I am a freelance science journalist with over 15 years’ experience as a reporter and an editor. I cover ocean science and climate change for a variety of publications, and my work has appeared in Nature, WIRED, National Geographic, Scientific American, New Scientist, BBC Wildlife, Salon, and China Dialogue, among other outlets.

Before becoming a freelance writer, I was an editor with Nature in London for five years, during which time I launched the website, Nature Reports Climate Change, and the blog, Climate Feedback, then part of the Guardian Environment Network. I subsequently became the founding chief editor of the research journal, Nature Climate Change.  I have also been chief editor of The Marine Scientist magazine.

A marine biologist by training, I spent the early part of my career conserving Atlantic fish stocks, before jumping from academia and the decks of trawlers into journalism.  Over the past 15 years, I have spoken at conferences and at world-class research centres in Europe, the US and Asia.

In 2019, my work took on a new dimension when I joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University as an adjunct lecturer teaching a course on communicating climate change as part of the university’s Master’s program in Science Writing. 

Over the course of my field-traversing career, I have been privileged to receive recognition and encouragement in various forms. In 2005, I became the first recipient of the Bob Barton Memorial Award for Marine Science/Technology writing, which awarded me a journalism fellowship at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, San Diego. That same year, I became a journalism fellow of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In 2019, I received the Giles St Aubyn Award for non-fiction from the Royal Society of Literature in the UK for my forthcoming book about the high seas. In 2020, I was shortlisted by the Association of British Science Writers for Engineering/Technology Feature of the Year for a long read in WIRED magazine.

I love the outdoors and I live by the sea in the village of Dalkey, Co. Dublin, Ireland with my husband, Rupert, and two children, George and Millie. I spend my spare time cold-water swimming, paddle-boarding, kayaking, and rock-pooling. I also love cooking, especially Persian and vegan food.

For a full biography, contact me directly on olive@oliveheffernan.com.

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