Harriet Harden-Davies

2017-2019 University of Wollongong
Nexus Research Fellow, ANCORS (University of Wollongong)

Harriet Harden-Davies was a research fellow with the Nereus Program at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Her research sits at the interface of ocean science, law and policy. Her work has a particular focus on the role of science and technology transfer in the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. She is a member of several international working groups, including the UNESCO-IOC Group of Experts on Capacity Development and the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative. Harriet has previously held senior management and science-policy research roles at the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the UK Royal Society.


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Laffoley, D., Baxter, J.M., Amon, D.J., Currie, D.E.J., Downs, C.A., Hall-Spencer, J.M., Harden-Davies, H., Page, R., Reid, C.P., Roberts, C.M., Rogers, A., Thiele, T., Sheppard, C.R.C., Sumaila, R.U., & Woodall (2019). Eight urgent, fundamental and simultaneous steps needed to restore ocean health, and the consequences for humanity and the planet of inaction or delay. Aquatic Conserv: Mar Freshw Ecosyst. 2019;1-15. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.3182 link

Wright, G., Cremers, K., Rochette, J., Clark, N., Dunn, D., Gjerde, K.M., Harden-Davies, H., Mohammed, E., Ortuño Crespo, G. (2019). High Hopes for the High Seas: beyond the package deal towards an ambitious treaty IDDRI, Issue Brief, N°01/19. link

Rabone, M., Harden-Davies, H., Collins, J.E., Zajderman, S., Appeltans, W., Droege, G., Brandt, A., Pardo-Lopez, L., Dahlgren, T.G., Glover, A.G. & Horton, T. (2019). Access to Marine Genetic Resources (MGR): Raising Awareness of Best-Practice Through a New Agreement for Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). Front. Mar. Sci. 6:520. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00520 link

Cremers, K., Rochette, J., Wright, G., Gjerde, K., Harden-Davies, H. (2020). A preliminary analysis of the draft high seas biodiversity treaty. IDDRI, Study N°01/20

Harden-Davies, H., Humphries, F., Maloney, M., Wright, G., Gjerde, K., & Vierros, M. (2020). Rights of Nature: Perspective for Global Ocean Stewardship. Marine Policy, 0308-597X. link.

Nereus fellows Robert Blasiak (Stockholm Resilience Center) and Harriet Harden-Davies (University of Wollongong) both appear in The New York Times article ‘What 13,000 Patents Involving the DNA of Sea Life Tell Us About the Future’. Both fellows attended the United Nations debate earlier in September, about the future global legal framework for genetic resources on the high seas, and were interviewed for the article.

September 18, 2018 | OceanographyBiodiversity

Past Event

30 January 2019 - 1 February 2019

The Nereus Program, in collaboration with ANCORS, the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat and the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner is co-hosting a workshop in Suva, Fiji, 30 Jan – 1 Feb 2019. Yoshi Ota, Quentin Hanich (ANCORS, University of Wollongong) and Harriet Harden-Davies (ANCORS, University of Wollongong) will be attending.

Nereus Fellow Guillermo Ortuño Crespo (Duke University) writes about the first Global Planning Meeting of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development that he, fellow Harriet Harden-Davies (ANCORS, University of Wollongong) and policy director Yoshitaka Ota (University of Washington) attended in Copenhagen, Denmark on May 13-15th.

Nereus research fellow Harriet Harden-Davies (Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong) recently published a short article in the special Oceans edition (Spring 2019) of The Geographer, entitled ‘Sharing benefits from genetic resources and sustaining the high seas’.

Nereus research fellow Harriet Harden-Davies (University of Wollongong/ANCORS) and Rashid Sumaila (UBC) are co-authors on a new paper published in Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems that identifies necessary measures to restore ocean health for future generations.

Research fellows Harriet Harden-Davies (University of Wollongong/ANCORS) and Guillermo Ortuño Crespo (Duke University) with Daniel Dunn (Duke University) are co-authors on a policy brief published by IDDRI that aims to strengthen the current high seas management and governance framework to improve marine conservation and sustainability.

Nereus research fellow Harriet Harden-Davies (University of Wollongong/ANCORS) is a co-author on a new paper published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science. In it, the authors discuss scientific best practices and accessibility to marine genetic resources (MGR), and how benefit sharing can be strengthened through a new Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) agreement.

Harriet Harden-Davies was one of five international experts invited to attend a high-level dialogue at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, 20-21 January 2020. The participants discussed marine genetic resources and benefit sharing, a current challenging issue in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ).

At the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Harriet Harden-Davies participated in discussions about the development of a historic new treaty for marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

January 21, 2019 | Law and Governance

Harriet Harden-Davies co-authored an analysis of the current draft text of the UN treaty concerning the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). The final round of treaty negotiations based on revised draft text are planned for March at the UN headquarters in New York City.

Harriet Harden-Davies is lead author with Marjo Vierros and others on a new study published in Marine Policy, “Rights of Nature: Perspective for Global Ocean Stewardship.” In it, they discuss the inherent (and legally recognized) rights of nature and ecosystems, and how this perspective can be applied to global ocean governance.

January 21, 2019 | EcologyLaw and Governance