Mike Elliott is Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences at the University of Hull, a marine biologist with wide interests in marine and estuarine ecology, human impacts, marine and estuarine management and policy.
Mike has advised on a range of environmental matters for academia, industry, government and statutory bodies worldwide, is a member of many governmental and other advisory bodies and holds research positions at a number of universities worldwide. His work focuses on how the actions of humans can change marine and estuarine environments and how we can mitigate and manage any negative effects. Mike has published widely, co-authoring/co-editing 20 books and >300 scientific publications. He is a past president of the international Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA) and is an Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.
As well as his existing work, Mike has also recently been appointed to three new prestigious positions in global marine organisations. Firstly, to the Working Group 41 of GESAMP (Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection). GESAMP includes independent scientific experts that provide advice to the United Nations on scientific aspects of marine environmental protection.
Secondly, Mike has been appointed as the Vice-Chair and to the Executive Committee of Future Earth Coasts (FEC). FEC is a Global Research Project of Future Earth, a platform for translating sustainability knowledge into action that includes a number of United Nations agencies, intergovernmental bodies and organisations such as the International Council for Science.
And finally, Mike has been invited to constitute and Chair the Oceans Commission of the International Geographical Union. This Commission aims to address important oceanographic topics and feed into the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030. This follows Mike’s involvement as an author of a chapter in the recently-published UN World Oceans Assessment II.
As a member of the UK International Working Group for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030, Mike has recently published an article in Environmental Scientist, titled "Marine pollutants and contaminants".
In a recent paper Mike describes the ‘triple whammy’ threatening estuarine and coastal areas and their inhabitants, including an increase in flooding:
- increasing urbanisation and industrialisation
- increasing use of resources such as water, seafood and space
- increasing susceptibility and decreasing resilience and resistance to the effects of climate change
These issues can lead to the ‘environment-tourism paradox’ whereby sandy beaches attract tourists who then require the infrastructure merely to provide ‘sea, sand and sun’, which ruins the features which drew the tourists in the first place.