Dr Holly Niner

Dr Holly Niner

Research/Knowledge Exchange Fellow - Social-Ecological Systems

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



Research & Knowledge Exchange Fellow


Research positions

  • Postdoctoral research fellow (2019-2020), Centre for Blue Governance, Aalborg University, Denmark


  • PhD (2019), University College London (Adelaide, Australia) - Aligning economic development and conservation through marine biodiversity offsetting: An analysis of perspectives, policy and practice in Australia.
  • MSci Oceanography (2007), National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), UK.

Professional experience

  • HiDef Aerial Surveying (2013-2014), Consenting project manager, Aberdeen UK.
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (2010-2013), Offshore industries advisor, Aberdeen, UK.
  • Natural England (2009-2010), Planning & land use advisor, Lyndhurst, UK.

Roles on external bodies

2017-2020 International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC6), Chair
2016-2018 International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC5), CoChair
2016-2017 International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB), Education Vice-Chair
2015-2019 Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), Marine Section Secretary, Executive Committee Member
2014-2018 Australian Marine Science Association (AMSA), Member
2014-2016 Conservation Council of South Australia, Secretary, Board of Directors



Research interests

Through my research I seek to support the sustainable, equitable and just use of marine and coastal resources and space. I am interested in how information and knowledge is incorporated into decision-making and the governance of marine and coastal resources and exploring how these processes might be altered to improve outcomes for sustainability and equity. 

Areas of recent interest include: the governance of deep-sea mining in the areas beyond national jurisdiction, marine biodiversity offsetting and marine no net loss, instilling equity and social justice in the blue economy and corporate engagement in marine management (e.g. social licence to operate).



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted


A. McQuatters-Gollop, I. Mitchell, C. Vina-Herbon, J. Bedford, P. Addison, C.P. Lynam, Geetha PN, E. Vermeulen, K. Smith, D.T.I. Bayley, E. Morris-Webb, H.J. Niner, S. A. Otto, From science to evidence–how biodiversity indicators can be used for effective marine conservation policy and management, Front. Mar. Sci. 6 (2019).

H.J. Niner, J.A. Ardron, E. Escobar, M. Gianni, A. Jaeckel, D.O.B. Jones, L.A. Levin, C.R. Smith, T. Thiele, P.J. Turner, C.L. Van Dover, L. Watling, K.M. Gjerde, Deep-sea mining with no net loss of biodiversity – an impossible aim, Front. Mar. Sci. 5 (2018). doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00053.

C.L. Van Dover, J.A. Ardron, E. Escobar, M. Gianni, K.M. Gjerde, A. Jaeckel, D.O.B. Jones, L.A. Levin, H.J. Niner, L. Pendleton, C.R. Smith, T. Thiele, P.J. Turner, L. Watling, P.P.E. Weaver, Biodiversity loss from deep-sea mining, Nat. Geosci. 10 (2017) 464–465. doi:10.1038/ngeo2983. 

H.J. Niner, B. Milligan, P.J.S. Jones, C.A. Styan, Realising a vision of no net loss through marine biodiversity offsetting in Australia, Ocean Coast. Manag. 148 (2017) 22–30.doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.07.006.

H.J. Niner, B. Milligan, P.J.S. Jones, C.A. Styan, A global snapshot of marine biodiversity offsetting policy, Mar. Policy. 81 (2017) 368–374.doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2017.04.005.

Niner HJ, Jones PJS, Milligan B & Styan C (2021) 'Exploring the practical implementation of marine biodiversity offsetting in Australia' Journal of Environmental Management 295, 113062-113062 , DOI