Dr. Rachel Kelly

Rachel Kelly

Adjunct Faculty

Dr Rachel Kelly is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures (FOCI) Consortium, a new Ocean Frontier Institute funded initiative. Rachel’s role in the project cements research linkages between Memorial University and the Centre for Marine Socioecology (CMS) and the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), both in Tasmania, Australia,

She is a marine socioecologist, who recently graduated with a PhD from the CMS in Tasmania (2019). Dr Kelly’s most recent research has focused on the human dimensions of ocean sustainability, with a particular focus on improving global ocean literacy, connecting citizen science more actively with marine conservation initiatives, and engaging communities more meaningfully to secure marine space social licence. This work has involved collaborative research projects in and with the CMS, the World Maritime University in Sweden, the Australian National University in Canberra, iDiv in Germany, and other international groups. Currently, Rachel is working under the supervision of Dr Paul Foley and Dr Rob Stephenson (in FOCI) to assess linkages between the concepts foresighting and full-spectrum sustainability, to further the aims and objectives of the wider FOCI project working groups.


• PhD Marine Socioecology – Centre for Marine Socioecology at the University of Tasmania, Australia (2019).

• MSc Marine Biodiversity and Conservation – University of Algarve, Portugal and Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, France (2015).

• BSc Marine Science – National University of Ireland, Galway (2013).

Research Interests

• Foresighting
• Full-spectrum sustainability
• Marine citizen science
• Social licence
• Ocean literacy

Selected Publications

1. Kelly, R., A. Fleming, G. T. Pecl, J. von Goenner, A. Bonn (2020). “Citizen science and marine conservation: A global review.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: 20190461.
2. Kelly, R., J. Nettlefold, D. Mossop, S. Bettiol, S. Corney, C. Cullen-Knox, A. Fleming, P. Leith, J. Melbourne-Thomas, E. Ogier, E. I. van Putten and G. T. Pecl (2020). “Let’s talk about climate change: Developing effective conversations between scientists and communities.” One Earth 3.
3. Kelly, R., A. Fleming, Pecl, M. Mackay, C. Garcia, G. T. Pecl (2020). “Social licence for marine protected areas.” Marine Policy 115: 103782.
4. Cvitanovic, C., E. I. van Putten, R. Kelly, H. R. Feldman, T. J. van Steveninck, M. Mackay, N. Badullovich, T. Gourlay (2020). “Engaging more effectively with visitors to coastal regions for improved management outcomes: Insights from the Ningaloo Coast, Australia.” Frontiers in Marine Science 7: 253.
5. Thys, T.M., M. Nyegaard, J.L. Whitney, J.P. Ryan, I. Potter, T. Nakatsubo, R. Kelly, et al. (2020). “Ocean sunfish larvae: detection, identification and predation”. pp. 105–128. In: T.M. Thys, G.C. Hays and J.D.R. Houghton [eds.]. The Ocean Sunfishes: Evolution, Biology and Conservation, CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL, USA.
6. Twiname, S., A. Audzijonyte, J. Blanchard, C. Champion, T. de la Chesnais, … R. Kelly, … G. T. Pecl (2020). “A cross-scale framework to support a mechanistic understanding and modelling of marine climate-driven species redistribution, from individuals to communities.” Ecography 43: 1-16.
7. Kelly, R., M. Mackay, K. L. Nash, C. Cvitanovic, E. H. Allison, D. Armitage, A. Bonn, S. J. Cooke, S. Frusher, C. J. Fulton… (2019). “Ten tips for developing interdisciplinary socio-ecological researchers.” Socio-Ecological Practice Research 1(2): 149-161.
8. Kelly, R., A. Fleming and G. T. Pecl (2019). “Citizen science and social licence: Improving perceptions and connecting marine user groups.” Ocean & Coastal Management 178.
9. Kelly, R., A. Fleming, G. T. Pecl, A. Richter and A. Bonn (2019). “Social licence through citizen science: A tool for marine conservation.” Ecology and Society 24(1): 16.
10. Kelly, R., A. Fleming and G. T. Pecl (2018). “Social licence for marine conservation science.” Frontiers in Marine Science 5(414).