Emily Cunningham is an independent Marine Conservation Consultant working across the UK.
Emily is currently working with a number of local and national organisations on various aspects of marine conservation practice. She specialises in engaging the public with the wonders of British seas; with a particular focus on growing marine stewardship through the development of pioneering projects, campaigns and digital communications. To date, Emily has developed conservation projects worth £5.6m and secured over £350,000 in development funding.
Emily is a passionate and knowledgeable ocean advocate, 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.
Away from the “day job”, Emily is an independent researcher with interests in citizen science, ocean literacy and public perceptions of the marine environment. She shares her marine science adventures on Marine Biology Life.
Key Achievements & Recent Work
- 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). She currently has a research paper under review.