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Rev Paul Rooney

Geography and Environmental Science
0151 291 3933 .

I am an environmental geographer with an international reputation based upon my expertise in the ecology, geomorphology and conservation management of coastal sand dunes.

In 2022 I was listed in the ENDS Power List of the top 100 most influential environmentalists as nominated by colleagues, clients and competitors. The ENDS Report is the UK's number one source of intelligence for environmental professionals, delivering news, analysis and reference across the carbon, environmental and sustainability agenda.

I am a Chartered Environmentalist, a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, a Chartered Geographer and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy / Advance HE 

I joined Liverpool Hope University in January 1999 as a Lecturer then Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography. Between 2004 - 2006, in addition to duties within the department, I was a Learning and Teaching Fellow operating across the university with special responsibility for Supporting Student Success. In 2010 the university awarded me the title 'Enterprise Fellow' in recognition of an outstanding and sustained contribution to enterprise activities undertaken in the field of environmental management. I lead an MSc in Ecology and Environmental Management. This is a long established programme and is one of the most successful postgraduate programmes at Liverpool Hope. I served as the Assistant Head of Department 2013-19 and Head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science 2019 - 2022. 

Based on my expertise in coastal dunes, examples of my professional activities include acting as an expert witness leading opposition evidence for the public body Scottish Natural Heritage at the 2008 public inquiry for the Donald Trump Menie Links development and the 2019 public inquiry opposing a similar development at Coul Links

My research and knowledge exchange activities are expressed in two main interest areas; coastal dunes and Catholic ministry. 

I established the Sand Dune Network in 2006, and direct this initiative with the aim of  assisting the conservation of coastal sand dunes as dynamic landscapes. My current (2022) research projects on dunes include being a co-investigator in a NERC funded project 'Landscape-scale environmental drivers of coastal dune mobility' and a research project funded by the R&A to explore the understandings of coastal change held by links (dune and cliff) golf clubs in the British Isles. I am developing projects on alien invasive plants on coastal dunes with the LIFE DUNIAS EU funded project. I have led and organised many international conferences and workshops on coastal dunes and am currently on the Scientific Committee for the Littoral 2022 conference.

I am a permanent deacon (ordained minister) in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool. Related to this I am a co-investigator leading the Ministry Research Project. This research project aims to improve the strategic planning and evidence-based decision-making relating to the deployment of the rich resource of permanent deacons and to evaluate the Archdiocesan Pastoral Associates Pilot Project. As part of the Ministry Research Project and with the National Executive for the Diaconate, after hosting two on-line events during COVID I  led the organisation and delivery of the National Deacon Assembly in September 2022 at Liverpool Hope University.

A selection of my roles and responsibilities external to the university include:

In 2020 the Josephine Butler Memorial Trust recognised me as the 'Josephine Butler Volunteer of the Year' for my outstanding contribution to ecumenical initiatives and social action at Liverpool Hope University and with St Helens Street Pastors.

Between 1996 and 1999 I was the Project Officer for the Sefton Coast LIFE Project, an EU co-financed partnership to develop a conservation strategy and implement practical action for the sand dunes of the Sefton Coast, north west England. Previous to this I managed a series of coastal dune nature reserves with the award winning Sefton Coast Management Scheme.