Ruth has over 25 years’ experience in the design and delivery of training and educational programs in the university sector and for government, regional and international organisations. She has significant experience in legal analysis across a broad range of issues, at national, regional and international levels, in relation to the conservation and management of ocean space, the marine environment and marine resources. Ruth currently works in both the coastal fisheries and oceanic fisheries spaces and together these encapsulate her strong underlying interest in creating a supportive enabling environment in which scientific advice and policy decisions can be implemented to effect real change.
In the coastal fisheries space Ruth’s research focuses on governance of inshore fisheries in Pacific island countries and territories. As part of this work Ruth regularly attends the Pacific Community (SPC) Heads of Fisheries Meetings and Regional Technical Meetings on Coastal Fisheries as an ANCORS observer. Ruth has worked with the Pathways team in Kiribati since 2017 to strengthen institutional capacity in support of CBFM, in particular to support the development of new coastal fisheries regulations (enacted in 2019) and community-based management plans under those regulations. Ruth has worked with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Ridge to Reef organisation in Niue to analyse their institutional and regulatory requirements around support for community management of local marine areas. She has worked in partnership with the Pacific Community to support regional strengthening of national coastal fisheries laws, and the scaling up of community-based fisheries management. Ruth is part-way through doctoral studies examining the role of laws and regulations in advancing the vision of the New Song, the Pacific’s regional strategy for strengthening community-based ecosystems approaches to management of coastal fisheries in the context of climate change and the need for food security.
In relation to oceanic fisheries, Ruth is involved in projects around the central theme of equity in transboundary fisheries management in the Pacific. These include projects relating to transparency in RFMO decision-making; access to data to support transparent fisheries management decision-making; and improving equity in transboundary fisheries negotiations. As part of this work, Ruth is an ANCORS observer on a number of regional bodies and attends the Commission meetings of a number of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations including SPRFMO and WCPFC.
Ruth has a longstanding interest and involvement in research involving law and policy for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and currently sits on the Australian Antarctic Division’s CCAMLR Consultative Forum as an academic adviser. Ruth is a Research Fellow with the ARC Special Research Initiative, Securing Australia’s Antarctic Future, which seeks to understand changes to the Antarctic ecosystem and to help improve decision-making for Antarctica’s future.