Kelly, Christina

Integrated Environmental Management and Monitoring System (EMMS)
for estuarine and coastal ecosystems in Ireland





School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
Queen's University Belfast
Level 3
David Keir Building
Stranmillis Road
Belfast BT9 5AG
Northern Ireland



+44 (0)2890 974254


Current Research:

This doctoral research aims to develop an Integrated Environmental Management and Monitoring System (EMMS) for estuarine and coastal ecosystems in Ireland. The research will be conducted over three years and encompasses three key stages: - 1) Developing a Normative Model; 2) Data Gathering and User Engagement; and 3) Analysis, Synthesis and Dissemination.  Stage 1 involves reviewing international models of best practice in integrated estuarine and coastal management including an appraisal of relevant legislative and regulatory requirements for their sustainable management.  This first stage will conclude with the development of a normative model of EMMS which will be tested in Stage 2 of the project.  This second stage will pilot the normative model to two case study areas, the Shannon and Liffey Estuaries. Both areas are multi-functional supporting a range of activities, uses and natural resources as well as their associated environmental pressures and threats. The normative model will be trialled for effectiveness in the management of these estuarine areas supported by stakeholder engagement, facilitated through the establishment of local working groups for each area.  Stage 3 will include a performance analysis of the normative model based on the case studies.  This will conclude in the development of an appropriate EMMS model which can be applied in any Irish estuarine and coastal context. 

For the Project Website click here or follow us on twitter @IMMERSE14

Supervisors: Dr Geraint Ellis and Dr Wesley Flannery


MSc (1st class honours) in Environmental Systems, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
Postgraduate Diploma in Town and Country Planning, Queen’s University Belfast
BSc Hons (2:1) in Environmental Planning, Queen’s University Belfast


Kelly, C., Gray, L., Shucksmith, R. and Tweddle, J. (2012) Review of the Marine Spatial Plan for the Shetland Islands. NAFC Marine Centre.

Tweddle, J.F., Gray, L., Kelly, C., Marengo, I., Shucksmith, R. (2013). Regional Locational Guidance for wave and tidal energy in the Shetland Islands. NAFC Marine Centre report.

Kelly, C. (2011) Climate Change and Sea Levels, RTPI Ireland INSITE Magazine, April 2011

Kelly C, Gray L, Shucksmith R, Tweddle JF.  Review and evaluation of marine spatial planning in the Shetland Islands. Marine Policy 46 (2014) 152–160.

Shucksmith RJ, Kelly C. Data collection and mapping – Principles, processes and application in marine spatial planning. Marine Policy 50 (2014) 27–33.

Shucksmith RJ, Gray L, Kelly C, Tweddle JF. Regional marine spatial planning – The data collection and mapping process. Marine Policy 50 (2014) 1–9.

Tweddle JF, Marengo I, Gray L, Kelly C. Developing regional locational guidance for wave and tidal energy in the Shetland Islands. Marine Policy 50, (2014) 53–66.

Conferences / Presentations:

Lessons learned in Marine Spatial Planning (MSP): The Shetland experience.
Conference presentation at ICES Annual Science Conference, Reykjavik 2013
ICES CM 2013/I:15 (Conference Paper), September 2013
Authors: Christina Kelly, Lorraine Gray, Rachel Shucksmith

Interdisciplinary insights into coastal zone management – Lessons learned from the Shetland Islands’ Marine Spatial Plan.
Conference Abstract and E-poster presentation at Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) Annual Science Meeting 2013, August 2013

Shetland Marine Spatial Plan: an ecosystem-based approach in formulating marine policy and management options.
Conference presentation at ICES Annual Science Conference, Bergen 2012
ICES CM 2012/I:17 (Conference paper) September 2012
Authors: Christina Kelly, Lorraine Gray, Rachel Shucksmith


PhD Research Studentship funding is provided by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan 2007-2013. The funding has been awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency Ireland and Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) through the Science, Technology, Research & Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) Research Programme 2007-2013.

Work Experience:

Christina has over 10 years’ work and research experience in both the public and private sectors.  She has gained international working knowledge of both terrestrial and marine spatial planning legislation and practice in Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands and Australia.  Christina has extensive knowledge of development plan-making and environmental legislation having carried out a number of Strategic Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Assessments and Appropriate Assessments.  Her work experience also includes the preparation and submission of planning applications, planning appeals and planning evidence for oral hearings. Christina was also involved in the development of one of the first statutory marine spatial plans in the UK – The Shetland Islands’ Marine Spatial Plan. She has also presented her research at international conferences and published a number of journal articles on her experience in marine spatial planning.