Mike Elliott new

Professor Mike Elliott

Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences/ Research Professor, Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies

Faculty of Science and Engineering


01482 466773

Mike has wide experience and interests in marine and estuarine ecology, human impacts, marine and estuarine management, governance and policy. He has co-authored/co-edited 17 books and more than 250 scientific publications.

He has advised on many environmental matters for academia, industry, government and statutory bodies in Europe and elsewhere and is a member of governmental and other advisory bodies.

Mike has adjunct and research positions at universities and research institutes in Europe, South Africa and Australia.

He is a past-president of the international Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA) and is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.


Research Interests

  • Structure and functioning of marine, estuarine and coastal ecosystems

  • Human impacts in marine systems and Environmental Impact Assessment

  • Risk assessment and risk management modelling

  • Governance of marine and estuarine systems

  • Implementation of EU environmental Directives

  • Numerical analysis of evvironmental data

  • Environmental management and sustainability at local, national and international scales

Research groups

  • Research Professor in the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies, University of Hull

  • Visiting Professor at the University of Palermo, Italy, and CORPI – Klaipeda University, Lithuania

  • Honorary Research Associate of the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Grahamstown, South Africa

  • Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia.

  • Adjunct Professor, College of Ecology and Environment, Xiamen University, China

  • EU Projects (as coordinator, WP leader, Module co-leader or partner): ESTFISH, XENOFISH, ELME, EUROTROPH, HARBASINS, VECTORS, TIDE, WISER, VECTORS, DEVOTES, CERES


Borja A, Elliott M, Uyarra M C, Carstensen J, Mea M, eds, (2017), Bridging the Gap Between Policy and Science in Assessing the Health Status of Marine Ecosystems, 2nd Edition. Lausanne: Frontiers Media. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88945-126-5.

Wolanski E, Elliott M (2015), Estuarine Ecohydrology: an Introduction, Elsevier, Amsterdam. Pp322.

Kennish, M J & Elliott M, eds, (2011) 'Volume 8. Human-induced Problems (Uses and Abuses) in Estuaries and Coasts', in Wolanski E & McLusky D S, eds, Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp315.

Gray J S & Elliott M (2009), Ecology of Marine Sediments: Science to Management, OUP, Oxford.

McLusky D S & Elliott M (2004), The Estuarine Ecosystem: Ecology, Threats and Management, OUP, Oxford, pp 214.

Full list

Scopus profile

Google Scholar profile

Orcid profile



Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Marine Systems and Human Influences

  • Environmental Assessment

Research PhDs

Prof Elliott very much welcomes applications for PhD and Masters research in all of his areas of expertise.

He also welcomes visiting international postgraduates as interns, for work experience and to help them gain further skills especially in producing publications. The institute also very much welcomes and can provide facilities for visiting researchers during sabbatical periods and study leave.

Completed PhDs 

Since 1979, Prof Elliott has successfully supervised 28 PhD students and many MSc and MPhil by Research students.

Recent completed theses include

  • The Effects Of Hypersaline Solutions On The Ecophysiology Of Marine Megabenthic Organisms

  • The Influence Of Noise And Vibration On Marine Fishes And Invertebrates

  • The Response Of Benthic Organisms To Sediment Placemen

  • Marine Protected Area Governance And Conflicts

  • Integrated Management Of The Humber Estuary

  • The Use Of Computer Aided Tomography In Determining Benthic Bioturbation

  • The Marine Law Relating To Environmental Indicators And Objectives

Current PhD supervisions 

Currently supervising PhD and MSc by Research students at Hull and other universities worldwide (e.g. Vigo University, Spain; University of Porto, Portugal (2); Murdoch University, Perth Australia; University of Western Australia; Federal University São Carlos, Brazil; University of Cadiz, Spain)

Current projects:

  • Shark behaviour and energetics, Bimini (2 projects)

  • Estuarine planning, management and decision support systems (2 projects)

  • Environmental intergrative management of the Niger Depta, Nigeria

  • Ecological functioning of estuarine habitat recreated areas

  • Dynamics of estuarine fish assembalges

  • Habitat use, loss and gain in estuaries (3 projects)

  • Implementation of EU marine directives

  • Pollutant pathways in Brazilian estuaries

  • Ecosystem services and societal goods and benefits in modified estuaries

  • The concept of force majeure in marine governance

  • Marine Ecosystem Services And Societal Goods And Benefits

  • Ecological And Economic Valuation In Marine Systems

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) (Lond.)

  • PhD (Stirling)

External roles

Advisory Bodies and Awards

  • Committee Member and Chair (2000-2003, 2004-2006), Vice-chair to 2007, of the Yorkshire Branch of the Royal Society of Biology

  • Member of the UK National Marine Biological AQC Committee (set up under MPMMG/DoE) (to 2002)

  • Member of the Marine Organic Enrichment Task-team of GCSDM/MEMG/Defra

  • Member of the WWF Marine Programme and Living Seas Advisory Committee

  • Member of the Flamborough Head SAC Advisory Group

  • Member of the Humber Advisory Group

  • Member of the Environment Agency Steering Committees for Benthic Indicators and for Fishes in Transitional Waters for the Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive

  • Member of the International Advisory Board, Kristineberg Marine Station, Sweden (2005)

  • Defra, Aggregate extraction research advisor, 2004-6

  • Panel Chairman, Review BIREME Research programme (Baltic) Academy of Finland, 2006-2007

  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Panel Wadden Sea research programme (NL) (from 2007)

  • External International Expert, SUMANOS - Belgian North Sea research programme, Belgian Science Policy, 2006

  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Council, Plymouth Marine Laboratory (from 2006)

  • Chair, Expert Panel, BEEMS (British EDF Estuarine & Marine Studies, for New Build Nuclear power plants) (from 2007)

  • Chair BONUS ERA-NET research application evaluation and selection, Helsinki, 2008 and member of evaluation panel 2012

  • Panel Estonia Higher Education Teaching and Research evaluation exercise, May 2007

  • Wadden Sea Research programme, research evaluation exercise, October 2007 – February 2008

  • Research recruitment panel, University of Lisbon, Faculty of Sciences, November 2008 and Oceanographic Institute Evaluation Panel 2011-12

  • Other advisory committees and working groups at local, regional, national and international level

  • Department, faculty and University committees

  • International panels for research reviews in Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, South Africa, Australia, US, Poland and Estonia

Experience/pure and applied research/consultancy

  • Presented invited plenary keynote papers at many international symposia and led many workshops worldwide

  • Marine and estuarine consultancy and advice for many companies and organisations, e.g.: Natural England/English Nature, EDF Energy, Defra, Environment Agency, DARD Northern Ireland, ABP Ltd, Royal Docks London, Hull City Council, Environmental Resources Management, SSE Ltd, BP (Saltend) Ltd, Natural Resources Wales, TRANSNET (South Africa)

Awards and accolades

  • Awarded Laureate of the Honorary Winberg Medal 2014 of the Russian Hydrobiological Academic Society

  • Former President of the international Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA) - 2005-2009     

  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

  • Fellow of the Marine Biological Association

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and Chartered Biologist

Professional highlights

  • From 2014, appointed independent non-executive member of the UK Marine Science Coordinating Committee (MSCC) and member of the Science Advisory Board of Marine Scotland

  • From 2016, member of the UK Marine Assessment Reporting Group (MARG)

  • From 2014, member of the Society for Underwater Technology: International Salvage and Decommissioning Committee

  • From 2015, member of the Science Advisory Group of Seafish

  • 2009-2012, ministerial appointee of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the Defra MCZ project

  • 2011-12, Independent Expert Review Group, for MCZ, Defra

  • 2010-11, ministerial appointee for the MMO independent review for Rame Head inquiry

  • 2010-13, Baltic STERN Science Advisory Committee, Stockholm