Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Dr Cai Ladd

Research interests:

My research focuses on coastal biogeomorphology, socio-ecological systems, and ecosystem service sustainability. I’m interested in understanding how physical and biological processes interact across local and regional scales to shape salt marsh and mangrove forest environments and the communities which rely on them. My research interests cover hydrological monitoring, geomorphic change detection, Blue Carbon, geographic information systems, spatial statistics, citizen science schemes, and practical management tool development.

Career history:

I gained my PhD from Bangor University in June 2018. My PhD examined the processes and patterns of saltmarsh erosion and expansion at different spatio-temporal scales across Britain. After my PhD, I held a 1-year teaching lectureship in Physical Geography at Swansea University. In 2019 I began a 1-year postdoc position at Bangor University investigating the impact of sea level rise on soil organic carbon sequestration in salt marshes (C-SIDE project). The project involved extensive fieldwork across the UK, including a nationwide citizen science project. I began my latest 3-year postdoctoral research associate position at the University of Glasgow in March 2020 (GCRF Living Deltas Hub, Work Package 4). During my post, I will be developing an indicator tool to determine the likelihood of mangrove expansion and erosion in deltas across Asia.

Active research projects:

Carbon Storage in Intertidal Environments (C-SIDE;
Living Deltas Work Package 4 (
BSG Early Career Researcher grant: “Can plant communities engineer saltmarsh morphology to build resilience?” (
Prof. Wynn Humphrey Davies Fund award: “Ecosystem service recovery following Acute Marsh Die-back in Eastern U.S. saltmarshes” (

Recent publications:

Ladd CJT, Duggan-Edwards MF, Bouma TJ, Pagès JF, Skov MW (2019). Sediment supply explains long-term and large-scale patterns in salt marsh lateral expansion and erosion. Geophysical Research Letters 46

Ford H, Garbutt A, Duggan-Edwards MF, Pagès JF, Kingham R, Ladd CJT, Skov MW (2019). Large-scale predictions of saltmarsh carbon stock based on simple observations of plant community and soil type. Biogeosciences 16:425-436

MCCIP (2018). Climate change and marine conservation: Saltmarsh (Eds. Ladd CJT, Skov M, Lewis H, Leegwater E) MCCIP, Lowestoft

Ford H, Garbutt A, Ladd CJT, Malarkey J, Skov MW. Soil stabilization linked to plant diversity and environmental context in coastal wetlands (2016) Journal of Vegetation Science 27(2):259–268

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