Blue Box: PhD Exit Seminars – Friday, March 18, 2022

Mar 15th, 2022

Description: Using expert elicitation to explore the multiple dimensions of Marine Protected Area Networks

Abstract:   Mairi’s work aims at evaluating Marine Protected Area Networks (MPANs) from a social ecological lens. Her research seeks to better understand how these conservation tools serve both human and non-human species, and how to best evaluate their impacts on marine conservation. Her presentation will take us around the world as she discusses the notion of bridging gaps between marine conservation and policy through MPAs and MPANs, and the four elements that should be considered (social, ecological, governance, and economic) when managers evaluate MPANs effectiveness. Mairi will also share her PhD research findings from a systematic literature review, and structured survey which covered 48 MPANs within 59 distinct countries. With her results confirming that most MPANs consist of a variety of co-occurring and potentially conflicting conservation objectives.

About the Author: Mairi Meehan is a PhD candidate working in marine conservation and policy at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Growing up ice diving in upstate New York, Mairi has always been interested in the natural world, and found her way to marine science through art. After making marine-like sculptures in art school, she became fascinated with jellyfish and pursued a Masters in biological oceanography (Dauphin Island Sea Lab) and international environmental policy (Monterey Institute of International Studies). Mairi’s work has spanned over four continents. Mairi has worked with fishing communities in the Philippines, and in Sierra Leone and Liberia, where she supported co-management approaches; in Rome as a marine fisheries policy analyst for the UN FAO; and as a Marine Habitat Resource Specialist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She is currently a visiting researcher at the University of Victoria.