Rhian Jenkins

Professor Rhian Elizabeth Jenkins BA(Hons); BSc (Hons); PhD

Reader / Programme Director: BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation

Tel: +44 (0) 1792 481053
E-mail: rhian.jenkins@uwtsd.ac.uk

Faculty responsibilities: 

Supporting the research environment in the School of Built and Natural Environment.

Programme Director for the BA/BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation Programme.

Lecturing duties:

  • Environmental Issues
  • Coastal and Marine Science (Levels 5 & 6)
  • Habitat Science
  • Habitat Management
  • Energy & Waste Resource Management
  • Sustainable Development
  • Fieldwork
  • Academic Skills and Dissertation supervision(Degree. Masters and PhD level).

Dr Rhian Jenkins is currently a lecturer within the School of the Built and Natural Environment and is the Programme Director for the undergraduate Environmental Conservation portfolio. With a BSc in Environmental Conservation and a PhD in cetacean management, key interest areas include Marine Conservation and Biodiversity, Sustainable Development and Environmental Issues.

She has been an invited speaker at several conferences and conservation group meetings and is also a marine adviser to various projects including coral reef conservation and marine energy impact studies. She has consulted on coastal management strategies such as the Blue Flag Symposium and local Shoreline Management Plans and more recently, become an advisory member of the Gower Landscape Partnership.

Her research and teaching, while predominantly focusing on the marine environment, also encompass many aspects of habitat management and sustainable development. Having been involved in the delivery of teaching on the Environment Conservation Programme since 2002, Dr Jenkins is now Programme Director of the BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation degree.  She teaches nine modules across the School and research undertaken has been used to inform the new module structures.

Since completing her doctorate in 2007, she has been heavily involved in developing research areas which are multi-dimensional, and therefore reflect the taught material within the under and post graduate Programmes, but still has a key focus on coastal and marine management.

Dr Jenkins has also been instrumental in developing an academic skills programme in response to skills’ deficiencies. Industrial engagement is seen as crucial in maximising student employment opportunities. Since 2002, she has been involved in consultation with potential graduate employers, i.e. local authorities, conservation organisations, consultants and industry.

She has generated 16 international journal and conference papers (2001 - present) which consider coastal and marine policy in response to anthropogenic use and activities. Included in these are marine species’ distributional changes as a consequence of climate change, identifying critical habitats for cetacean and morphological responses to climatic flux.

She has successfully supervised one PhD and one MPhil through to completion and currently supervises 4 PhDs and one MPhil.

Dr Jenkins researches cetacean management in Swansea and has a particular interest in Marine Spatial Planning and tourism-related impacts. Through analysis of behavioural studies, she identified critical habitats for this species in and around Swansea and developed a coastal user matrix for identifying potential conflict. The results of which have been used to further inform coastal management systems. A current focus has been the development of renewable marine-based energy projects and their impact upon cetaceans locally.

Through an LCRI- funded project, Dr Jenkins and her research group gathered baseline data and correlated distributional and behavioural changes in response to anthropogenic pressures. This work contributed to a consultation document that was used to inform the Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. Additionally, work has been done on the impacts of these installations on cultural heritage around nearshore and coastal habitats (OREIN project).

Additional research areas include analysis of climatic impacts on rocky shore assemblages and marine food webs. Furthermore, an on-going collaboration with Oxford Brookes University has also established a land reclamation project at Varteg, Blaenavon. 

External examining

Dr Jenkins has been an external MRes examiner At Swansea University: Environmental impacts of hydropower on the River Twrch, Swansea Valley (2012) and external examiner for a PhD at Oxford Brookes University: Heavy metal take-up and subsequent vitality at a previously quarried spoil tip, Varteg, Blaenavon (November 2013) 

External programme development:

She has been an External Moderator (Programme validation) at Southampton Solent University: Geography with Environmental Studies and Geography with Marine Studies (May 2013)

Internal programme Development:

Dr Jenkins has been involved in three internal validation processes as well as being a panel member for many scrutiny events. She is heavily involved in new programme development, which is being undertaken across the University currently. Furthermore, she is now the Faculty representative for the admissions sub-committee for the Research Degrees Committee.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

Dr Jenkins contributions to research, i.e. publications, research engagement and external funding led to her inclusion in the University’s REF 2014 submission to ‘Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology’. This followed on from her inclusion in the University’s RAE 2008 submission to Geography and Environmental Studies.

In collaboration with Swansea, Bangor, Aberystwyth, and Cardiff Universities, together with Pembrokeshire College, (the LCRI group), continuation of this cetacean work was possible. In this case, the focus was understanding potential impacts from marine renewable energy devices upon cetacea and other marine mammals in the locality. Previous risk assessment and behavioural work on harbour porpoises, both at PhD and publication level underpinned the project rationale (2011-2013). Dr Jenkins was  Principal Investigator for the cetacean work package.

She has contributed to the Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. Considerable criticism had been directed at the company for their initial report which had not included any baseline surveys. This provided an opportunity to build upon work that had previously been undertaken and  produce a consultation report, identifying critical feeding habitats which in turn informed the impact assessment process (June 2013).

The report’s findings have already been disseminated at public meeting events at the Liberty Stadium and at Local Authority group sessions (Sept/Oct 2013). In parallel with the LCRI research, scenic assessment, geomorphological aspects and cultural tourism were investigated during a joint TSD (Lampeter), Pembrokeshire College, Bangor and Swansea Metropolitan University project (OREIN).

Cultural and scenic assessments were not considered under LCRI and as a result the OREIN project sought to fill in the gaps. In an earlier conference paper in 2004, Dr Jenkins had considered the importance of developing managed marine eco-tourism sectors in coastal communities.

Germane to this is not simply the ecology but scenic landscapes too, elements rarely considered during the impact process for offshore renewable development. That previous work, together with the ecological impacts assessment, was further developed in this joint project and a final report was submitted to the Welsh Government in 2012.

Collaborative work has been undertaken, jointly with Oxford Brookes University, at a former open cast mining site at Varteg, in Blaenavon, South Wales.  She been involved in this land reclamation work for the last 7 years and uses this site each year as a means of teaching and conducting tree vitality work. Biodiversity transects on the site have been undertaken for the last four years and a joint paper (Oxford Brookes and TSD) is currently been constructed.

Utilising her marine science expertise, Dr Jenkins jointly authored a report on Qatar’s marine environment. This was undertaken on behalf of Aljamali Consultancy, Doha and is entitled: An assessment of the Qatar Marine Environment. Doha. 56pp. (Phillips, M.R. and Jenkins, R.E., 2014).

Publications to-date reflect a multiplicity of conservation issues and while predominantly focussed on marine and coastal aspects, they also reflect the broader conservation issues which arise from external engagement in other projects. Having concentrated on biological aspects of cetacean populations in early research outputs, that work has since developed in a more applied fashion.

Oakley, J.A., Jenkins, R.E., Thomas, T., Williams, A.T. and Phillips, M.R. (2016). Assessing harbour porpoise populations in south-west Wales, data issues and implications for conservation and management. Ocean and Coastal Management. Vol 119: 45-57.

Denner, K., Phillips, M.R., Jenkins, R.E. and Thomas, T. (2015). A coastal vulnerability and environmental risk assessment of Loughor Estuary, South Wales. Ocean and Coastal Management. Vol 116: 478-490.

Jenkins, R.E. and Oakley, J. (2013) Marine Mammal Data Analysis for Swansea Bay: A consultation report for Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) plc. June 2013, 44pp

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2014). Links between wave forcing, offshore islands and a macro-tidal headland-bound bay beach. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. Vol 39: 143-155.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2012). Rotation on two open coast macrotidal beaches. Applied Geography, Vol 35: 363-376.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2012). Medium time-scale behaviour of adjacent embayed beaches: influence of low energy external forcing. Applied Geography, Vol 32(2): 265-280.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2011). Medium timescale beach rotation; gale climate and offshore island influences. Geomorphology. 135(1-2):97-107

Phillips, M.R., Rosser, G., Jenkins, R.E. and Cullis, M.J. (2011). Beach management strategies: a comparative stakeholder assessment, Gower, South Wales, UK. Journal of Coastal Research. SI 64: 1396-1400.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2011). Short-term beach rotation, wave climate and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Progress in Physical Geography. 35(3): 333-352

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. and Jenkins, R.E. (2011). A multi-century record of linked nearshore and coastal change. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 36:995-1006

Jenkins, R.E., Brown, R.D. and Phillips, M.R. (2009). Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) conservation management: a dimensional approach, Marine Policy. 33(5):744-749

Plamping, K., Haigh, M., Cullis, M.J. and Jenkins, R.E. (2009). Evaluation of cambial resistance for the appraisal of tree vitality on reclaimed coal lands. International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment. 23(1): 1-12 

Jenkins, R.E. and Donaldson, J. (2008).  Jellyfish strandings: a means of predicting Leatherback Turtle Dermochelys coriacea distribution patterns in Pembrokeshire, UK? A Changing Coast: Challenge for the Environmental Policies (Littoral 2008), T7. Electronic Publishing CD ROM. 8pp.

Jenkins, R. E. (2007). Identifying critical habitats for cetacea, Gower, UK. In: Ozhan, E. (ed) Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment. MEDCOAST 07. Middle East Technical University, Ankara. Vol. 1: 199-210.

Phillips, M. R., Banfield, K., May, E. A. and Jenkins, R. E. (2005). Whale watching and the collection of cetacean data: a case study of WhaleWatch Azores. In: Ozhan, E. (ed) Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment. MEDCOAST 05. Vol. 1. Middle East Technical University, Ankara.  387-398.

Jenkins, R., Phillips, M.R., Williams, B. and Gallagher, A. (2004). “Ecotourism – A New Market Opportunity for Gower, South Wales, UK”? In Micallef, A. and Vassallo, A. (eds) Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Management of Coastal Resources, Beaches, Yacht Marinas & Coastal Ecotourism, Mediterranean Centre on Insular Coastal Dynamics, Malta. 241-251.

Jenkins, R.E., and Phillips, M.R. (2003). “Changes in Geographical Distribution of Marine Mammals and seabirds”. In: Ozhan, E. (eds) Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 03, Vol. 1, Middle East Technical University, Ankara. 485-497.

Phillips, M.R. and Jenkins, R. E. (2001). “Impacts of Climate Change in the Marine Environment”. In: Ozhan, E. (eds) Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 01, Vol. 1 , Middle East Technical University, Ankara. 335-347. 


Jenkins, R.E. and Oakley, J. (2013). Distribution mapping of Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena in Swansea Bay and Gower, JNCC update

Kantamaneni, K., Jenkins, R.E., Phillips, M., (2013) Anthropogenic Actions in a Veracious way: A key to economic beneficial to UK Climate Change Adaptations. IIT Chennai, India

Kantamaneni, K., Jenkins, R.E., Phillips, M. (2013). Transformation of Climate: Will Floods and Coastal Erosion Crumble the UK Economy? International Journal of Climate Change: Impact and Responses. (Abstract Accepted 22/10/13)

Kantamaneni, K., Phillips, M.R.P., Jenkins, R.E., (2014). Could the UK Economy Be Impacted by an Increase in Tornado Occurrence: A Consequence of Climate Change in the 21st Century. Sixth International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses. University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland (Accepted 17/10/13). 27-28 June 2014.

Dr Jenkins is a member of the advisory panel for the Gower Landscape Partnership Project (as the University representative). The project, which is funded by the Welsh Government and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, aims to conserve the unique landscape and cultural heritage of Gower. (2012 – present). The University has many roles it can play in this respect and potential opportunities for the project and student experience are currently being explored.

She is also overseeing the University’s involvement in the HLF project: Cynefin: Mapping Wales’ Sense of Place. The project involves mapping Gower’s ancient woodlands, identifying ancient woodland indicator species (Project start date April 201).