top of page

About Karen


I am Assistant Professor in Marine Governance and Blue Economy at the International Centre for Island Studies (ICIT) at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, UK. I am Programme Director for the MSc Marine Renewable Energy and Course Leader for the postgraduate 'Introduction to Marine Planning' course.


I have successfully led a number of nationally-funded research projects in the UK and Australia which have helped industry and government to understand how to consider societal concerns in marine and coastal resource governance.

I spend as much time as possible outdoors - in the mountains or on the sea. I love to walk, dive, kayak, and sail. I recently bought a 20ft twin keel sailboat for my birthday and I'm currently doing that up. I am very creative and enjoy photography, painting and printmaking.

I am also a proud member of the Homeward Bound 2018 team. Photo on the left is of me in Antarctica!

Karen A. Alexander

professional appointments & education

2022 - present. Assistant Professor Marine Governance and Blue Economy, Heriot-Watt University, UK.

2020-2022. Senior Lecturer/Research Fellow, IMAS, University of Tasmania, Australia. 

2016-2020. Lecturer/Research Fellow, IMAS, University of Tasmania, Australia. 

2013–2016. Researcher and Teacher in Marine Social Science, Scottish Association for Marine Science, UK. 

2012-2013. Post-Doc Research Associate, Scottish Assocation for Marine Science, UK.


2009 - 2012. PhD Marine Science, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)/ University of Aberdeen, UK. 
Thesis title: ‘Offshore power production and marine stakeholders: from understanding to mitigating conflict.’


2008 - 2009. MSc Environmental Governance, University of Manchester, UK. Thesis title: ‘Polar bear conservation and post colonialism: identity and indigeneity in the Canadian Arctic’

1998 - 2002. BA (Joint Hons) Politics and Sociology, University of Strathclyde, UK. 

bottom of page