Keynote Speakers

Jonathan Hughes

Jonathan HughesJonathan Hughes is CEO of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Scotland’s leading environmental charity. Before being appointed Chief Executive, Jonathan was the Trust’s Director of Conservation and Deputy CEO. Jonathan is also an elected global Councillor of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s oldest and largest conservation organisation. In 2013, Jonathan co-founded the World Forum on Natural Capital, a global initiative led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust in partnership with United Nations Environment Programme, IUCN, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Natural Capital Coalition. Other positions held by Jonathan include board member of the government agency Architecture and Design Scotland and scientific advisor to the European Outdoor Conservation Association. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys playing tennis and football and, most of all, table football. He is also a knowledgeable field naturalist.


Meriwether Wilson

Meriwether WilsonMeriwether Wilson is a Lecturer in Marine Science and Policy at the University of Edinburgh focusing on the science-policy-society intersections of transboundary marine ecosystems and services, in particular  international waters.  Her current research explores emerging challenges in coastal-marine governance and marine ecology regarding infrastructure establishments in nearshore and offshore marine areas.  This research builds upon two decades of experience with international organizations (World Bank, UNESCO, UNDP, IUCN, NOAA) on the establishing marine protected areas globally across diverse ecological scales, cultures and economies.  She is a Member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, a Co-Lead on an EU Consortium Grant - Operationalizing Ecosystem Services ( and is a Contributing Author on European coastal and marine ecosystems for the IPCC AR5, Working Group II report.


Chris Leakey

Chris LeakeyChris Leakey is a Policy and Advice Officer in the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (CMEU) Unit of Scottish Natural Heritage. With a background in marine ecology, Chris has worked with a range of marine industries across Scotland to better understand and manage their environmental impact. More recently he has been involved in the emerging marine planning system for Scotland and related policy contexts. Particular interests include the pursuit of a management system and knowledge base that supports more proactive avoidance of unsustainable impacts, but also identifies opportunities for enhancement or recovery of ecological functionality to the benefit of nature and human society alike.


Alexia Chapman

Alexia ChapmanAlexia Chapman is a senior consultant with Amec Foster Wheeler in the marine team based within Environment and Infrastructure UK Ltd division. Alexia’s background is in marine biology, specialising mainly in benthic ecology and characterising the extent of anthropogenic impacts upon the marine environment. Throughout her work as a consultant, Alexia has engaged in a variety of projects in the UK and internationally across a range of marine industries and sectors. Currently, Alexia is leading the marine ecology baseline characterisation, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) of a new nuclear build based in Cumbria. More recently, Alexia has undertaken HRAs for offshore renewable energy projects and EIAs for coastal protection works. In addition to impact assessments, Alexia is also involved in developing management plans, e.g. Gibraltar’s River Basin Management Plan, and writing guidelines for undertaking impact assessments such as developing a way forward for undertaking cumulative impact assessment for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters wave and tidal energy devices. Prior to working as an environmental consultant, Alexia worked as a researcher at Heriot-Watt University looking at the impacts of boat anchoring and polychaete diversity of the Galápagos Islands.