Emily Cunningham Sicily Portrait - Copy

Marine Conservation Consultant, Researcher and Educator working 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. Much of her recent work has been in the development of pioneering projects, campaigns and digital communications. To date, Emily has secured over £350,000 in development funding for conservation projects worth £5.6m.

Emily is a knowledgeable ocean advocate and educator, as comfortable speaking to a school group as to a TV crew or the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment. She has appeared on national TV & radio and in 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

  • Published new research on UK humpback whales with all data collected by citizen scientists. This research reported on the first ever 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.
  • Led a marine ecology field course in Indonesia
    Emily delivered lectures, in-water training and surveys covering the ecology and conservation of coral reefs, mangroves, seagrasses and sea turtles.
  • 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. Read the announcement here, including a quote from Emily. 
  • 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 is now an advisor to the Partnership Board. Read more about the project here.
  • In 2018: Emily worked on a national campaign for more and better managed Marine Conservation Zones, wrote the marine content for a national NGO’s new website, completed a regional review of evidence for Natural England and developed a major new conservation project.
  • Co-led research expeditions to Sicily and the Azores to collect samples for the study of population genetics of Bottlenose Dolphins and Yellowmouth Barracuda.
  • In 2018, 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