Professor Elaine Baker

Room 308

F09 - Madsen Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 3000

Biographical details

Elaine was recently named one of the most globally influential women in Australia as part of the Australian Financial Review/Westpac 2015 100 Women of Influence Awards.

Elaine holds the inaugural UNESCO Chair in Marine Science at the University of Sydney and is the Director of the University's Marine Studies Institute. Professor Baker is also the Director of the GRID-Arendal office (an official collaborating centre of UNEP) at the University.

Elaine is intersested in making real world impact – taking the ideas and inspiration of the university beyond acedemia to help solve some of our biggest problems. She has worked on developing policy recomendations to deal with the growing burden of waste, how to make waste-water pay its own way, how to change the face of mining so it includes people and the planet alongside profit and why our coastal ecosystems are worth more alive than dead. See Elaine's latest story on the seaweed taking over beaches on both sides of the Atlantic.

Over the last 10 years Elaine has been working with partners in Australia and Norway on a project that is redrawing the map of the world – to date assisting more than 60 developing coastal states in their efforts to prepare submissions to the United Nations, for what is known as extended continental shelf. This process, when complete, will establish the outer limits of marine jurisdiction for eligible coastal states, helping to finalise global maritime boundaries. A recent milestone in the project was the joint submission for extended continental shelf made in September 2014 by seven West African coastal states. Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Cabo Verde and Sierra Leone joined together in an historic collaboration, to make a single submission for a large area of marine territory.

In the Pacific Professor Baker is a co-founder of the Pacific Maritime Boundaries collaboration, which includes the University of Sydney, GRID- Arendal, SOPAC/SPC, Geoscience Australia, the Pacific Forum Fisheries Association, the Australian Attorney Generals Department, the Commonwealth Secretariat and 14 Pacific Islands States. Since 2008 scientific, technical and diplomatic personnel have been meeting twice a year at the University to prepare claims for extended continental shelf under article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and more recently to negotiate and prepare national legislation for shared maritime boundaries.

The boundaries projects, known collectively as the Shelf Programme, is building on these successes to develop other initiatives that support sustainable livilihoods along side good ocean governance.

Research interests

Elaine is interested in the sustainable use of marine resources. This includes the responsible use of non-renewable resources, the economic evaluation of biodiversity and other ocean services, and the regulation and governance of ocean space. She is currently involved in the development of a Pacific marine portal - PACGEO.

Teaching and supervision

The University of Sydney is a partner in the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), which coordinates the Masters of Marine Science and Management. Within the course emphasis is placed on new approaches to marine science and management, such as geographic information systems, remote sensing, data analyses and habitat mapping. The capstone unit, Topics in Australian Marine Science, utilises the marine data provided by the national facility IMOS (Integrated Marine Observing System), which has deployed a range of instruments to take oceangraphic measurments in Australian waters. For information see http://sydney.edu.au/science/marine/

Current projects

Elaine is part of a team that has produced the first new global seafloor geomorphology map in fourty years. The map can be used for improved ocean managment. The global seafloor geomorphology map http://geoiq.grida.no/maps/1136

Elaine is the lead author on Chapter 23 (Marine Extractive Industries) of the United Nations The World Ocean Assessment. The WOA was released at the begining of 2016 - she also made the film explaining the WOA. Check it out at https://youtu.be/doiR8Ttqm5s

In the media

International links

New Caledonia

(Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) ) We have a long standing relationship with the SOPAC Division of SPC. Since 2006 we have been working with SOPAC on a range of projects that support improved ocean governance.

Norway

(GRID Arendal an official collaborating centre of UNEP) We have an office of GRID Arendal at the University, that receives support funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to undertake marine science research and programmes that support the work-plan of the United Nations Environment Programme

Selected grants

2015

  • Capacity Development for State of the Marine Environment Reporting; Baker E; Australian National Commission for UNESCO/Travel grant.
  • Marine and coastal resources; Baker E; GRID-Arendal/Grant.

2014

  • UNEP Shelf programme; Baker E; GRID-Arendal/Grant.
  • Enhancing Pacific Ocean Governance; Baker E; DFAT/Government Partnerships for Development.

2013

  • Pacific Marine Data Portal; Baker E; AusAID/Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP).

2008

  • University of the Sea research program - Training students & global research; Baker E; ARC Research Network for Earth System Science/Research Support.

2005

  • Creating a Society with Pluralistic Values; Baker E; The Toyota Foundation (Japan)/Research Grant.

2004

  • Feasibility study for the development of a facility for continental shelf delineation; Baker E; United Nations Environment Program/Research Grant.

Selected publications

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Books

  • Baker, E., Bournay, E., Rekacewicz, P., Sevaldsen, P., Haltbrekken, L. (2005). Vital Climate Change Graphics. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Baker, E., Bournay, E., Harayama, A., Rekacewicz, P. (2004). Vital Waste Graphics. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

Edited Books

  • Clark, M., Heydon, R., Hein, J., Petersen, S., Rowden, A., Smith, S., Baker, E., Beaudoin, Y. (2013). Cobalt-rich Ferromanganese Crusts: A physical, biological, environmental, and technical review. Arendal: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Baker, E., Beaudoin, Y., Bice, S., Burns, L., Dumas, D., Feenan, J., Hanley, N., Hoagland, P., Holland, P., Jobstvogt, N., et al (2013). Deep Sea Minerals and the Green Economy. New Caledonia: Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
  • Clark, M., Desbruyeres, D., Fisher, C., Heydon, R., Hein, J., Petersen, S., Rowden, A., Smith, S., Baker, E., Beaudoin, Y. (2013). Deep Sea Minerals: Sea-floor Massive Sulphides: A physical, biological, environmental, and technical review. Arendal: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Clark, M., Heydon, R., Hein, J., Smith, S., Smith, C., Petersen, S., Baker, E., Beaudoin, Y. (2013). Manganese Nodules: A physical, biological, environmental, and technical review. Arendal: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Harris, P., Baker, E. (2013). Seafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat: GeoHAB Atlas of Seafloor Geomorphic Features and Benthic Habitats. Waltham, USA: Elsevier.
  • Schoolmeester, T., Baker, E. (2011). Continental Shelf: The Last Maritime Zone. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Rucevska, I., Heberlein, C., Rekacewicz, P., Simonett, O., Fernandez Skaalvik, J., Baker, E., Novikov, V., Radvanyi, J., De Martino, L. (2006). Vital Caspian Graphics: Challenges Beyond Caviar. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

Book Chapters

  • Pendleton, L., Jungwiwattanaporn, M., Beaudoin, Y., Neumann, C., Solgaard, A., Cavaliere, C., Baker, E. (2015). Greening the Ocean Economy: A progress report. In Hance D. Smith, Juan Luis Suarez de Vivero, Tundi S. Agardy (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Ocean Resources and Management, (pp. 199-211). Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Baker, E., Dalrymple, C., Harris, P., Hughes, M. (2003). Sedimentary and stratigraphy of a tide-dominated forland-basin delta (Fly River, Papua New Guinea). In Sidi, Nummedal, Imbert, Darman, Posamentier (Eds.), Tropical Deltas of Southeast Asia: Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and petroleum geology, (pp. 147-173). USA: SEPM - Society for Sedimentary Geology.

Journals

  • Harris, P., MacMillan-Lawler, M., Rupp, J., Baker, E. (2014). Geomorphology of the oceans. Marine Geology, 352, 4-24. [More Information]
  • Harris, P., Hughes, M., Baker, E., Dalrymple, R., Keene, J. (2004). Sediment Transport From Distributary Channels To The Pro-Deltaic Environment In A Tidally-Dominated Delta: Fly River, Papua New Guinea. Continental Shelf Research, 24(19), 2431-2454.

Report

  • Harris, P., MacMillan-Lawler, M., Rupp, J., Baker, E. (2014). Study to investigate the state of knowledge of deep sea mining.
  • Corcoran, E., Nellemann, C., Baker, E., Bos, R., Osborn, D., Savelli, H. (2010). Sick Water?: The Central Role of Wastewater Management in Sustainable Development. A Rapid Response Assessment.

2015

  • Pendleton, L., Jungwiwattanaporn, M., Beaudoin, Y., Neumann, C., Solgaard, A., Cavaliere, C., Baker, E. (2015). Greening the Ocean Economy: A progress report. In Hance D. Smith, Juan Luis Suarez de Vivero, Tundi S. Agardy (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Ocean Resources and Management, (pp. 199-211). Abingdon: Routledge.

2014

  • Harris, P., MacMillan-Lawler, M., Rupp, J., Baker, E. (2014). Geomorphology of the oceans. Marine Geology, 352, 4-24. [More Information]
  • Harris, P., MacMillan-Lawler, M., Rupp, J., Baker, E. (2014). Study to investigate the state of knowledge of deep sea mining.

2013

  • Clark, M., Heydon, R., Hein, J., Petersen, S., Rowden, A., Smith, S., Baker, E., Beaudoin, Y. (2013). Cobalt-rich Ferromanganese Crusts: A physical, biological, environmental, and technical review. Arendal: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Baker, E., Beaudoin, Y., Bice, S., Burns, L., Dumas, D., Feenan, J., Hanley, N., Hoagland, P., Holland, P., Jobstvogt, N., et al (2013). Deep Sea Minerals and the Green Economy. New Caledonia: Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
  • Clark, M., Desbruyeres, D., Fisher, C., Heydon, R., Hein, J., Petersen, S., Rowden, A., Smith, S., Baker, E., Beaudoin, Y. (2013). Deep Sea Minerals: Sea-floor Massive Sulphides: A physical, biological, environmental, and technical review. Arendal: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Clark, M., Heydon, R., Hein, J., Smith, S., Smith, C., Petersen, S., Baker, E., Beaudoin, Y. (2013). Manganese Nodules: A physical, biological, environmental, and technical review. Arendal: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Harris, P., Baker, E. (2013). Seafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat: GeoHAB Atlas of Seafloor Geomorphic Features and Benthic Habitats. Waltham, USA: Elsevier.

2011

  • Schoolmeester, T., Baker, E. (2011). Continental Shelf: The Last Maritime Zone. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

2010

  • Corcoran, E., Nellemann, C., Baker, E., Bos, R., Osborn, D., Savelli, H. (2010). Sick Water?: The Central Role of Wastewater Management in Sustainable Development. A Rapid Response Assessment.

2006

  • Rucevska, I., Heberlein, C., Rekacewicz, P., Simonett, O., Fernandez Skaalvik, J., Baker, E., Novikov, V., Radvanyi, J., De Martino, L. (2006). Vital Caspian Graphics: Challenges Beyond Caviar. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

2005

  • Baker, E., Bournay, E., Rekacewicz, P., Sevaldsen, P., Haltbrekken, L. (2005). Vital Climate Change Graphics. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

2004

  • Harris, P., Hughes, M., Baker, E., Dalrymple, R., Keene, J. (2004). Sediment Transport From Distributary Channels To The Pro-Deltaic Environment In A Tidally-Dominated Delta: Fly River, Papua New Guinea. Continental Shelf Research, 24(19), 2431-2454.
  • Baker, E., Bournay, E., Harayama, A., Rekacewicz, P. (2004). Vital Waste Graphics. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

2003

  • Baker, E., Dalrymple, C., Harris, P., Hughes, M. (2003). Sedimentary and stratigraphy of a tide-dominated forland-basin delta (Fly River, Papua New Guinea). In Sidi, Nummedal, Imbert, Darman, Posamentier (Eds.), Tropical Deltas of Southeast Asia: Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and petroleum geology, (pp. 147-173). USA: SEPM - Society for Sedimentary Geology.

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