Accessibility statement

Dr Bethan O'Leary
Research Associate



Dr Bethan O’Leary is a Research Associate working to inform negotiations on a new implementing agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in ABNJ at the United Nations.

Beth completed her PhD on high seas MPAs and ocean governance in 2012. During her PhD she was a member of the scientific research team that developed the scientific case underpinning the world’s first network of high seas MPAs in the North Atlantic under the OSPAR Convention. Prior to joining the Department of Environment and Geography in 2016 Beth worked at the Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation at Bangor University.


2016-present: Research Associate

University of York, UK

2015: Research Officer

Bangor University, UK

2012-2014 Environmental Consultant

Arcus Consultancy Services Ltd

2008-2012: PhD Environmental Science

University of York, UK

2007-2008: MSc Marine Environmental Management

University of York, UK

2004-2007: BSc (Hons) Geography

University of Southampton, UK



Beth’s research interests focus broadly on sustainable management of marine resources and the integration of scientific research with applied environmental management and policy. She is currently working across three broad areas:

  1. Marine protected areas (MPAs), including Large-Scale MPAs and MPAs in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ)
  2. Fisheries management, including the impact of Brexit on UK fisheries, seafood industry and the marine environment
  3. Evidence review methodology, aimed at improving the reliability and accessibility of environmental evidence reviews for decision-makers. This work continues links with the Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation at Bangor University

Contact details

Dr Bethan O'Leary
Research Associate
Department of Environment and Geography
Wentworth Way
YO10 5NG