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Personal profile

Research interests

Professor Karen Edyvane is an applied marine ecologist, with expertise in marine conservation, resource sustainability, planning and integrated coastal management. As a senior government scientist, Karen has led major Marine Protected Area (MPA) marine biodiversity conservation and pollution (debris, heavy metals) research and 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 and also, identifying and designing/implementing MPA networks.


Since 2006, Karen’s marine research interests have focused on northern Australia and the Arafura and Timor Seas region (particularly Timor-Leste) – with a focus on coastal sustainability, climate change, Indigenous livelihood development and improving ocean governance. She is a UN-recognised ‘global ocean expert’ on the Arafura and Timor Seas and as an experienced, international development consultant has undertaken a range of marine conservation, sustainability and livelihood development projects. Particularly with the United Nations (FAO, UNDP), World Bank, USAID and Asian Development Bank in Timor-Leste.  Her research includes authoring over 130 scientific research/policy articles/reports and the supervision of over 30 postgraduate students – including international students. Karen’s current field research interests are primarily focussed on cetacean populations and ecology (including blue whales) and community-based marine ecotourism as a tool for poverty reduction in Timor-Leste.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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