vol. 75, pp. 1-10

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Climate Change and Evolving Regional Ocean Governance in the Arctic

    Potts, T., Schofield, C.

    Regions, Institutions, and Law of the Sea. Scheiber, H., Paik, J. (eds.). Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers pp. 437-466, 30 pages.

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings

  • Oceans of opportunity or rough seas? What does the future hold for developments in European marine policy?

    Potts, T., O'Higgins, T., Hastings, E.

    Philosophical transactions of the royal society a-Mathematical physical and engineering sciences, vol. 370, no. 1980, pp. 5682-5700

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Mussels and yachts in Loch Fyne, Scotland: a case study of the science-policy interface

    Tett, P., Valcic, B., Potts, T., Whyte, C., Culhane, F., Fernandes, T.

    Ecology and Society, vol. 17, no. 3, 16

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Integrated coastal and estuarine management in Arctic coastal systems

    Potts, T., Hoel, A. H.

    Treatise on estuarine and coastal science. Wolanski, E., McLusky, D. (eds.). Elsevier, pp. 265-288, 24 pages

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters

  • The natural advantage of regions: linking sustainability, innovation, and regional development in Australia

    Potts, T.

    Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 18, no. 8, pp. 713-725

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Quality of life through innovation indicators: the case of peripheral suburbs of Sydney

    Martinez-Fernandez, C., Potts, T.

    Community Quality-of-Life Indicators. Sirgy, M. J., Phillips, R., Rahtz, D. R. (eds.). Springer, pp. 191-208, 18 pages

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters

  • Innovation at the edges of the metropolis: An analysis of innovation drivers in Sydney's peripheral suburbs

    Martinez-Fernandez, C., Potts, T.

    Housing policy debate, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 553-572

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • A framework for the analysis of sustainability indicator systems in fisheries

    Potts, T.

    Ocean & Coastal Management, vol. 49, no. 5-6, pp. 259-280

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

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