Local boy Tavis Potts in making the journey from Muswellbrook to Aberdeen and has become one of the world’s leading researchers in marine and coastal governance. His research into how individuals, communities, industries and institutions relate to the sea and how the sea influences human well-being is widely acclaimed. His team has just received a $7m grant that links small scale and artisanal fisheries on the Atlantic seaboard in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, France and the UK with improved local supply, less food miles and sustainability. Tavis will lead the work on understanding how consumers respond to traceability and quality assurance; and will engage with industry, retail and consumer organisations to develop new ways to enhance sustainable local seafood supply and to support coastal communities.
Tavis, born in Muswellbrook, grew up on the Central Coast. After a degree from University of Newcastle and a PhD from University of Tasmania, he is now an academic at the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland. “My research interests revolve around humanity's relationship with the sea - both in the coastal zone and offshore environments,” he said.
“This was borne out of growing up and living on and in a coastal environment, and experiencing the wonder of the seashore, swimming and surfing, and generally taking it for granted. It wasn't until a fateful Wyong High School trip to the Shortland Wetlands Centre that I realised environmental science was an actual career choice and shortly after my HSC I enrolled in the environmental degree at Newcastle, led by Kevin MacDonald and taught by Glenn Albrecht, Phil Geary and Mike Mahony.”
Success comes from not only following your heart and passion but also from inspiring teachers.