Coastal Forum

Scotland’s coastal zone is famous for its natural beauty but also provides important conservation value. The coastal zone is a significant ecosystem in its own right, as a buffer between highly valued marine and land assets, ranging from award-winning golf courses, prime agricultural land, critical industries, aquaculture and important fisheries. These transitional ecosystems are vulnerable to pressure from enhanced erosion and flooding as sea levels rise, storm impacts increase and coastal sediment supply wanes.

The adaptation and resilience of the coastline is vitally important to Scotland’s future, and the way forward requires sound knowledge, cooperative research and compromise between organisations, as well as the engagement and involvement of local communities.

The MASTS Coastal Forum brings together a variety of experts in areas such as coastal processes and dynamics, management, policy, social science, and biodiversity, ecology and conservation, thus providing the opportunity to interact with key decision makers, speak to experts to help solve often-complex issues and help generate leads for new projects, insights and potential contracts.

Co-Chairs: Clare Maynard (USTAN) & Jim Hansom (GLAS)

Steering Group: Ben Taylor (USTAN), Janet Khan (SEPA), John Black (MoD), Nicholas Williamson (Fife Council), Sue Dawson (DUN) & Tim Stojanovic (USTAN).


If you would like advice, please complete the enquiry form and email to

If you would like to find an expert on coastal issues, check out the coastal expertise database

If you want to be included in this database, please contact


And if you’re interested in what some members are up to, please see the links below

Ben Taylor is our postgraduate representative, studying blue carbon benefits for a PhD study. See

Clare Maynard bangs the drum for coastal habitat restoration; see this site if this is your thing

Janet Khan is a Senior Specialist Scientist in the Marine Ecology Unit for SEPA and part of their internal coastal group looking at issues in coastal resilience, flooding and ecology.

Jim Hansom is a physical geographer and involved with Dynamic Coast, a national project assessing Scotland’s coastal changes, see

John Black is an ecologist and manages some of Scotland’s best coastal areas for the MoD. For a bit of fun, take a wander around this site

Nicholas Williamson is a consultant engineer in Harbours, Flood, & Coast in Fife Council and a champion of investigating new approaches to dealing with coastal issues.

Sue Dawson is a reader in physical geography with expertise in sea-level change and tsunamis, see

Tim Stovanovicis a lecturer in sustainable development and on the steering group of the MASTS Marine Planning & Governance Forum