Chris Poonian


Francis Gilbert & Georgina Endfield

Research Interests

I am a part-time PhD student supervised by Francis Gilbert and Georgina Endfield (Geography).  My PhD takes a multidisciplinary approach to examine how the South Sinai Bedu's use of coastal resources has developed and changed over the last century. I aim to understand the nature and extent of their traditional fisheries, the effectiveness of their associated management practices, and to explore possibilities for integrating these practices into marine conservation policy in South Sinai.  

I plan to work along the entire Gulf of Aqaba coastline from Sharm-el-Sheikh to Taba, interviewing older Bedu about their fishing and other practices that they carry out today, and how these differ from those of the immediate and more distant past. I will ask about their ideas of the important factors impacting fish abundance, and how changing pressures on their livelihoods and families have affected the marine environment. Based on this information, selected areas will be surveyed ecologically to test the reliability of bedouin ideas, using scuba/snorkel surveys of coral and fish communities. The extent to which traditional knowledge is included in marine conservation management policy will then be reviewed and assessed. The final results will suggest future needs, options and recommendations for marine conservation in South Sinai.