Smart Oceans: Artificial intelligence and marine biodiversity governance
About the Talk

This lecture by Dr. Karen Bakker will discuss a new type of environmental governance that holds significant promise for marine biodiversity conservation: AI-powered mobile marine protected areas (MMPAs). MMPAs have spatio-temporally mobile boundaries that change position as endangered fish migrate through the ocean. In order for MMPAs to responsively adapt to environmental variability, species mobility, and disturbance dynamics, a sophisticated AI-powered computational apparatus “Smart Oceans” is required, including machine learning algorithms, computer vision, and ecological informatics techniques used to analyze data from various sources (e.g. nano-satellites, drones, environmental sensor networks, digital bioacoustics, marine tags, deep sea UAVs). This talk will cover Smart Ocean’s digital tools and governance frameworks as well as recent applications with endangered bluefin tuna and endangered turtles. Do MMPAs achieve better biodiversity conservation outcomes than traditional static protected areas? Come to this session to find out!

About the Speaker

Dr. Karen Bakker is a Professor and founding co-Director of the Program on Water Governance at University of British Columbia. She has spent 20 years conducting interdisciplinary research on water issues; more recently, her research focus has shifted to digital innovation and environmental governance. She is the author of more than 100 academic publications, including 7 books, and articles in Science and Global Environmental Change. A Trudeau Foundation Fellow and Royal Society member, she obtained her PhD from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She is a member of the Boards of the New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and also a member of the UN Internet Governance Forum’s Policy Network on the Environment.
Date: 13 October 2021, 16:00 (Wednesday, 1st week, Michaelmas 2021)
Venue: Venue to be announced
Speaker: Dr Karen Bakker (University of British Columbia)
Organiser: Kathryn Pharr (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address:
Booking required?: Required
Booking url:
Cost: £0
Audience: Public
Editor: Kathryn Pharr