About Us

The Antarctic Ocean Alliance is a coalition of  environmental and conservation organisations working to support the creation of a network of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica.

Our story

The Antarctic Ocean Alliance was formed in 2010 when the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, CCAMLR, committed to establishing a network of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean. CCAMLR is the body responsible for conserving marine life in the Southern Ocean, from krill to penguins. It is made up of 24 countries and the EU.

Marine protected areas are vital for the conservation of ocean biodiversity and maintaining healthy fisheries. The International Union for Conservation of Nature‘s World Parks Congress recommends protecting at least 30 percent of the global ocean. Currently, only about two percent of the world’s oceans are protected.

The Southern Ocean is the healthiest ocean on the planet, home to thriving populations of penguins, seals, whales, and weird and wonderful creatures that have adapted to its icy waters. The Antarctic Ocean Alliance is a global movement calling for protection of this special place in a network of no-take marine protected areas.

In 2016, CCAMLR members made a critical first step by protecting 1.5 million square kilometres of ocean in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. Member countries are now considering additional proposals for marine protected areas for the East Antarctic and the Weddell Sea, in addition to a proposal being developed for the Antarctic Peninsula.

Join the movement calling for a system of marine protected areas in Antarctica’s Southern Ocean and help build the momentum needed to protect this unique environment.


The Team

Mike Walker – Project Director 
mike_walker_2016Mike Walker is the project director for the Antarctic Ocean Alliance, now a project of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition.

For over seven years Mike worked on a range of ocean conservation related campaigns with The Pew Charitable Trusts: ending EU overfishing; large scale fully-protected marine reserves; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; shark conservation; and with the Pew Marine Fellows programme. He was a member of the core team of Pew’s campaign to support fundamental reform of the EU’s fisheries management, the Common Fisheries Policy. As part of the team, Mike played a leading role in the recruitment and management of a coalition of 193 organisations throughout Europe.

For the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, the largest global education organisation, Mike represented the organisation, and its members, to the European Institutions. At the same time he worked closely with member organisations to build their advocacy capacity, especially in south-eastern and central Europe.

And before that he was instrumental in building a small Irish healthcare NGO into a nationally regarded provider of critical services to a highly vulnerable population. In doing this he learnt a great deal about the need to clearly identify need, formulate a strategy around meeting that, and then delivering it. It was a steep and rewarding learning curve.

Throughout all these experiences he has focussed on securing attainable change.

Elsa Evers – Communications Director

elsa_evers_2016Based in Sydney, Australia, Elsa Evers is a communications professional with over nine years  experience in government and non-government organisations.

Before joining Antarctic Ocean Alliance, she led the public outreach on sustainability projects for local government in Australia’s famous Bondi Beach area. Her projects included community solar, improving water quality along the coast, and bush regeneration events.

Previously, Elsa worked at Greenpeace Australia Pacific where she led the communications strategy for several successful campaigns. Elsa worked to stop market demand driving destructive tuna fishing in the Western Central Pacific, she helped build an alliance that successfully banned super trawlers fishing Australian waters, and most recently she coordinated a global campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef.

From social media content to editing scientific reports, Elsa creates a range of communications materials for the Antarctic Ocean Alliance, as well as giving strategic communications advice to alliance members.

Ricardo Roura – European Policy Advisor 

RRouraDr. Ricardo Roura  is an independent consultant specialising in the polar regions. He has extensive experience in Antarctic fieldwork and in Antarctic Treaty System fora.

Starting off as a geologist with a degree from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina), he then migrated to the social sciences with a degree from Massey University (New Zealand). His doctoral dissertation, at the Arctic Centre, University of Groningen (Netherlands), examined cultural heritage tourism in Antarctica and Svalbard from the perspective of the archaeology of behaviour.

Ricardo has participated in twelve Antarctic expeditions with different Antarctic programs (Argentina, New Zealand, Greenpeace) variously as a scientist, environmental manager, and field tutor. He spent a year at World Park Base, the former Antarctic base of Greenpeace.

Ricardo has been an ASOC representative to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings since 1997, to meetings of the Committee for Environmental Protection since 1998, and to CCAMLR meetings since 2011.

Ricardo has published broadly on a range of polar issues including tourism, impact assessment and monitoring, environmental management, and cultural heritage.

Ricardo lives in Amsterdam and is involved in the Dutch polar research community under the umbrella of the Willem Barentsz Polar Institute. He will participate in the forthcoming Netherlands Scientific Expedition to Edgeøya, Svalbard.

Robert Nicoll – Policy Advisor
Rob_headshotRobert Nicoll  is a conservation professional with over 10 years  experience in both government and non-government organisations. Prior to joining the conservation sector Rob spent 10 years developing winning advertising and  marketing campaigns for some of the largest companies in Australia and his native Canada.

Most recently, Rob was part of the international team that delivered the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, on  behalf of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. He combined his conservation and advertising experience to co-lead delivery of the Inspiring a New Generation Stream to the Congress.

A marine protected area expert, Rob previously led the World Wide Fund for Nature’s global Antarctic programme.  During his time at WWF, Rob brought together  actors from government, the  scientific community, NGOs and  industry to achieve success on significant climate change, fisheries and protected area measures and  initiatives.

Prior to joining WWF, Rob achieved fundraising success for Greenpeace Australia Pacific before  campaigning internationally on ocean issues with a particular focus on whales and fisheries.

Rob has been contributing his expertise to advance the aims of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance for the last three years towards achieving a representative system of marine protected areas across the breadth of the Southern Ocean.

Dave Walsh – Norway Policy Advisor
dave_alaskaThanks to growing up in the Irish countryside with salt water in his blood and a passion for Earth’s wild places, Dave has spent most of his professional career working against humanity’s profligate use of resources, as communicator, campaigner and photographer. As a media officer, he has worked alongside international media to reach global audiences on issues such as Antarctic whaling, high seas bottom trawling, pirate fishing, ocean acidification and the melting of Arctic ice, sailed onboard Greenpeace expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, and handled communications for the only zero emissions Antarctic research base.

Dave provides strategic campaigning and communications advice to the Antarctic Oceans Alliance.

Dr. Rodolfo Werner – Science and Policy Advisor

Rodolfo Werner

Dr. Rodolfo Werner is a marine biologist and wildlife conservationist who has devoted his professional career to the study and conservation of the Patagonian Sea, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica. He provides invaluable science and policy advice to the Antarctic Ocean Alliance and our partner organisation, the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition.

Rodolfo graduated as biologist from the University of Buenos Aires, obtained a PhD in Biology at the University of Munich, Germany, and conducted a Postdoc in Marine Zoology at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Rodolfo has an extensive list of publications on Antarctic science and policy, and has been attending meetings of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources – CCAMLR, the Committee for Environmental Protection of the Antarctic Treaty, and Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings for the last 13 years.

Rodolfo has traveled the world for his work. He regularly visits Antarctica to gives guided tours to tourists and fellow academics.

 Contact us: [email protected]

Collaborating partners

The following people and organisations collaborate with AOA working towards designated marine protected areas around Antarctica. A full list of AOA’s partners can be found here.

Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition

Claire Christian, Acting Executive Director

Eli Webster, Operations Manager

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Andrea Kavanagh, Global Penguin Conservation Campaign

Ryan Dolan, Global Penguin Conservation Campaign

Nicole Bransome, Global Penguin Conservation Campaign

Gerald Leape, Government Relations

Paulus Tak, International Ocean Policy

Winnie Lau, International Ocean Policy

James Gray,  International Ocean Policy

Barbara Cvrkel, Communications

Greenovation Hub, China

Julian Chen

ECO (Environment and Conservation Organisations of Aotearoa New Zealand)

Barry Weeber

Friends of the Earth, Japan

Yuri Onodera

CIES, South Korea

Eunhee Kim