Department of Geography


Dr Jonathan Potts

  • Qualifications: BSc Geography (London), PhD (Cardiff), PGCTLHE (Portsmouth)
  • Role Title: Principal Lecturer
  • Address: Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth, PO1 3HE
  • Telephone: 023 9284 6541
  • Email:
  • Department: Geography
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I am an environmental geographer who specialises in coastal and marine resource management. I am particularly interested in coastal hazard risk management, the institutional and policy frameworks for coastal management, stakeholder networks and public participation, environmental education and interpretation and sustainable development. 

I am also interested in the role of museums and other heritage attractions in relation to the public’s understanding of environmental and sustainability issues. 

I am a Chartered Geographer and Chartered Marine Scientist and an officer on both the Coastal and Marine Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) and the International Geographical Union's Commission for Marine Geography. 

Previous to my current position I was the Senior Specialist (Environment) at the National Maritime Museum (NMM) where I am a Visiting Fellow active with a number of key environment related programmes.

Teaching Responsibilities

At postgraduate level I am the Course Leader for the Department's MSc in Coastal and Marine Resource Management, and co-ordinate the following units:

  • Coastal and Marine Resource Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning and Law of the Sea
  • Fisheries Development and Marine Conservation
  • Coastal Processes and Shoreline Management
  • Dissertation

At undergraduate level I deliver environmental geography components of the teaching in the department. I contribute to the following units:

  • Population, Resources and Environment
  • River, Water and Coastal Management
  • Dissertation


  • Shoreline Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Marine conservation
  • Public engagement with coastal and marine resource management

Current Research Projects

Investigating pre-mid nineteenth century shoreline management on the south-east coast of England

In collaboration with Malcolm Bray and David Carter

This research project is using examples from the coastline of southern and south-eastern England, to both document the construction of defences and then critically evaluate the subsequent effectiveness of defences protecting both estuarine and open shorelines built between the eleventh and mid-nineteenth centuries.

Establishing attitudes and perceptions of recreational boat users based in the Solent, UK, towards Marine Conservation Zones

This research project focuses on recreational boat users in the Solent, one of the world’s busiest offshore recreational areas. Increased pressures on marine and coastal resources have led to their degradation. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an integral feature of marine conservation programmes globally to mitigate such degradation. Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are a new type of MPA designated under the United Kingdom’s Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009 and are designed to ensure the long term survival of wildlife and biodiversity in UK waters. 

This study aims to establish the attitudes and perceptions of recreational boat users (RBUs) in the Solent, United Kingdom (UK) with respect to MCZs.  Specifically, this study is attempting to: (1) determine the demographic profile of the boating population in question, as well as the nature and intensity of their boating practice; (2) establish what the activities, preferences, and sources of perceived conflict are amongst RBUs using the Solent, and; (3) evaluate the understanding of and support for MCZs amongst RBUs, as well as establishing any opportunities for more effective stakeholder engagement.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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