Emily Cunningham Sicily Portrait - Copy

Working towards thriving coasts, seas and coastal communities across the UK.

Emily is a marine conservation specialist and is currently working with a number of local and national organisations as an independent consultant. She has a strong track-record in the development of pioneering projects, campaigns and digital communications that engage people with our coasts and seas. To date, Emily has secured over £350,000 in development funding for conservation/engagement projects worth £5.6m.

Driven by the questions “What could our coasts and seas look like?” and “How do we get there?”, Emily is a credible ocean advocate, as comfortable speaking to a school group as to a TV crew or the Secretary of State for the Environment. She has appeared on national TV & radio and written for various magazines discussing the marine issues of the day. See her recent Sky News interview here.

Alongside her consultancy, Emily is an independent researcher with interests in citizen science and public perceptions of the marine environment. She shares her marine science adventures on Marine Biology Life.

Key Achievements & Recent Work

  • Developed the UK’s first marine Landscape Partnership Scheme, a £5m programme of marine conservation, education and heritage projects in North East England.
    Emily led the programme development process, securing match funding and writing the successful Stage 1 application. She was an advisor to the Partnership Board and contributed significantly to the documentation for the full Stage 2 bid. This pioneering scheme was awarded £2.78m funding in March 2020, see here.
  • Worked at the forefront of successful national campaigns, leading on communications and giving media interviews, including on national TV and radio.
  • Developed a major new conservation project on the Dee Estuary, aiming to protect and celebrate rare/undervalued wildlife and habitats
    Emily was commissioned to support project development, advise on stakeholder/community consultation and to write the (successful) Stage 1 funding bid. The project was awarded £101,400 development funding in late 2018 and is now progressing towards a full application of around £500,000. Emily is now a professional advisor to the development team. Read the announcement here, including a quote from Emily.
  • Published new research on UK humpback whales with all data collected by volunteers. This research reported on the first ever photo-ID match of a UK humpback whale to their Arctic feeding grounds and suggests that British seas act as a migratory stopover/alternative destination for migrating humpback whales. Read Emily’s paper, published in Marine Biodiversity Records, here.
  • Co-led research expeditions to Sicily and the Azores to collect samples for the study of population genetics of Bottlenose Dolphins and Yellowmouth Barracuda.
  • Led a marine ecology field course in Indonesia
    Emily delivered lectures and led surveys covering the ecology and conservation of coral reefs, mangroves, seagrasses and sea turtles.
  • Emily presented her work at the 5th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC5) in Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo) and at the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) conference in Newcastle (England).


Work with Emily

To discuss, contact emily@emilycunningham.co.uk

Emily’s in depth and practical knowledge of marine conservation has provided invaluable insight to SeaScapes.  During our scoping meetings, I appreciate Emily’s encouraging and attentive approach, which often results in innovative ideas and solutions being developed.  I could not be more pleased with her suggestions and guidance and I feel comforted being in expert hands. Emily is destined for great things and will no doubt be a forerunner in the marine conservation industry.

Veronica Rudd, SeaScapes Development Manager
Emily is an advisor to the SeaScapes Partnership Board and Development Team.


Client Feedback

Emily is an inspiring young marine professional. Her passion, knowledge and commitment to marine wildlife is admirable. I have worked with Emily on a variety of coastal projects and each time she has proven herself to be dependable, organised and delivers quality pieces of work. As a marine conservationist, Emily has found her ultimate purpose in life – she loves it, is great at it, gets paid for it… and the world needs it!

Sarah Bennett, Area Manager, Cheshire Wildlife Trust
Emily worked with Cheshire Wildlife Trust to develop a programme of projects, providing guidance on community consultation and writing the Stage 1 bid.


Client Feedback