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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Raymond Ward is a Principal Lecturer in Physical Geography within the School of Environment and Technology where he is an active member of the Centre for Aquatic Environments and Programme Leader for BSc Environmental Sciences. Ray has considerable research experience in climate change impacts on coastal ecosystems from a geomorphological, ecological and geochemical perspective and has worked extensively throughout Brazil, Argentina, Estonia, and the Arctic.

Ray is currently supervising four PhD candidates and one post doctoral researcher and is currently a member of the Blue Carbon working group in Brazil developing research and implementing projects related to carbon mitigation strategies within coastal environments.

Dr Ward is an external reviewer for fifteen leading journals in his field and has published a number of scientific journals, reports and book chapters. His research has been support by NERC, CNPq (Brazil), CONICET (Argentina), Santander (UK) and has been the recipient of a Rising Stars award. Ray is also a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Higher Education Academy.

Post doctoral supervision:

Jerome Curoy (2019 - 2021)      NERC - Thaicoast project: Coastal Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptation in Thailand.

Omar Celis Hernandez (2015 - 2018)        Storage and Geochemical Control of Emerging Contaminants in Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystems in the Southampton and Solent Area, United Kingdom

PhD supervision:

Mariana do Amaral Camara Lima (complete)    Blue Carbon in seagrass meadows: impacts of recent climatic changes on carbon sequestration, biomass and greenhouse gas emissions

Isa Dlama Kwabe (2015-2020)     Mangrove degradation due to natural resource extraction in the Niger Delta – A geochemical and remote sensing study

Miguel Villoslada Peciña                (complete)        Comparison of the impacts of climate change on ecosystem service provision in three contrasting EU regions using environmental stratification

Henri Järv (2015-2020)   The impacts of protected areas on regional socioeconomic development

Thaisa Fernandes Bergamo (2018-2022) Impacts of sea level and salinity changes on coastal wetland plant communities

Ricardo Martínez Prentice (2020-2024) mapping and modelling biodiversity and ecosystem services in coastal wetlands

Approach to teaching

I utilise a wide variety of techniques within my teaching including lectures, group work, in class data trawling, practical lab and field based learning and all my teaching is interactive. I incorporate cutting edge material including case studies from my own research and experience to provide a background to the topics and theories I am teaching, principally focused on coastal environments and sediment analysis.

Research interests

My research interests span the fields of geomorphology, sediment processes and ecology within coastal environments primarily mangroves, salt marshes, coastal meadows and sea grasses. I specialise in sediment geochemistry including gamma spectroscopy, stable isotope analysis, granulometry, assessment of carbon storage and, sediment source tracking. I also utilise dGPS and LiDAR data within GIS for the characterisation of geomorphology and plant communities in coastal environments to model the impacts of sea level rise, changes in sediment deposition, and carbon sequestration and storage within coastal wetlands.

I have conducted research throughout the coasts of Argentina and Brazil including the Amazon and Entre Rios estuaries, within Arctic salt marshes in Norway, and coastal wet grasslands in Estonia, mangroves in Nigeria, as well as salt marshes within the south of England. I am interested in how sedimentary processes and carbon sequestration have been influenced by recent climate change in order to see how these services are likely to be altered by future climate change.

Current research projects include:


  • NERC - Thaicoast: Coastal Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptation in Thailand 2019.
  • The Impacts Anthropogenic Disturbances on Mangrove Ecosystems Services  within the Niger Delta, Nigeria. (Nigeria) 2017.
  • Investigation to determine principal factors influencing carbon sequestration and storage in seagrass meadows in the UK. 2016.
  • Storage and geochemical control of emerging contaminants in estuarine and coastal ecosystems in the United Kingdom. 2016.
  • Coastal wetland carbon sequestration: impacts of climate change (Argentina & Uruguay). 2015.
  • Impacts of climatic change on South American coastal wetland carbon sequestration (Brazil). 2015.
  • Investigating the impacts of climatic change on carbon sequestration within the Amazon estuary. Funding: Para State Government, Brazil and Santander UK, 2014
  • Assessment of the impacts of El Niño on coastal wetland geomorphology in Lagoa dos Patos, Brazil. 2014
  • Impacts of climatic change in Arctic coastal wetland carbon sequestration. 2014.

Previous research projects:

  • Assessing the effects of past and future climate change on sedimentation in Brazilian mangroves. 2013.
  • Development of a landscape classification system using remotely sensed data to identify the biodiversity and soil type in Estonia. 2012. 
  • Geoinformatic modelling of the impacts of sea level rise on micro-topographical coastal wetlands. 2010
  • Assessing the relationships between micro-topography, edaphic factors and coastal wetland plant communities using geoinformatic techniques. 2004.

Consultancy projects include:

  • RSPB. A biological survey of the intertidal sediments of the Pagham Lagoon Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). (2014)
  • West Sussex County Council. An ecological survey of Widewater Lagoon SSSI. (2013)
  • Natural England. A biological survey of the intertidal sediments of the Adur Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), West Sussex, for the purpose of SSSI condition assessment. (2010)
  • Natural England A biological survey of the intertidal sediments of for the purpose of Itchen Estuary Medina Estuary, Thorness Bay, Thanet Coast, Lee-on-Solent and North Solent SSSI condition assessment. (2009)
  • Natural England. A biological survey of the intertidal sediments of Brading Marshes to St Helen’s Ledges, King’s Quay Shore and Yar Estuary Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Isle of Wight, for the purpose of SSSI condition assessment. (2009)
  • East Sussex Economic Partnership. Development of a web based GIS database of the full scope of industrial units in East Sussex. (2008)
  • Aylesbury District Council. Development of a GIS database of all the industrial units in Aylesbury District. (2008)
  • Lewes District Council. Route optimisation in waste management. An assessment of software programmes for Lewes District Council. (2008)
  • Elmin Mining (Greece). The use of remotely sensed data in determining the location of Bauxite deposits. (2008)
  • TJ Composting. An assessment of the use of compost overburden as a basis for fuel pellets. (2008)
  • TJ Composting. An assessment of the potential use of compost overburden as a biofuel in CHP furnaces and on an industrial scale. (2007)


Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising projects in the area of global change (climate change, extreme weather events, environmental pollution) influences on coastal environments (subtidal, mangroves, salt marshes, seagrasses, coastal grasslands).

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Research Output

  • Environmental risk of trace elements in mangrove ecosystems: An assessment of natural vs oil and urban inputs

    Celis Hernandez, O., Giron-Garcia, M. P., Ontiveros-Cuadras, J. F., Canales-Delgadillo, J. C., Ward, R., Pérez-Ceballos, R. Y., Acevedo-Gonzales, O., Armstrong-Altrin, J. S. & Merino-Ibarra, M., 4 May 2020, In : Science of the Total Environment. 730, 138643.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Fine scale plant community assessment in coastal meadows using UAV based multispectral data

    Villoslada, M., Bergamo, T. F., Ward, R., Burnside, N., Joyce, C., Bunce, R. & Sepp, K., 14 Jan 2020, In : Ecological Indicators. 111, 105979.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Integrated and sustainable management of post-industrial coasts

    Bardos, P., Spencer, K. L., Ward, R., Maco, B. & Cundy, A., 16 Jun 2020, In : Frontiers in Environmental Science. 8, 86.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Opportunities for seagrass research derived from remote sensing: a review of current methods

    Veetil, B., Ward, R., Lima, M., Stankovitch, M., Hoai, P. & Quang, N., 28 May 2020, In : Ecological Indicators. 117, 106560.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle