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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Karen Alexander is a marine socio-ecologist with wide-ranging interests, centering on environmental stewardship and ocean and coastal conflict. She specialises in issues around the transition to a green (blue) economy, how such developments impact coastal communities, and more recently her research has focused on specific marine sectors such as offshore renewable energy and aquaculture. She is also interested in marine governance, particularly ecosystem-based management and marine spatial planning. 

Biography

Dr Karen Alexander is currently Assistant Professor in Marine Governance and Blue Economy in the International Centre for Island Technology at Heriot-Watt University.

After completing a PhD in Marine Science at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)/University of Aberdeen, Karen continued to work at SAMS for a further 4 years. During this time she participated in several large EU Framework research programmes. She also helped to develop the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Aquaculture, Environment and Society. Karen then moved to Australia to work with the Centre for Marine Socio-ecology, based at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania, where she remains an adjunct Senior Lecturer. 

Karen has over 60 publications (books, journal articles and book chapters) and has managed a number of UK and Australian research projects totalling >$60M (approx £1M as principal investigator). She is also currently Secretary of the Marine Social Science Network, a member of the ICES Working Group on the Social and Economic Dimensions of Aquaculture (WGSEDA) and a Director of the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum.

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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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