Professor Elaine Baker

Room 308

F09 - Madsen Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 3000

Website Google Scholar

Biographical details

Elaine holds the inaugural UNESCO Chair in Marine Science at the University of Sydney and is the Director of the University of Sydney Institute of Marine Science (USIMS), the face of marine studies at the University. Professor Baker is also the Director of the GRID-Arendal office at the University. GRID-Arendal, a centre collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), was established in 1989 by the Government of Norway.

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 development and ocean governance.

Elaine was the co-founder of the Asian Neighbours Network “University of the Sea”. The “University of the Sea”, a partnership between the University of Sydney, the University of NSW, the University of Technology Sydney, the Australian National University, the University of Tokyo, the Korean Ocean Research and Development Institute, Tongji University China, the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans Canada, the National Institute of Oceanography Goa, the Indonesian Research Centre for Marine Technology and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO aimed to enable senior researchers to work with young local scholars on marine issues of direct interest to the Asia-Pacific region. The University of the Sea is currently being replaced by a new programme, in which Sydney University is a partner. Known as SMART, The Strategic Marine Alliance for Research, Teaching and Training, the programme will provide Australian marine postgraduate students with experience and training on the new Marine National Facility RV Investigator.

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 coordinated 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 is utilises the marine data provided by the national facility IMOS (Integrated Marine Observing System), which has deployed a range of instruments to measure Australia’s coast and oceans. 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 is due for release at the end of 2015 - 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 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; Toyota Foundation (Japan)/Research Grant.

2004

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

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

2014

  • Harris, P., MacMillan-Lawler, M., Rupp, J., Baker, E. (2014). Geomorphology of the oceans. Marine Geology, 352, 4-24. [More Information]

2013

  • 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.

To update your profile click here. For support on your academic profile contact .