I joined the University of Stirling on 1 March 2019 as Head of the Institute of Aquaculture in the Faculty of Natural Sciences. As the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser for the Marine Management Organisation, I have a dual career in government and academia. This started with a CASE PhD in Zoology, completed at the University of Aberdeen and the Scottish Government’s Marine Science Laboratory. I studied how environmental changes impact the growth and behaviour of salmon. This advanced earlier research on feeding physiology of sharks, which later extended to haddock, sea cucumbers, seaweed, tilapia and trout. My passion for elasmobranchs led to being a scientific diver for an underwater television documentary.
After my PhD, I became Director for Aquaculture (Department of Agricultural Economics) where I led a BSc programme and managed a finfish hatchery. Thereafter, I was the Director for Marine Resource Management (Department of Land Economy), also at the University of Aberdeen and responsible for its transformation into an interdisciplinary centre promoting boundary crossing research and education between science and policy. For the first time, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors accredited interdisciplinary degree programmes in marine science and management.
I moved to Newcastle University to pursue my interests in tropical environments, especially investigating human interactions with coral reefs and marine protected areas, and factors influencing rule-breaking. I became Professor of Marine Governance and Environmental Science and held leadership roles including Dean of Postgraduate Research, Director of Research, Deputy Head of School and Public Orator.
I was also appointed to several high-profile positions including President of the European Aquaculture Society where I received the organisation’s highest honour, the Distinguished Services Award. This was for notable contributions to global food security using systems thinking to link aquaculture, fisheries, marine protected areas, integrated coastal management, marine policy and governance to better contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. I was chair of the Scottish Government’s Marine Science Advisory Board and a Ministerial Scientific Adviser to the North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee.
The Institute of Aquaculture comprises 100 staff, over 200 students (129 UG, 44 PGT and 32 PGR), laboratories and four aquaria facilities (two off-site).
I am a practitioner of Shotokan karate and enjoy snorkelling and diving.
My research seeks to provide scientific evidence to aid decisions on how best to balance sustainable development of our seas and oceans with meeting conservation goals. Providing scientific evidence to underpin management and policy decisions about what type of aquaculture and fisheries can provide food and jobs without damaging the environment is a core theme.
I am interested in interdisciplinary research and have held grants as a PI and Co-I from the BBSRC, Darwin Trust, EPSRC, ESRC, EU, the Leverhulme Trust, NERC and WIOMSA. I was Co-I on a recently completed grant examining how fisheries management in the western Indian Ocean can be improved with evidence based policy making and good governance. I am PI on a current project investigating shark conservation in the Maldives.
After eight years as the sole natural scientist lecturer in two social science departments, I developed an interest in interdisciplinary systems thinking. My earlier career training in statistical modelling of fish behaviour is applied to predict links between peoples’ perceptions, attitudes and likelihood of human behaviour impacting marine ecosystem health. Rule breaking and non-compliance with Marine Protected Areas is of particular research interest. This is studied through linking social and economic drivers of human interactions with livelihood dependency on marine resources. Investigating the relationship between effective governance and management efficacy is used for developing context-specific and pragmatic policy. Inspiring people to engage in decision-making through visualisation techniques to help find solutions for food security, hunger, nutrition deficiency and poverty is a central theme.
Stead SM (2019) Using systems thinking and open innovation to strengthen aquaculture policy for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Journal of Fish Biology, 94 (6), pp. 837-844. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.13970
Temple AJ, Wambiji N, Poonian CNS, Jiddawi N, Stead SM, Kiszka JJ & Berggren P (2019) Marine megafauna catch in southwestern Indian Ocean small-scale fisheries from landings data. Biological Conservation, 230, pp. 113-121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.12.024
Robinson G, Caldwell GS, Jones CLW & Stead SM (2019) The effect of resource quality on the growth of Holothuria scabra during aquaculture waste bioremediation. Aquaculture, 499, pp. 101-108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2018.09.024
Alqattan MEA, Gray T & Stead SM (2018) The forgotten pirates: Iraqi and Iranian pirates in the Arabian gulf who have never been reported to the international maritime bureau. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 41 (5), pp. 408-417. https://doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2017.1300757
Ateweberhan M, Hudson J, Rougier A, Jiddawi NS, Msuya FE, Stead SM & Harris A (2018) Community based aquaculture in the western Indian Ocean: Challenges and opportunities for developing sustainable coastal livelihoods. Ecology and Society, 23 (4), Art. No.: 17. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-10411-230417
Al-Belushi KIA, Stead SM, Gray T & Burgess JG (2018) Measurement of open innovation in the marine biotechnology sector in Oman. Marine Policy, 98, pp. 164-173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2018.03.004
Okeke-Ogbuafor N, Gray TS & Stead SM (2018) Perceptions of the existence and causes of structural violence in Ogoni communities, Nigeria. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 36 (2), pp. 229-244. https://doi.org/10.1080/02589001.2018.1437256
Stead SM (2018) Rethinking marine resource governance for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 34, pp. 54-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2018.12.001
Glaser M, Breckwoldt A, Carruthers T, Forbes DL, Costanzo S, Kelsey H, Ramachandran R & Stead S (2018) Towards a framework to support coastal change governance in small islands. Environmental Conservation, 45 (3), pp. 227-237. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892918000164
Ison S, Hills J, Morris C & Stead SM (2018) Sustainable financing of a national Marine Protected Area network in Fiji. Ocean and Coastal Management, 163, pp. 352-363. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2018.07.011
Temple AJ, Kiszka JJ, Stead SM, Wambiji N, Brito A, Poonian CNS, Amir OA, Jiddawi N, Fennessy ST, Pérez-Jorge S & Berggren P (2018) Marine megafauna interactions with small-scale fisheries in the southwestern Indian Ocean: a review of status and challenges for research and management. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 28 (1), pp. 89-115. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-017-9494-x
Okeke-Ogbuafor N, Gray T & Stead SM (2018) A comparative analysis of the role of traditional and modern community-based organizations in promoting community development in Ogoniland, Nigeria. Community Development Journal, 53 (1), pp. 173-189. https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsw018
Okeke-Ogbuafor N, Gray T & Stead S (2017) Two concepts of community in the Niger Delta: Social sense of communality, and a geographical sense of place. Are they compatible?. Journal of Place Management and Development, 10 (3), pp. 254-269. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMD-01-2017-0003
Jones EV, Macintosh D, Stead S & Gray T (2017) How effective are MPAs in conserving crab stocks? A comparison of fisheries and conservation objectives in three coastal MPAs in Thailand. Ocean and Coastal Management, 149, pp. 186-197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.09.012
Forster J, Turner RA, Fitzsimmons C, Peterson AM, Mahon R & Stead SM (2017) Evidence of a common understanding of proximate and distal drivers of reef health. Marine Policy, 84, pp. 263-272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2017.07.017
Nor AM, Gray TS, Caldwell GS & Stead SM (2017) Is a cooperative approach to seaweed farming effectual? An analysis of the seaweed cluster project (SCP), Malaysia. Journal of Applied Phycology, 29 (5), pp. 2323-2337. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-016-1025-y
Le Gouvello R, Hochart LE, Laffoley D, Simard F, Andrade C, Angel D, Callier M, De Monbrison D, Fezzardi D, Haroun R, Harris A, Hughes A, Massa F, Roque E, Soto D, Stead S & Marino G (2017) Aquaculture and marine protected areas: Potential opportunities and synergies. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 27 (S1), pp. 138-150. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2821
Barrowclift E, Temple AJ, Stead S, Jiddawi NS & Berggren P (2017) Social, economic and trade characteristics of the elasmobranch fishery on Unguja Island, Zanzibar, East Africa. Marine Policy, 83, pp. 128-136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2017.06.002
Krause G & Stead SM (2017) Governance and offshore aquaculture in multi-resource use settings. In: Buck BH & Langan R (eds.) Aquaculture Perspective of Multi-Use Sites in the Open Ocean: The Untapped Potential for Marine Resources in the Anthropocene. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 149-162. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51159-7_7
Reed MS, Allen K, Attlee A, Dougill AJ, Evans KL, Kenter JO, Hoy J, McNab D, Stead SM, Twyman C, Scott AS, Smyth MA, Stringer LC & Whittingham MJ (2017) A place-based approach to payments for ecosystem services. Global Environmental Change, 43, pp. 92-106. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.12.009
Daw TM, Cinner JE, McClanahan TR, Brown K, Stead SM, Graham NAJ & Maina J (2017) Correction: To Fish or Not to Fish: Factors at Multiple Scales Affecting Artisanal Fishers' Readiness to Exit a Declining Fishery. PLoS One, 12 (2), Art. No.: e0172075. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172075
Okeke-Ogbuafor NA, Gray TS & Stead SM (2016) Reconciling traditional indigenous governance with contemporary approaches to decision making in Ogoni communities in rivers state, Nigeria. Journal of Sustainable Development, 9 (1), pp. 55-62. https://doi.org/10.5539/jsd.v9n1p55
Lavides MN, Molina EP, De La Rosa GE, Mill AC, Rushton SP, Stead SM & Polunin NVC (2016) Patterns of coral-reef finfish species disappearances inferred from fishers' knowledge in global epicentre of marine shorefish diversity. PLoS ONE, 11 (5), Art. No.: e0155752. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155752
Jones EV, Gray T, Macintosh D & Stead S (2016) A comparative analysis of three marine governance systems for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Marine Policy, 66, pp. 30-38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2016.01.016
Stead S (2015) Mariculture: Aquaculture in the marine environment. In: Smith HD, Luis Suárez de Vivero J & Agardy TS (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Ocean Resources and Management. 1 ed. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis, pp. 255-265. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203115398
Krause G, Brugere C, Diedrich A, Ebeling MW, Ferse SCA, Mikkelsen E, Pérez Agúndez JA, Stead SM, Stybel N & Troell M (2015) A revolution without people? Closing the people-policy gap in aquaculture development. Aquaculture, 447, pp. 44-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2015.02.009
Al-Belushi KIA, Stead SM & Burgess JG (2015) The development of marine biotechnology in Oman: Potential for capacity building through open innovation. Marine Policy, 57, pp. 147-157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2015.03.001
Jones E, Schuttenberg H, Gray T & Stead S (2015) The Governability of Mangrove Ecosystems in Thailand: Comparative Successes of Different Governance Models. In: Jentoft S & Chuenpagdee R (eds.) Interactive Governance for Small-Scale Fisheries: Global Reflections. MARE Publication Series. Switzerland: Amsterdam Univ Press, pp. 413-432. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17034-3_22
Turner RA, Polunin NVC & Stead SM (2015) Mapping inshore fisheries: Comparing observed and perceived distributions of pot fishing activity in Northumberland. Marine Policy, 51, pp. 173-181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2014.08.005
Caveen AJ, Fitzsimmons C, Pieraccini M, Dunn E, Sweeting CJ, Johnson ML, Bloomfield H, Jones EV, Lightfoot P, Gray TS, Stead SM & Polunin NVC (2014) Diverging Strategies to Planning an Ecologically Coherent Network of MPAs in the North Sea: The Roles of Advocacy, Evidence and Pragmatism in the Face of Uncertainty. In: Johnson ML & Sandell J (eds.) Advances in Marine Biology. unknown: Academic Press, pp. 325-370. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-800214-8.00009-8
Mumby PJ, Flower J, Chollett I, Box SJ, Bozec Y, Fitzsimmons C, Forster J, Gill D, Griffith-Mumby R, Oxenford HA, Peterson AM, Stead SM, Turner RA, Townsley P & van Beukering PJH (2014) Towards Reef Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods: A handbook for Caribbean coral reef managers. Exeter: University of Exeter.
Turner RA, Fitzsimmons C, Forster J, Mahon R, Peterson A & Stead SM (2014) Measuring good governance for complex ecosystems: Perceptions of coral reef-dependent communities in the Caribbean. Global Environmental Change, 29, pp. 105-117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.08.004
Turner RA, Polunin NV & Stead SM (2014) Social networks and fishers' behavior: Exploring the links between information flow and fishing success in the Northumberland lobster fishery. Ecology and Society, 19 (2), Art. No.: 38. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-06456-190238
Stead S, Fitzsimmons C, Turner R, Forster J, Peterson A & Mahon R (2013) Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment (FORCE): a multi-layer adaptive governance framework for Caribbean coral reefs. MARE Conference 'People and the Sea VII’, 2013-2013.
Bown N, Gray T & Stead SM (2013) Contested forms of governance in marine protected areas: A study of co-management and adaptive co-management. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203133583
MacDonald CLE, Stead SM & Slater MJ (2013) Consumption and remediation of European Seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) waste by the sea cucumber Holothuria forskali. Aquaculture International, 21 (6), pp. 1279-1290. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10499-013-9629-6
Hart KA, Gray T & Stead SM (2013) Consumptive versus non-consumptive use of sea turtles? Stakeholder perceptions about sustainable use in three communities near Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica. Marine Policy, 42, pp. 236-244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2013.03.008
Peterson A, Fitzsimmons C, Turner R, Forster J, Stead S & Mahon R (2013) The role of bridging organisations in Caribbean coral reef governance. International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB), 21.07.2013-25.07.2013.
Turner R, Forster J, Peterson A, Fitzsimmons C, Stead S & Mahon R (2013) Coral reef management in a changing environment: livelihood responses and governance challenges. MARE Conference 'People and the Sea VII’, Amsterdam, 26.06.2013-28.06.2013.
Forster J, Turner R, Peterson A, Fitzsimmons C, Mahon R & Stead S (2013) Ultimate and proximate drivers of Caribbean reef health: A common understanding?. MARE Conference People and the Sea VII, Amsterdam, 26.06.2013-28.06.2013.
Bown NK, Gray TS & Stead SM (2013) Co-management and adaptive co-management: Two modes of governance in a Honduran marine protected area. Marine Policy, 39 (1), pp. 128-134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2012.09.005
Turner RA, Gray T, Polunin NVC & Stead SM (2013) Territoriality as a Driver of Fishers' Spatial Behavior in the Northumberland Lobster Fishery. Society and Natural Resources, 26 (5), pp. 491-505. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2012.709313
Slater MJ, Mgaya YD, Mill AC, Rushton SP & Stead SM (2013) Effect of social and economic drivers on choosing aquaculture as a coastal livelihood. Ocean and Coastal Management, 73, pp. 22-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.12.002
Slater MJ, Napigkit FA & Stead SM (2013) Resource perception, livelihood choices and fishery exit in a Coastal Resource Management area. Ocean and Coastal Management, 71, pp. 326-333. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.11.003
Al-Bisher H, Gray T & Stead SM (2012) The concept of integrated national maritime policy and its application to Saudi Arabia. Maritime Policy and Management, 39 (5), pp. 525-541. https://doi.org/10.1080/03088839.2012.705031
Cinner JE, McClanahan TR, Graham NAJ, Daw TM, Maina J, Stead SM, Wamukota A, Brown K & Bodin O (2012) Vulnerability of coastal communities to key impacts of climate change on coral reef fisheries. Global Environmental Change, 22 (1), pp. 12-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2011.09.018
Daw TM, Cinner JE, McClanahan TR, Brown K, Stead SM, Graham NAJ & Maina J (2012) To Fish or not to Fish: Factors at multiple scales affecting artisanal fishers' readiness to exit a declining fishery. PLoS ONE, 7 (2), Art. No.: e31460. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0031460
Fitzsimmons C, Forster J, Peterson A, Stead S & Turner R (2011) Setting future scenarios for management, stakeholder usage, and the health of Caribbean reef ecosystems. 64th International Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) Conference, 2011-2011.
Turner R, Fitzsimmons C, Forster J, Mahon R, Peterson A & Stead S (2011) Resource User Perceptions of Marine Governance and Coral Reef Management in The Bay Islands, Honduras. In: Proceedings of the Sixty-Fourth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Conference, volume 64. 64th Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) Conference, Puerto Morelos, Mexico, 31.10.2011-04.11.2011. Florida: Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, pp. 312-314. http://proceedings.gcfi.org/proceedings/resource-user-perceptions-of-marine-governance-and-coral-reef-management-in-the-bay-islands-honduras/?_sf_s=selina+stead
Peterson A, Fitzsimmins C, Forster J, Mahon R, Stead S & Turner R (2011) The Role of Different Actors in Caribbean Coral Reef Governance Through Multi-level Social Networks. 64th International Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) Conference, Puerto Morelos, Mexico, 31.10.2011-04.11.2011.
Stead S, Scott B & Marrs S (2011) Surrounding Seas: how the natural environment is changing.. In: Mackie E, Thompson D, Marrs S, Foster S & Hendrie C (eds.) The Changing Nature of Scotland (Natural Heritage of Scotland). Changing Nature of Scotland, 2009-2009. unpublished: The Stationery Office.
Slater M, MacDonald C & Stead S (2011) The value of the sea cucumber Holothria forskali as a novel species in integrated multitrophic aquaculture systems. Marine Resources and Beyond, 05.09.2011-07.09.2011.
Gray T, Korda RC, Stead S & Jones E (2011) Quota discarding and distributive justice: The case of the under-10m fishing fleet in Sussex, England. Marine Policy, 35 (2), pp. 122-129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2010.08.010
Turner R, Fitzsimmons C, Forster J, Peterson A & Stead S (2010) FORCE: an ecosystem approach to managing Caribbean reefs in the face of climate change. 63rd International Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) Conference, 2010-2010.
Stead S, Fitzsimmons C, Forster J & Slater M (2010) Hunters and gatherers - modelling attitude, perceptions and socio-economics to develop a coral reef aquaculture science research network. Reefs in a Changing Environment, 2010-2010.
Thomassin A, White CS, Stead S & David G (2010) Social acceptability of a marine protected area: The case of Reunion Island. Ocean and Coastal Management, 53 (4), pp. 169-179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2010.01.008
McClanahan TR, Cinner JE, Graham NAJ, Daw TM, Maina J, Stead SM, Wamukota A, Brown K, Venus V & Polunin NVC (2009) Identifying reefs of hope and hopeful actions: Contextualizing environmental, ecological, and social parameters to respond effectively to climate change [Identificación de Arrecifes de Esperanza y Acciones Esperanzadoras: Contextualización de Parámetros Ambientales, Ecológicos y Sociales para Responder Efectivamente al Cambio Climático]. Conservation Biology, 23 (3), pp. 662-671. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.01154.x
Spinks JAL, Stead SM, Downie MJ & Bentley MG (2008) Perceptions of underwater noise from offshore wind farms and effects on the environment and local communities. Bioacoustics, 17 (1-3), pp. 278-280. https://doi.org/10.1080/09524622.2008.9753848
Gray T, Hatchard J, Daw T & Stead S (2008) New cod war of words: 'Cod is God' versus 'sod the cod'-Two opposed discourses on the North Sea Cod Recovery Programme. Fisheries Research, 93 (2), pp. 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2008.04.009
Turner R, Graham N, Polunin N, Stead S, Cakacaka A, Pratchett M & Wilson S (2008) Ecological and socio-economic responses to change in subsistence fishing societies. Coping with global change in marine socio-ecological systems, 08.07.2008-11.07.2008.
McClanahan TR, Cinner JE, Maina J, Graham NAJ, Daw TM, Stead SM, Wamukota A, Brown K, Ateweberhan M, Venus V & Polunin NVC (2008) Conservation action in a changing climate. Conservation Letters, 1 (1), pp. 53-59. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-263X.2008.00008.x
Turner RA, Cakacaka A, Graham NAJ, Polunin NVC, Pratchett MS, Stead SM & Wilson SK (2007) Declining reliance on marine resources in remote South Pacific societies: Ecological versus socio-economic drivers. Coral Reefs, 26 (4), pp. 997-1008. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-007-0238-6
Stead S, Cinner J, Daw T & McClanahan T (2007) Perceptions and future scenarios of people’s dependence on coral reef fisheries in the western Indian Ocean. One World, One Conservation, One Partnership. Society for Conservation Biology Annual Conference., 2007-2007.
Cinner J, Daw T, McLanahan T & Stead S (2007) The poverty trap: how socioeconomic factors influence exit from a declining fishery. One World, One Conservation, One Partnership. Society for Conservation Biology Annual Conference, Port Elizabeth, SA, 2007-2007.
Chaniotis P & Stead S (2007) Interviewing people about the coast on the coast: Appraising the wider adoption of ICZM in North East England. Marine Policy, 31 (4), pp. 517-526. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2006.12.005
Stead SM & McGlashan DJ (2006) A Coastal and Marine National Park for Scotland in partnership with Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Ocean and Coastal Management, 49 (1-2), pp. 22-41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2005.08.005
Bown N, Stead S, Gray T, Coles T & Ritchie E (2006) Socio-economic and ecological indicators for analysing the success of the Cayos Cochinos Marine Protected Area (CCMPA) objective for fisheries management.. Annual Reef Conservation UK Conference, 2006-2006.
Stead S (2006) Socio-economic consequences, ICZM trends and governance options for marine aquaculture. Linking Tradition and Technology: Highest Quality for the Consumer. The Annual Meeting of the World Aquaculture SOciety and the European Aquaculture Society, 2006-2006.
Stead S, Daw T, Graham N, Gray T, Polunin N, Robinson J & McClanahan T (2006) Trends in climate change, coastal governance, coral reef ecology and socio-economic variation in the Seychelles. World Maritime Technology Conference, 2006-2006.