William Arlidge




I was fortunate to grow up exploring the coastal waters of New Zealand. These childhood experiences started a lifelong fascination for all types of marine life. I started tertiary study at Victoria University of Wellington where I gained my BSc with a double major in marine biology, and ecology & biodiversity. I then completed my MSc in marine biology for which I investigated the abundance and diversity of viruses on coral reefs.

In 2010, I was awarded the Australasian Our-World Underwater Scholarship. During this yearlong experienced-based scholarship, I completed 12 internships and marine science-based volunteer projects across 13 countries. Several internships involved scientific fieldwork and scientific diving including inside and outside marine protected area monitoring and assessing the thermotolerance of sea urchins in Antarctica. I gained my Scientific Diver certificate and trained in technical diving.

I then spent three years working in New Zealand’s government sector, first as a Science Officer in the Fisheries Science team at the Ministry for Primary Industries, then as a Technical Advisor in the Marine Species and Threats team at the Department of Conservation.

In 2016, I received a Commonwealth PhD Scholarship to study for my PhD in Zoology at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Professor Milner-Gulland and Professor Dale Squires. My thesis focussed on mitigating marine megafauna captures in fisheries.

The first major theme of my PhD research sought to understand if the biodiversity impact mitigation hierarchy could be effective when translated to marine megafauna bycatch and more broadly as a global mitigation hierarchy for nature conservation. You can read more on applying the mitigation hierarchy to all human impacts by visiting the Mitigation and Conservation Hierarchy website, and more on its sectoral application in fisheries by visiting the project page.

Using a case-study fishery in Peru, I investigated a mitigation hierarchy approach for managing sea turtle captures in small-scale fisheries. I also explored novel approaches to gathering data and insight to inform management decision through the mitigation hierarchy framework. These included evaluating elicited judgements of turtle captures for data-limited fisheries management and assessing information-sharing networks within small-scale fisheries and the implications for conservation interventions.


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. I have a particular interest in supporting coastal fishing communities in the global south reach social and ecological goals. I also enjoy researching how to effectively guide individuals and communities towards pro-environmental actions.


I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology & Inland Fisheries in Berlin, Germany. Here I am undertaking a short research project that leads on from my PhD research. This research explores how Peruvian gillnet skippers’ views towards a sea turtle conservation intervention influence their centrality within their social network.

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@gmail.com I would love to hear from you.

Find out more about Will's PhD 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.