Honorary Associate Professor Karen Edyvane

Honorary Associate Professor

Professor Karen Edyvane is an applied marine ecologist, with expertise in ocean conservation, resource sustainability, governance, planning and integrated ecosystem-based management. As a lead government scientist, Karen has led major marine biodiversity conservation (Marine Protected Areas, large-scale marine habitat mapping, marine bioregionalisations), and impact assessment/pollution (ocean plastics, fishing debris, heavy metals) monitoring programs in South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

At the State/Territory (and national) level this has included developing technical and policy frameworks for marine biodiversity conservation, State of the Environmental Reporting and also, identifying, designing and implementing individual MPAs and MPA networks. Including planning and establishing the Great Australian Bight Marine Park in South Australia; and in Tasmania, leading and undertaking the first formal conservation and threat assessment of Giant Kelp forests.

Since 2006, Karen's marine research interests have primarily focused on northern Australia and the Arafura and Timor Seas region (ie. Timor-Leste and Indonesia) - with a focus on coastal sustainability, climate change, Indigenous livelihood development and improving ocean governance.

Karen is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and a UN-recognised 'global ocean expert' on the Arafura and Timor Seas. As an experienced international development consultant she has undertaken a wide range of marine conservation, sustainability and livelihood development projects, particularly in Timor-Leste and Indonesia - including with the United Nations (FAO, UNDP), World Bank, USAID and Asian Development Bank. Most recently, leading and conducting UN-funded Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) environmental, socio-economic and governance assessments and transboundary diagnostic analyses (TDAs) for the Indonesian Seas and the Arafura-Timor Seas.

Karen's academic background includes authoring over 130 scientific research/policy articles/reports and the supervision (and co-supervision) of over 30 postgraduate students - including international students. She has held former research and teaching appointments at James Cook University, the University of Adelaide and Charles Darwin University. And since 2012, has been a Visiting Professor at the Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa'e (Timor-Leste).

Research interests

  • Marine ecosystem assessment and planning (particularly Arafura-Timor Seas, Indo-Pacific)
  • Marine biodiversity and assessments (ie. habitats, key marine species)
  • Marine biodiversity conservation, policies and plans (including MPAs, 'sea country'
  • Intersection of biodiversity, climate change, food security and development policies
  • Marine environmental impact assessment, monitoring and reporting
  • Marine wildlife and habitat management
  • Integrated coastal management & ocean governance (particularly Small Island Developing States, Large Marine Ecosystems)
  • Coastal and ocean climate change impacts, adaptation and planning
  • Coastal livelihood development (ie. Indigenous communities, conservation, fisheries, ecotourism)