About Us

A project of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, 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 project 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 three percent of the world’s oceans are fully 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 2 million square kilometres of ocean in Antarctica’s Ross Sea including nearly 500,000 square kilometres on the Ross Ice Shelf. 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 us on our mission to create the world’s largest network of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean.

The Team

Claire Christian – Interim Executive Director of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition

Claire Christian has worked for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition since 2009 and has developed substantial expertise on the full range of issues relevant to the Antarctic environment, especially marine protected areas. In addition to writing numerous papers for international governance meetings on subjects ranging from vessel regulations to ocean acidification, she is a regular contributor to publications and blogs relevant to Antarctica and often speaks to audiences on Antarctica’s environmental challenges. She aims to educate and inspire people and policymakers around the world to protect the Antarctic continent and its surrounding ocean as some of the world’s last great wilderness areas. In her work with ASOC, she develops policy and strategy related to many of the issues that impact the Antarctic environment, including tourism, fisheries, and climate change. She engages with a wide variety of Antarctic stakeholders, from government officials to research scientists.

Mike Walker – European Coordinator

Mike Walker is the European Coordinator for the Antarctic Ocean Alliance. For over seven years, Mike has 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.

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. 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.

Robert Nicoll – Australian 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.  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.

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 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.

Eli Webster, Operations and Finance Manager

Eli received her M.A. in Museum Studies at The George Washington University in 2012 and joined ASOC in January 2015. Prior to joining ASOC, Eli worked for a number of non-profits in the DC area, including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and National Geographic.


Kisei Tanaka, Project and Website Coordinator

Kisei earned his M.A. in Environmental Policy in 2010, and M.S. in Environmental Science in 2012 from American University. Previously, Kisei has worked for UNEP in Jamaica, as well as a host of other marine and coastal resource management organizations. Kisei joined ASOC in 2012.


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.

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