Jacob Ainscough

        Photo of SAMS PhD student Jacob Ainscough

PhD student

I am a social science convert with a love of all things aquatic. Prior to starting a PhD I worked on various marine and freshwater research and conservation projects both in the UK and overseas. This work led me to switch my focus from ecology towards the social sciences, to explore the causes of our environmental crisis. My interest now is in exploring governance arrangements in marine management, to understand how they operate and could be improved. Living in Oban is a dream come true as I like to be outdoors, hiking, sailing or cycling.

Contact details:
  • Jacob.Ainscough@sams.ac.uk
  • +44 (0)1631 559000
  • +44 (0)7702243523

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Exploring the interface between ecosystem services and environmental governance in marine planning in Scotland

With the expansion of the blue economy, it is more important than ever that suitable governance mechanisms are in place to balance the many demands humans place on the marine environment. The ecosystem services concept offers a tool for understanding the different ways that the environment benefits humans, so that these benefits can be better accounted for in decision making.

My project looks at the use of the ecosystem services concept in marine management in Scotland. Drawing from a range of theoretical backgrounds, I am aiming to understand how facts about ecosystem services are produced and how they are influencing decisions and decision making institutions in Scotland.


Dr Meriwether Wilson, University of Edinburgh

Dr Jasper Kenter, SAMS


Natural Environment Research Council


University of Edinburgh

Peer-reviewed publications

Ainscough, J., Wilson, M., Kenter, J.O. 2018. Ecosystem services as a post-normal field of science. Ecosystem Services 31, 93–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2018.03.021

De Vries Lentsch, A., Ainscough, J.O., Metzger, M., Rounsevell, M., Schroter, M., Delbaere, B., de Groot, D. and Staes, J. (In Review) Delivering Nature’s Benefits to all Sectors of Society: How ecosystem services applications can realise their transformative potential. Ecosystem Services

Conference talks

Ainscough, J.O., Kenter, J. O. and Wilson, M. (2016) Assessing management options for the Firth of Clyde. MASTS ASM, Glasgow

Poster presentations

Ainscough, J.O., Kenter, J. O. and Wilson, M. (2017) Exploring the interface between ecosystem services and environmental governance in marine planning in Scotland. University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Research Conference

Employment history

2014-2015: Conservation Intern. Zoological Society of London

2013: Project Manager. North Cyprus Marine Turtle Project


2015: MSc Environment, Science and Society. University College London

2013: BSc Zoology. University of Exeter

Professional activities

Editors' assistant - The European Society of Ecological Economics newsletter

Teaching experience

Tutor: Conservation Science (4th year). University of Edinburgh

Guest Lecturer: Marine Conservation - UK Marine Policy (3rd year). SAMS UHI

Professional memberships

Royal Scottish Geographical Society

Society for Conservation Biology