William Arlidge


University of Oxford,

Department of Zoology, 

South Parks Road,

Oxford OX1 3PS, UK



My career in marine science to date has spanned both academia and the public sector. I was involved in coral reef research throughout the course of my Master of Science degree. I then spent three years working in New Zealand’s public sector involved in fisheries stock assessment work at the Ministry for Primary Industries, followed by cetacean and deep sea coral research at the Department of Conservation. Since then I have returned to undertaking research in an academic setting investigating social and ecological issues that arise from marine resource management.


I like to involve myself in collaborative applied research that spans the boundary between ecology and human behaviour. In line with these themes, I am interested in the potential application of incentive-based approaches which have been widely applied in terrestrial systems, such as biodiversity mitigation, certification schemes, payment for ecosystem services and insurance subsidies, in order to improve compliance and aid marine conservation initiatives.


My DPhil (PhD) research involves examining the applicability of a new conceptual framework for bycatch reduction in the marine context. The framework is based on the mitigation hierarchy used to reduce biodiversity losses from development in terrestrial settings.

I am investigating the framework's potential application in several case studies for minimising protected species bycatch in fisheries, in order to explore: (1) the contexts in which different levels of the mitigation hierarchy may be effective in reducing bycatch, with the aim of no net loss, or net gain, for the impacted species after mitigation has taken place; and (2) the potential for using incentive-based approaches to improve compliance with fisheries bycatch mitigation measures.

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


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.


Wright AJ, Lundquist D, Arlidge WNS (2015). Future-proofing New Zealand’s Code of Conduct for Seismic Surveys. 21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals: Bridging the Past Toward the Future. 13-18 December 2015 San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.