William Arlidge




I am training to be a conservation scientist, yet my research career began in marine biology. I was fortunate enough to grow up exploring the coastal waters of New Zealand. These childhood experiences started a lifelong fascination for all types of marine life. At university I studied a BSc, with a double major in marine biology, and ecology & biodiversity. After which I went on to complete my MSc in coral reef ecology.

I am broadly interested in finding solutions for threats to biodiversity. To do this I like to undertake and involve myself in collaborative and applied research, spanning the boundary between ecology and human behaviour.

Currently I am a DPhil (PhD) student and Commonwealth Scholar at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science at the University of Oxford. My research aims to find novel solutions for managing the incidental capture (bycatch) of protected species in fisheries. My project investigates the application of a number of 'incentive-based' approaches that are widely applied on land, such as biodiversity mitigation, certification schemes, payment for ecosystem services and insurance subsidies, in order to improve compliance and aid marine conservation.

The first major theme of my research is to understand if a framework known as the mitigation hierarchy could be effective when applied to fisheries. You can read more on this project in our foundation paper, translating the terrestrial mitigation hierarchy to marine megafauna bycatch and by visiting the project page. Using a case-study fishery in Peru, I am investigating our framework's ability to bring together multiple bycatch mitigation strategies in a structured way to reduce captures of turtles. The second major theme of my research investigates how best to incentivise changes in fisher behaviour to increase compliance with bycatch reduction strategies, with case-studies from fisheries in both the large-scale and small-scale fishery sectors.

If you find any of my research of interest please follow me on Twitter. If you would like to discuss anything with me in more detail, feel free to send me an email at william.arlidge@zoo.ox.ac.uk. I would love to hear from you.

Find out more about Will's current research by visiting the project page here


Read Will's thesis here


Jan 2016 – Present: DPhil candidate, University of Oxford

Dec 2013 – Dec 2015: Technical Adviser, Marine Species & Threats team, Department of Conservation, New Zealand

Apr 2012 – Nov 2013: Science Officer, Fisheries Science Group, Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand Feb

2012: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research RV Kaharoa Kermadec Trench Research Cruise Research Assistant

Feb 2011: Chilean Antarctic Institute/INACH Research Assistant – thermotolerance of sea urchins

Jun – Aug 2010:  University of Western Australia/University of Guam Research Assistant - coral reef monitoring utilising Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations

Feb 2008 – Jan 2012: MSc Marine Biology, Victoria University of Wellington (First Class Honours)

Jun 2005 – Nov 2007: BSc Marine Biology, and Ecology and Biodiversity, Victoria University of Wellington


This PhD is supervised by Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland (University of Oxford) and Adjunct Professor Dale Squires (NOAA Southwest Fisheries) with funding from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK and the PEW Charitable Trust.


2015     Commonwealth PhD Scholarship at the University Oxford

2011     VUW School of Biological Sciences Student Thesis Scholarship for manuscript preparation

2010     Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society Rolex Australasian Scholar For more information, see: www.owuscholarship.org/scholar/william-arlidge

2009     NZMSS First Overseas Conference Travel Fund

2009     J.L. Stewart Postgraduate Scholarship

2008     New Zealand Postgraduate Study Abroad Award


New Zealand Marine Sciences Society

Explorers Club



Arlidge WNS, Squires D, Alfaro-Shigueto J, Booth H, Mangel J, Milner-Gulland EJ. 2020. A mitigation hierarchy approach for managing sea turtle captures in small-scale fisheries. Frontiers in Marine Science 7, 49. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00049


Arlidge WNS, Alfaro-Shigueto J, Ibañez-Erquiaga B, Mangel J, Squires D, Milner-Gulland EJ. 2020. Evaluating Elicited Judgements of Turtle Captures for Data-limited Fisheries Management. Conservation Science and Practice, e181. doi: 10.1111/CSP2.181


Milner-Gulland EJ, Garcia SM, Arlidge WNS, Bull JW, Charles T, Dagorn L, Fordham S, Hall M, Schrader J, Vestergaard N, Wilcox C, Squires D (2018) Translating the terrestrial mitigation hierarchy to marine megafauna bycatch. Fish and Fisheries DOI:10.1111/faf.12273.


Lawrence SA, Wilkinson SP, Davy JE, Arlidge WNS, Williams GJ, Wilson WH, Aeby GS, Davy SK (2015). Influence of local environmental variables on the viral consortia associated with the coral Montipora capitata from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, USA. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 74: 251-262.


Arlidge WNS, Lawrence SA, Williams GJ, Aeby GS, Davy JE, Davy SK (2009) The abundance of coral reef virus-like particles: environmental drivers at a local spatial scale. Oral presentation. 84 Australian Coral Reef Society (ACRS) Conference, 25 – 27 September 2009 Darwin, Australia.

Arlidge WNS, Lawrence SA, Williams GJ, Aeby GS, Davy JE, Davy SK (2009) Coral reef viruses in Kane’ohe Bay: abundance, diversity and environmental drivers. Oral presentation. 48th New Zealand Marine Science Society (NZMSS) Conference, 2 – 4th September 2009 Auckland, New Zealand.


Arlidge WNS (2018). A Global Mitigation Hierarchy for Nature Conservation. Poster presented at: Safeguarding space for nature and securing our future: developing a post-2020 strategy, 27-28 February 2018, London, UK. View the poster here
Arlidge WNS (2017). A Global Mitigation Hierarchy for Nature Conservation. Oral presentation given at: 28th International Congress for Conservation Biology, 23-27 July 2017, Cartagena, Columbia.