Professor Elaine Baker

Room 308

F09 - Madsen Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 3000

Biographical details

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 interested in making real world impact – taking the ideas and inspiration of the university beyond academia to help solve some of our biggest problems. She has worked on developing policy recommendations to deal with the growing burden of waste, how to make waste­water 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.

Elaine is currently the lead author on the marine and circular economy sections of the United Nations Global Environment Outlook ­ the GEO 6 report, due for release in March 2019. The GEO is designed to be an independent assessment of the state of the environment and the effectiveness of policy response to address current and future environmental challenges. It provides a pathway for governments to achieve international environmental goals.

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 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 co­founder 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 livelihoods alongside good ocean governance.

Research interests

So far 84 States have signed the Minamata Convention, which came into force in August this year. Australia was not one of them. We need to work together to take mercury out of our environment and we need to convince our government to be part of the global action.

A global agreement on mercury
Why we need action on mercury now

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 oceanographic measurements in Australian waters.

Current projects

Elaine is

  • managing the UN Environment's development of the Integrated Environmental Assessment Guidelines.
  • leading the development of the Basel Convention Guidelines on the Environmentally Sound Management of Household Waste.
  • working with colleagues to complete the UNESCO Atlas on Water Security in the Andes, a new environmental Atlas of the Arctic (UNEP, AMAP) and a study on waste water in Sub­-Saharan Africa (African Development Bank).
  • developing the extended continental shelf submission to the United Nations for the West African state of Liberia
  • managing the UN Environment stakeholder forum on mine tailings safety

Awards and honours

Australian Financial Review Women of Influence award 2015, Global Alumni

In the media

Radio Australia interview http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/pacific­beat/kiribati­ fixes­maritime­border­with­us­30­years­after­independence/1230534

International links

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

2017

  • Enhancing Pacific Ocean Governance (EPOG) program; Baker E; Geoscience Australia/Research Support.

2015

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

2014

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

2013

  • Pacific Marine Data Portal; Baker E; Australian Aid/Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP) FPRx333 SCHx4127.

2012

  • Pacific Islands Marine Spatial Information System - Phase 1; Baker E; Australian Aid/Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP) Asia.

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 & creative works

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • Alfthan, B., Semernya, L., Ramola, A., Adler, C., Penaranda, L., Andresen, M., Rucevska, I., Jurek, M., Schoolmeester, T., Baker, E., et al (2016). Waste Management Outlook for Mountain Regions - Sources and Solutions. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • 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

  • Baker, E., Puglise, K., Harris, P. (2016). Mesophotic coral ecosystems - A lifeboat for coral reefs?. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • 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

  • Baker, E. (2018). A changing climate. In Tina Schoolmeester and Koen Verbist (Eds.), The Andean glacier and water atlas: the impact of glacier retreat on water resources, (pp. 31-39). Paris: UNESCO Publishing.
  • Baker, E. (2018). Peaks, plateaus and valleys. In Tina Schoolmeester and Koen Verbist (Eds.), The Andean glacier and water atlas: the impact of glacier retreat on water resources, (pp. 14-24). Paris: UNESCO Publishing.
  • Baker, E. (2018). Policy recommendations. In Tina Schoolmeester and Koen Verbist (Eds.), The Andean glacier and water atlas: the impact of glacier retreat on water resources, (pp. 70-71). Paris: UNESCO Publishing.
  • Baker, E. (2018). Shrinking Ice. In Tina Schoolmeester and Koen Verbist (Eds.), The Andean glacier and water atlas: the impact of glacier retreat on water resources, (pp. 40-50). Paris: UNESCO Publishing.
  • Baker, E., Puglise, K., Colin, P., Harris, P., Kahng, S., Rooney, J., Clark, S., Slattery, M., Spalding, H. (2016). What are mesophotic coral ecosystems? In Baker, E.K., Puglise, K.A. and Harris, P.T. (Eds.), Mesophotic coral ecosystems - A lifeboat for coral reefs?, (pp. 11-19). Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • 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. [More Information]
  • 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. [More Information]

Textual Creative Works

  • Baker, E., Westerveld, L. (2016). The Spread of Sargassum Seaweed, Arendal, Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

Report

  • Baker, E., Gaill, F., Karageorgis, A., Lamarche, G., Narayanaswamy, B., Parr, J., Raharimananirina, C., Santos, R., Sharma, R., Tuhumwire, J. (2017). Offshore Mining Industries.
  • 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.

Research Reports

  • Fabres, J., Savelli, H., Schoolmeester, T., Rucevska, I., Baker, E., Canals, M., C�zar, A., Dudas, S., Jambeck, J., Kershaw, P., et al (2016). Marine Litter Vital Graphics, (pp. 1 - 57). Arendal, Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Baker, E., Sorensen, M., Thygesen, K., Westerveld, L. (2016). World Ocean Assessment Overview, (pp. 1 - 16). Norway, Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

2018

  • Baker, E. (2018). A changing climate. In Tina Schoolmeester and Koen Verbist (Eds.), The Andean glacier and water atlas: the impact of glacier retreat on water resources, (pp. 31-39). Paris: UNESCO Publishing.
  • Baker, E. (2018). Peaks, plateaus and valleys. In Tina Schoolmeester and Koen Verbist (Eds.), The Andean glacier and water atlas: the impact of glacier retreat on water resources, (pp. 14-24). Paris: UNESCO Publishing.
  • Baker, E. (2018). Policy recommendations. In Tina Schoolmeester and Koen Verbist (Eds.), The Andean glacier and water atlas: the impact of glacier retreat on water resources, (pp. 70-71). Paris: UNESCO Publishing.
  • Baker, E. (2018). Shrinking Ice. In Tina Schoolmeester and Koen Verbist (Eds.), The Andean glacier and water atlas: the impact of glacier retreat on water resources, (pp. 40-50). Paris: UNESCO Publishing.

2017

  • Baker, E., Gaill, F., Karageorgis, A., Lamarche, G., Narayanaswamy, B., Parr, J., Raharimananirina, C., Santos, R., Sharma, R., Tuhumwire, J. (2017). Offshore Mining Industries.

2016

  • Baker, E., Westerveld, L. (2016). The Spread of Sargassum Seaweed, Arendal, Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Fabres, J., Savelli, H., Schoolmeester, T., Rucevska, I., Baker, E., Canals, M., C�zar, A., Dudas, S., Jambeck, J., Kershaw, P., et al (2016). Marine Litter Vital Graphics, (pp. 1 - 57). Arendal, Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Baker, E., Puglise, K., Harris, P. (2016). Mesophotic coral ecosystems - A lifeboat for coral reefs?. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Alfthan, B., Semernya, L., Ramola, A., Adler, C., Penaranda, L., Andresen, M., Rucevska, I., Jurek, M., Schoolmeester, T., Baker, E., et al (2016). Waste Management Outlook for Mountain Regions - Sources and Solutions. Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Baker, E., Puglise, K., Colin, P., Harris, P., Kahng, S., Rooney, J., Clark, S., Slattery, M., Spalding, H. (2016). What are mesophotic coral ecosystems? In Baker, E.K., Puglise, K.A. and Harris, P.T. (Eds.), Mesophotic coral ecosystems - A lifeboat for coral reefs?, (pp. 11-19). Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
  • Baker, E., Sorensen, M., Thygesen, K., Westerveld, L. (2016). World Ocean Assessment Overview, (pp. 1 - 16). Norway, Norway: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

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. [More Information]

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. [More Information]
  • 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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