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GLORES Partner Spotlight: Dr. Alan Friedlander

This week, we are excited to shine the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) Partner Spotlight on Dr. Alan Friedlander, a member of our esteemed GLORES Science Council!

Over the past 35 years, Dr. Friedlander has spent more than 10,000 hours underwater—from coral reefs to the poles, and to depths of thousands of meters. He started his career in the early 1980s working on small-scale fisheries in the Kingdom of Tonga. Following this, he obtained an MS in Oceanography from Old Dominion University focusing on coastal fisheries in Puerto Rico. He then worked for the territorial fisheries agency and the National Park Service in the U.S. Virgin Islands conducting research throughout the Caribbean.


Potato cod (Epinephelus tukula) at Aldabra Atoll, part the newly created southern Seychelles MPA. Photo: Manu san Félix


Dr. Friedlander received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawai‘i and was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate with the Pacific Fisheries Environmental Lab in Monterey, California. He is currently chief scientist for National Geographic’s Pristine Seas Project where he leads research efforts to understand and conserve the last wild places in the ocean. The foci of his marine conservation work range from small-scale community-managed areas to some of the largest protected areas on the planet. Dr. Friedlander is director of the Fisheries Ecology Research Lab at the University of Hawai‘i.


Endemic Juan Fernández Fur Seal (Arctocephalus philippii) at Robinson Crusoe Island, part of the newly created Juan Fernández Islands Marine Park (262,000 km2). Photo: Manu san Félix


We asked Dr. Friedlander why he joined the GLORES Science Council:

“The assessment of progress towards ocean conservation targets varies considerably, with major disagreements as to the actual amount of area protected globally. The GLORES initiative provides an important opportunity to recognize outstanding conservation efforts in marine protected areas through a transparent and objective science-based process. My work in helping to establish some of the largest MPAs in the world, as well as my long-term work with local communities throughout the world, gives me a unique perspective on the range of scales of marine conservation, and I am excited to bring that perspective to the GLORES process. The value of GLORES goes beyond recognition of successful conservation efforts in that it raises awareness about the importance of ocean protection to a broad audience.”


Cape Tegethoff, Franz Josef Land, Russian Arctic. 80°05′N. The archipelago was incorporated into the Russian Arctic National Park in 2016. Photo: Kike Ballesteros


To learn more about Dr. Friedlander’s work, please visit his University of Hawai‘i profile and explore National Geographic’s Pristine Seas Project.


We’ve launched our GLORES Accelerator program to help new MPAs better protect ocean wildlife. Support this project today, we’ll double your impact to help save marine ecosystems!


Feature Pic: Dr. Friedlander at Rapa iti, Austral Islands, French Polynesia, by Giles Siu.



  1. […] Author: Marine Conservation Institute / Source: Marine Conservation Institute […]