Webinar - The good, the bad and the unexpected of interdisciplinary endeavour: Demystifying interdisciplinary working 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This much awaited webinar attracted over 200 attendees, and was presented by Prof Nicola Beaumont from Plymouth Marine Laboratory, followed by a short Q & A session facilitated by Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team member Ece Ozdemiroglu (eftec).  It was held at 11am on Wednesday, 10th June 2020 and marked the launch of the Demystifying Interdisciplinary Working (in Valuing Nature) report and one-pager on the 7 principles for interdisciplinary working.

Click here to access the slides from the presentation

You can watch the webinar recording below

Click here to access the Demystifying Interdisciplinary Working (in Valuing Nature) report and one-pager on the 7 principles for Interdisciplinary Working


In this time of unprecedented change, to be successful in managing and finding solutions to the complex issues of the day, from pandemics, to climate change, to biodiversity loss,  transformative approaches are needed. Thinking in individual disciplinary terms is as crucial as ever in order to progress specialist approaches. However, to address the complex technical, societal and environmental challenges we also need to break down the disciplinary silos, think outside the usual boxes, and bring a broad range of approaches together to best understand and provide solutions to these challenges.

Whilst interdisciplinary working is universally accepted as challenging the resultant benefits are equally acknowledged as substantial. For academics it can be stimulating and lead to ground breaking collaborations; for user groups it can radically improve the relevance of answers provided to difficult questions; and for research commissioners it can drive the development of impactful proposals and projects. The Valuing of Nature is notable in requiring research that brings together a variety of disciplines. This need was recognised by the Valuing Nature Programme (VNP) and for the last 5 years a host of interdisciplinary endeavours have been undertaken including projects, workshops, conferences and secondments.

This webinar shared the Valuing Nature Programme experience, including the why, what, and how of interdisciplinary working, exploring the benefits, frustrations, barriers, solutions and challenges.  Specific examples were detailed including unique research findings, interdisciplinary processes used, lessons learned, top tips and recommendations or the future.

Whilst a range of VCoastWeb logoNP activities were drawn upon, the VNP funded CoastWEB project provided a focus for this seminar, as a project which brought together 8 different disciplines, coupled with a varied stakeholder network, to research the values and wellbeing benefits of saltmarshes, with an aim of providing tangible and useful outcomes.





Professor Nicola Beaumont has more than 20 years’ experience working at the interface between natural sciences and socio-economics, including extensive project and people management experience. Nicola specialises in the quantification and valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services, and translating complex natural science into terms which are meaningful in a social and economic context.

She has experience across a variety of scales from local county councils to European and Global levels, and to a variety of marine management issues, including: renewable energy, ocean acidification, and marine planning and policy.

Ece Ozdemiroglu, founder and Managing Director of eftec (Economics of the Environment Consultancy), which has run since 1992 and is the UK’s leading consultancy in environmental economics, with several hundred projects in economic valuation, appraisal, working with natural capital, policy design and training for public, private and NGO sector clients in the UK and the rest of the world. Ece is the economics lead of the Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team and a keen proponent of interdisciplinary working.