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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

 Sophie Corrigan

Sophie Corrigan

PhD student

 Geoffrey Pope 201


Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK


Sophie is a PhD student at the University of Exeter, working in collaboration with the MBA and Cefas. Her project, “Evaluating and maximising the environmental benefits of seaweed farming in the Southwest”, focuses on quantifying the habitat value and biodiversity supported by seaweed farms. The aim of this work is to inform the regulation and development of ecosystem-based approaches to aid in the expansion of seaweed cultivation around the UK. 

Previously, Sophie studied MSci Marine Biology at the University of Exeter, where she conducted diverse research projects on the effects of clutch relocation on loggerhead sea turtles, and the development of a low-cost in situ method to quantify estuarine-air CO2 fluxes. After graduating, Sophie worked as a research assistant on the Atlantic Meridional Transect Ocean Flux from Satellite Campaign (AMT4OceanSatFlux) funded by the European Space Agency. This project estimated Atlantic Ocean CO2 exchange using satellite and in situ data to enhance monitoring and validate current predictions of the ocean carbon sink. Outside of academia, Sophie is passionate about science communication and wildlife film making.


MSci Marine Biology, University of Exeter, 2019

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Research interests

Sophie's broad research interests lie in marine ecology and climate science: quantifying human impacts on the ocean and working towards sustainable solutions.

Research projects

Project Title: Evaluating and maximising the environmental benefits of seaweed farming (mariculture)

Supervisors: Prof. Charles Tyler, Dr. Ross Brown, Dr. Ian Ashton, Dr. Dan Smale (MBA), Prof. Grant Stentiford (CEFAS), Dr. David Bass (CEFAS)

Funding Bodies: College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Marine Biological Association (MBA), Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers’ Fisheries Charitable Trust

Project Description: Sophie is a PhD student at the University of Exeter. Her research aims to investigate the benefits of commercial seaweed farming for enhancing local biodiversity and environmental conditions, in the South West UK. She will identify the potential of farms to create spawning and nursery habitats, assess the invertebrate communities they support, and monitor how farms influence physical conditions and dissolved nutrient chemistry. Sophie hopes to understand and maximise the potential of seaweed as a sustainable food source for the future growth of the industry. Her PhD is in partnership with the Marine Biological Association (MBA), the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Services (CEFAS), SWEEP, the Fishmonger’s Charitable Trust and the Cornish Seaweed Company. Sophie will be conducting field work at a Cornish Seaweed Company’s farm in Cornwall working alongside the company to maximise benefits for both their harvest and the local environment.


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Journal articles

Corrigan S, Smale DA, Tyler CR, Brown AR (2024). Quantification of finfish assemblages associated with mussel and seaweed farms in southwest UK provides evidence of potential benefits to fisheries. Aquaculture Environment Interactions, 16, 145-162. Abstract.
Corrigan S, Brown AR, Tyler CR, Wilding C, Daniels C, Ashton IGC, Smale DA (2023). Development and Diversity of Epibiont Assemblages on Cultivated Sugar Kelp (Saccharina latissima) in Relation to Farming Schedules and Harvesting Techniques. Life, 13(1), 209-209. Abstract.
Walker C, Corrigan S, Daniels C, Wilding C, Woodward EMS, Widdicombe CE, Smale DA, Ashton IGC, Brown AR (2023). Field assessment of the potential for small scale co-cultivation of seaweed and shellfish to regulate nutrients and plankton dynamics. Aquaculture Reports, 33, 101789-101789.
Corrigan S, Brown AR, Tyler CR, Wilding C, Daniels C, Ashton IGC, Smale DA (2023). Home sweet home: Comparison of epibiont assemblages associated with cultivated and wild sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima), co-cultivated blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) and farm infrastructure. Journal of Applied Phycology, 36(2), 611-625. Abstract.
Corrigan S, Brown AR, Ashton IGC, Smale DA, Tyler CR (2022). Quantifying habitat provisioning at macroalgal cultivation sites. Reviews in Aquaculture, 14(3), 1671-1694. Abstract.


Ashton I, Wilding C, Smale D, Tillin H, Corrigan S, Stuart E, Felstead P, Burrows M, Lubelski A (2021). Seaweed aquaculture and mechanical harvesting: an evidence review to support sustainable management (NECR378). Natural England,, Natural England. 108 pages. Abstract.

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