Faculty Associate Randi Rotjan Gives Invited UN Talk on Ocean and Biodiversity Conservation

Randi Rotjan, a Faculty Associate at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, recently gave a talk at the request of the Fijian Ambassador on the scientific success of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), one of the world’s largest marine protected areas (MPA). Prof. Rotjan has spent the past ten years working on PIPA and, for the past five years, has been the protected area’s Chief Scientist. Rotjan and PhD student Brian Kennedy presented a two hour summary of their work on PIPA that was attended by over 30 people, with 15 countries represented at the ambassadorial level.

Located in the Republic of Kiribati, an ocean nation in the central Pacific, PIPA covers over 150,000 square miles, making it one of the largest protected areas of any type (land or sea) on Earth, and the largest and deepest UNESCO World Heritage Site. Prof. Rotjan wrote the first science strategic plan for PIPA in 2010, and is now leading the second decade of PIPA science to begin in 2020 with a diverse team of international collaborators. Her work focuses on applying PIPA science directly to conservation contexts, and on using the protected area as a natural laboratory to study both global change in remote environments as well as new ways to integrate science and management.

Learn more about Prof. Rotjan’s research.