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Research

Our current focal areas of research.  

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MPA effectiveness worldwide

For the last two decades, we have been studying marine protected areas around the world to better understand their dynamics as tools for biodiversity protection and as social-ecological systems. We conduct primary ecological research, meta-analyses and other syntheses, policy evaluations, and expert surveys to investigate MPAs and their outcomes. 

Fish recruitment to Oregon's MPAs

We are studying the recruitment of commercially and recreationally important fish species to Oregon's nearshore to provide insights about their early life history, population dynamics, use of marine protected areas as essential habitat, and impacts of the growing effects of climate change. This long-term dataset results from partnerships with multiple academic, agency, and community groups to track these dynamics. 

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Place-based approaches to marine conservation

We are currently partnering with place-based organizations to synthesize different approaches to the use of MPAs nationally, regional, and internationally. Current focal countries are: Indonesia, South Africa, Portugal, Canada, and France.

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Tracking Ocean Commitments

Many countries and other bodies are making commitments to protect the ocean by establishing marine protected areas and other area-based management tools. We have been tracking progress on these commitments, with a special focus on high-level announcements made at the Our Ocean Conferences. Read our recent report, delivered to the Our Ocean Conference in Palau in April 2022.

Image by Marek Okon
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Kelp Ecosystem-based Management

Led by Sara Hamilton, we are partnering with NGOs and regional experts to better understand how the unique aspects of kelp forests and what they provide to people can benefit from an ecosystem approach to their conservation and management.