Hazel Thornton
Programme Officer, Marine Programme
E-mail address: Hazel.Thornton@unep-wcmc.org

The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre specialises in measuring and identifying the causes of biodiversity change, mapping biodiversity hotspots and priorities, valuing ecosystem services, and evaluating the implications for biodiversity of different land and ocean management options. The centre develops and shares data and knowledge-based tools to help decision makers understand how they depend and impact upon biodiversity. The team comprises more than a hundred experts in the biodiversity and ecosystem services of marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments, together with social scientists, ecological modellers, economists, lawyers, GIS specialists, policy analysts and programmers.


WCMC’s role is to measure the effect and success of restoration actions for algal forests in the Mediterranean in terms of ecosystem service change and social and economic returns (WP4). In addition, it will provide technical expertise and support relating to the development of indicators of restoration success and ecosystem service change; the mapping of spatial data and the development of material and information for policy audiences. Contribution to the project management as member of the Steering Committee (WP7).

WCMC Staff

Chris McOwen (Technical expert) is an interdisciplinary scientist, whose research spans local, national, regional and global scales, combining experience in marine policy, ecology and biodiversity, ecosystem services and spatial conservation planning. Chris’s role is to manage and provide technical oversight and scientific knowledge to projects at the science-policy interface. His main activities revolve around the analysis of coastal and marine biodiversity, environmental and socio-economic datasets. 

Hazel Thornton (Technical support) provides technical support to a range of projects and activities in the Marine Programme, contributing to research and analysis elements with a primary focus on digital products.

Nic O’Neil (Administrative support) provides administrative, organisational and technical support to the Marine Programme. This involves supporting both programmes in preparing monitoring documents and reports and managing project planning and accounting.

Osgur McDermott Long (Technical support) contributes to developments in quality and quantity of global data on biodiversity, in particular on protected areas and marine and coastal habitats; standardization of key data sets and; integration of biodiversity information from different sources and organizations through data partnerships and its presentation through online tools such as the Ocean Data Viewer.

Matthew Ling (Technical support) focuses most directly on ecosystem services and ecosystem assessments. Matthew has attended various international events to present workshops and training sessions on ecosystem assessments; and has helped convene and facilitate meetings and workshops for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment follow-on project.

Claire Brown (Expert advisor) has worked with UNEP-WCMC since 2004 and overseas a portfolio of projects on ecosystem services and assessment, most notably the Sub-global Assessment Network, the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, the development of ecosystem service indicators and tools for measuring and monitoring ecosystem services. Claire also supports the IPBES Secretariat on assessment issues and is coordinating the IPBES Guide for Assessments. Claire is also a member of the Steering Group for Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2011-2020.

James Vause (Expert advisor) is responsible for the steering UNEP-WCMC’s portfolio of projects around natural capital and the economics of biodiversity as well as mainstreaming economic analysis throughout the wider work of the organisation. He is a former government economist in the UK, and has worked across a wide range of environmental economic policy areas. He has recently published on the need to recognise the role of biodiversity in generating human welfare to further the case for conservation as well as the need to ensure the full range of values of biodiversity are captured in natural capital assessments.

Steven King (Technical expert) helps develop the centre’s approach to Natural Capital Accounting and the integration of formulating proposals to best integrate this approach into national decision making. He also provides economic input into projects undertaken within the ecosystem assessment programme and elsewhere across the centre