With further gathering of evidence and the refinement of the tool, new habitats and species can be included over time outside of Europa Reef. To begin with, this will involve characterising and assessing other marine habitats in Gibraltar, followed by the terrestrial habitats. By doing these types of assessment, conservation strategies that are insufficient can be improved and aspects which are currently successful can be replicated. Once established, the tool can be issued to other UK overseas territories and small island governances who face the same challenges with lack of resources and, in some cases, access to expertise.
I will be looking to carry out the tool development during the course of my PhD with a view to change international marine conservation for the better. Fortunately, the university has taken me on as one of two Graduate Research and Teaching Assistants (GRTAs) which allows me to not only conduct my own research but also develop my career by assisting in both the School of Marine Sciences and Library Services. The role involves many aspects including lecturing, overseeing practicals and helping students with their own upcoming research projects as well as attending conferences and participate in working groups. I have also had the opportunity to co-author a book chapter on marine management and will soon have a second publication going to press with the working title “The applicability of conservation tools in Gibraltar and factors influencing their success: A view through a global lens.”