Rhian Jenkins

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Professor Rhian Elizabeth Jenkins BA (Hons); BSc (Hons); PhD

Reader / Programme Director: BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation

Tel: +44 (0) 1792 481053
E-mail: rhian.jenkins@uwtsd.ac.uk

Academic Director for the School of Architecture, Computing and Environment Formerly, Principal Lecturer for Research and Commercialisation and Senior Lecturer.

I actually started as a student on the BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation programme in Swansea Institute of Higher Education back in 2001, before embarking on a PhD (Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena Dynamics in Swansea Bay). Since then I have worked as a Lecturer within the School of the Built and Natural Environments and as a Programme Director for the undergraduate Environmental Conservation portfolio. My key interest areas include Marine Conservation and Biodiversity, Sustainable Development and Environmental Issues.

I have been an invited speaker at several conferences and conservation group meetings and consulted as a marine adviser to various projects including coral reef conservation and marine energy impact studies. More recently, I become an advisory member of the Gower Landscape Partnership and consulted on cetacean impacts with Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

  • Institute of Environmental Science
  • Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

While predominantly focusing on the marine environment, my research and teaching encompasses many aspects of habitat management and sustainable development. I have been heavily involved in developing research areas which are multi-dimensional, and therefore reflect the taught material within the under and postgraduate Programmes, but still with a key focus on marine and environmental management. More recently the drive for green infrastructure, building with nature in mind and green prescribing for mental health is something I am keen to integrate into the University.

I am passionate about improving student academic and practical skills and particularly the development of "live projects". Working with graduate employers, i.e. local authorities, conservation organisations, consultants and industry, is key to improving the student experience.

Although focussed on cetacean management I also have a particular interest in Marine Spatial Planning and tourism-related impacts. Through analysis of behavioural studies, critical habitats were identified for porpoises in and around Swansea and a coastal user matrix for highlighting potential conflict was subsequently developed. These results further informed coastal management systems, including the development of renewable marine-based energy projects.

Through an LCRI- funded project, my research group gathered baseline data and correlated distributional and behavioural changes in response to anthropogenic pressures. This work contributed to a consultation document that was used to inform the Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. Additionally, work has been done on the impacts of these installations on cultural heritage around nearshore and coastal habitats (OREIN project).

Additional research areas include analysis of climatic impacts on rocky shore assemblages and marine food webs. Furthermore, an ongoing collaboration with Oxford Brookes University has also established a land reclamation project at Varteg, Blaenavon.

From a publication perspective I have generated 38 international journal and conference papers (2001 - present) which consider coastal and marine policy in response to anthropogenic use and activities. Included in these are marine species’ distributional changes as a consequence of climate change, identifying critical habitats for cetaceans and morphological responses to climatic flux.

An external MRes examiner At Swansea University: Environmental impacts of hydropower on the River Twrch, Swansea Valley (2012) and external examiner for a PhD at Oxford Brookes University: Heavy metal take-up and subsequent vitality at a previously quarried spoil tip, Varteg, Blaenavon (November 2013)

External programme development:

An External Moderator (Programme validation) at Southampton Solent University: Geography with Environmental Studies and Geography with Marine Studies (May 2013)

Internal programme Development:

Involved in five internal validation processes as well as being a panel member for many scrutiny events. Formerly, the Faculty representative for the admissions sub-committee for the Research Degrees Committee and Research Committee.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

Contributions to research, i.e. publications, research engagement and external funding led to her inclusion in the University’s REF 2014 submission to ‘Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology’. This followed on from her inclusion in the University’s RAE 2008 submission to Geography and Environmental Studies.

In collaboration with Swansea, Bangor, Aberystwyth, and Cardiff Universities, together with Pembrokeshire College, (the LCRI group), a continuation of this cetacean work was possible. In this case, the focus was understanding potential impacts from marine renewable energy devices upon cetacea and other marine mammals in the locality. Previous risk assessment and behavioural work on harbour porpoises, both at PhD and publication level underpinned the project rationale (2011-2013). I was the Principal Investigator for the cetacean work package.

Contribution to the Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. Considerable criticism had been directed at the company for their initial report which had not included any baseline surveys. This provided an opportunity to build upon work that had previously been undertaken and produce a consultation report, identifying critical feeding habitats which in turn informed the impact assessment process (June 2013). The report’s findings have already been disseminated at public meeting events at the Liberty Stadium and at Local Authority group sessions (Sept/Oct 2013). In parallel with the LCRI research, scenic assessment, geomorphological aspects and cultural tourism were investigated during a joint TSD (Lampeter), Pembrokeshire College, Bangor and Swansea Metropolitan University project (OREIN).

Cultural and scenic assessments were not considered under LCRI and as a result, the OREIN project sought to fill in the gaps. In an earlier conference paper in 2004, I had considered the importance of developing managed marine eco-tourism sectors in coastal communities.

Germane to this is not simply the ecology but scenic landscapes too, elements rarely considered during the impact process for offshore renewable development. That previous work, together with the ecological impacts assessment, was further developed in this joint project and a final report was submitted to the Welsh Government in 2012.

Collaborative work has been undertaken, jointly with Oxford Brookes University, at a former open cast mining site at Varteg, in Blaenavon, South Wales.  Along with colleagues, I have now been involved in this land reclamation work for the last 14 years and use this site as a means of teaching and conducting tree vitality work. Biodiversity transects on the site have been undertaken for the last four years and a joint paper (Oxford Brookes and TSD) is currently been constructed. Keeping with the woodland theme, I managed the University’s involvement in the HLF project: Cynefin: Mapping Wales’ Sense of Place. The project involved mapping Gower’s ancient woodlands, identifying ancient woodland indicator species.

Utilising the marine science expertise, I jointly authored a report on Qatar’s marine environment. This was undertaken on behalf of Aljamali Consultancy, Doha and is entitled: An assessment of the Qatar Marine Environment. Doha. 56pp. (Phillips, M.R. and Jenkins, R.E., 2014).

Publications to date reflect a multiplicity of conservation issues and while predominantly focussed on marine and coastal aspects, they also reflect the broader conservation concerns which arise from external engagement in other projects. Having concentrated on biological aspects of cetacean populations in early research outputs that work has since developed in a more applied fashion. I successfully submitted to RAE (2008) and REF (2014) and will be coordinating the University’s submission to the next REF. All research is used to inform my teaching and engage students in real projects, the experience of which assists in developing dissertation topics and future employment opportunities: 

Haigh, M., Desai, M., Cullis, M., D’Aucourt, M., Sansom, B., Wilding, G., Alun, E., Garate, S., Hatton, L., Kilmartin, M., Panhuis, W. and Jenkins, R. (2019). Composted Municipal Green Waste Enhances Tree Success in Opencast Coal Land Reclamation in Wales. Air, Soil and Water Research, 12: 1-10 

Kantamaneni, K., Jenkins, R., Phillips, M. and Thomas, T. (2018) Assessing coastal vulnerability: development of a combined physical and economic index. Ocean and Coastal Management. (In Press). 

Obinna Ibeabuchi. K., Thomas, T., Jenkins, R. E., Phillips, M. R. and Komali Kantamaneni (2017). Climate change impacts, awareness and perception of Africa rural farming communities. Advances in Crop Science and Technology. DOI: 10.4172/2329-8863.1000310 

Kantamaneni, K., Phillips, M., Jenkins, R., Xiaoping, D., Umaporn, M. (2017). Climate Change and Coastal Vulnerability Assessment: A Physical Perspective. Ninth International Conference on Climate Change Impact and Responses. 21-22 April 2017. Cambridge, 2017,  

Oakley, O., Jenkins, R.E., Thomas, T., Williams, A.T., and Phillips, M.R. (2016). Assessing harbour porpoise populations in south-west Wales, data issues and implications for conservation and management. Ocean and Coastal Management 119; 45-57              

Denner, K., Phillips, M. R., Jenkins, R. E., & Thomas, T. (2015). A coastal vulnerability and environmental risk assessment of Loughor Estuary, South Wales. Ocean & Coastal Management, 116, 478-490. 

Kantamaneni, K., Alrashed, I., Phillips, M., and Jenkins, R. (2015) Flood Crunch: A Fiscal Appraisal for Commercial and Residential Properties in England. Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, 15(1), 17-26. 

Kantamaneni K, Phillips M, Jenkins R, Judith O, Ibeabuchi OK. (2015). Could the UK Economy Be Impacted by an Increase in Tornado Occurrence: A Consequence of Climate Change in the 21st Century, International Journal of Climate Change: Impact and Responses 15(2), pp.29-39.  

Kantamaneni, K, Phillips, M.R., Jenkins, R.E., Alharbi, O. and Alrashed, I. (2015) Monetary Assessment of Damage to Residential and Commercial Properties during Flooding in the United Kingdom. Research Journal of Recent Sciences 4(5), 71-76.  

Kantamaneni K, Phillips M, Jenkins R, Xipong D. (2015).Hurricanes and Climate Change: A case of United Kingdom, The European Space Agency 

Kantamaneni, K., Xiaoping, D., Phillips, M., Jenkins, R., & Penaluna, K. (2015). Public Perception of Coastal Vulnerability. 4th Climate Change and Adaptation Conference on Global Biodiversity-Issues & Challenges. 22- 23 Nov 2015. Colombo, Sri Lanka 

Kantamaneni, K., Phillips, M., & Jenkins, R., & Xiaoping, D. (2015). Climate Change and Hurricanes: A Case of United Kingdom, Conference on Advances in Atmospheric Science and Applications. 8-12 June 2015, European Space Agency, Greece  

Kantamaneni, K., Phillips, M., Jenkins, R., & Kath, P. (2015). Cyclone Hazard : A Fiscal Focus, 10thInterdisciplinary Social Sciences Conference, 11-14 June 2015, Split, Croatia 

Kantamaneni, K., Phillips, M., & Jenkins, R. (2015). Catastrophic Climate Change Turning Britain into a Hurricane Hotspot? 7th International conference on climate change, 11-12 April 2015, Canada  

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2014). Links between wave forcing, offshore islands and a macro-tidal headland-bound bay beach. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 39:143-155 

Phillips, M.R. and Jenkins, R.E. (2014). An assessment of the Qatar Marine Environment on behalf of Aljamali Consultancy, Doha. 56pp 

Jenkins, R.E. and Oakley, J. (2014). Distribution mapping of Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena in Swansea Bay and Gower, Atlas of Marine Mammals, JNCC 

Kantamaneni K, Phillips M., Jenkins R. (2014) Fiscal Anatomy of Adaptation to Climate Change in the UK: Verdicts – United Nations Environment Programme, Brazil. 

Kantamaneni, K., Phillips. M., Jenkins, R., & Alrashed, I. (2014). Fiscal Anatomy of the UK’S Costliest Tornado. 1st International Summit on Tornadoes and Climate Change, May 25-30, 2014 in Chania, Crete, Greece. 

Kantamaneni, K., Phillips, M., & Jenkins, R. (2014). Analysing the Nexus of Climate Change and Fiscal Flood Crisis: A Case for Commercial and Residential Properties in Wales, International Conference on Mitigation of Climate Change: Law, Policy and Governance, April 25 - 27 2014, Delhi University, Delhi, India 

Kantamaneni, K., Jenkins, R.E., Phillips, M., (2013) Anthropogenic Actions in a Veracious way: A key to economic beneficial to UK Climate Change Adaptations. IIT Chennai, India 

Jenkins, R.E. and Oakley, J. (2013) Marine Mammal Data Analysis for Swansea Bay: A consultation report for Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) plc. June 2013, 44pp 

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2013). Relationships between nearshore bathymetry and beach profile oscillation. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. DOI: 10.1002/esp.3433 

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2012). Rotation on two open coast macrotidal beaches. Applied Geography, Vol 35: 363-376. 

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2012). Medium time-scale behaviour of adjacent embayed beaches: influence of low energy external forcing. Applied Geography, Vol 32(2): 265-280. 

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2011). Medium timescale beach rotation; gale climate and offshore island influences. Geomorphology. 135(1-2):97-107 

Phillips, M.R., Rosser, G., Jenkins, R.E. and Cullis, M.J. (2011). Beach management strategies: a comparative stakeholder assessment, Gower, South Wales, UK. Journal of Coastal Research. SI 64: 1396-1400.  

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2011). Short-term beach rotation, wave climate and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Progress in Physical Geography. 35(3): 333-352 

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2011). A multi-century record of linked nearshore and coastal change. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 36:995-1006 

Jenkins, R.E., Brown, R.D. and Phillips, M.R. (2009). Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) conservation management: a dimensional approach, Marine Policy. 33(5):744-749 

Plamping, K., Haigh, M., Cullis, M.J. and Jenkins, R.E. (2009). Evaluation of cambial resistance for the appraisal of tree vitality on reclaimed coal lands. International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment. 23(1): 1-12 

Jenkins, R.E. and Donaldson, J. (2008).  Jellyfish strandings: a means of predicting Leatherback Turtle Dermochelys coriacea distribution patterns in Pembrokeshire, UK? A Changing Coast: Challenge for the Environmental Policies (Littoral 2008), T7. Electronic Publishing CD ROM. 8pp. 

Jenkins, R. E. (2007). Identifying critical habitats for cetacea, Gower, UK. In: Ozhan, E. (ed) Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment. MEDCOAST 07. Middle East Technical University, Ankara. Vol. 1: 199-210. 

Phillips, M. R., Banfield, K., May, E. A. and Jenkins, R. E. (2005). Whale watching and the collection of cetacean data: a case study of WhaleWatch Azores. In: Ozhan, E. (ed) Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment.MEDCOAST 05. Vol. 1. Middle East Technical University, Ankara.  387-398. 

Jenkins, R., Phillips, M.R., Williams, B. and Gallagher, A. (2004). “Ecotourism – A New Market Opportunity for Gower, South Wales, UK”? In Micallef, A. and Vassallo, A. (eds) Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Management of Coastal Resources, Beaches, Yacht Marinas & Coastal Ecotourism,Mediterranean Centre on Insular Coastal Dynamics, Malta. 241-251. 

Jenkins, R.E., and Phillips, M.R. (2003). “Changes in Geographical Distribution of Marine Mammals and seabirds”. In: Ozhan, E. (eds) Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 03, Vol. 1, Middle East Technical University, Ankara. 485-497. 

Phillips, M.R. and Jenkins, R. E. (2001). “Impacts of Climate Change in the Marine Environment”. In: Ozhan, E. (eds) Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 01, Vol. 1 , Middle East Technical University, Ankara. 335-347. 

Dr Jenkins is a member of the advisory panel for the Gower Landscape Partnership Project (as the University representative). The project, funded by the Welsh Government and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, aims to conserve Gower's unique landscape and cultural heritage. (2012 – present). The University has many roles it can play in this respect, and potential opportunities for the project and student experience are currently being explored.

She is also overseeing the University’s involvement in the HLF project: Cynefin: Mapping Wales’ Sense of Place. The project involves mapping Gower’s ancient woodlands, identifying ancient woodland indicator species (Project start date April 201).