Anna Berthelsen

Al Alder

Marine Ecologist


Role at Cawthron

Al is a marine ecologist in Cawthron Institute’s Restoration Ecology Team. His specialties include restoration project design and implementation, artificial reef development, fish community ecology, and shellfish reef systems. Al’s current research interests focus on the restoration of coastal ecosystems, which largely involves understanding the factors that might limit restoration success and figuring out techniques to overcome these limitations. He is committed to using his multi-cultural background to develop equitable restoration practices that engage communities at local, regional, and global scales.

Al has extensive experience across a range of marine environments (e.g., estuaries, temperate rocky reef, coral reefs) and is strongly interested in leveraging his scientific backround for scientific communication.

Technical skills, experience and interests

  • Leadership and management of field teams in offshore, coastal, and estuarine environments
  • Development of marine restoration methods and approaches
  • Community-led restoration project development
  • Development of site selection protocols for marine restoration
  • Marine spatial planning for artificial and biogenic reefs
  • Environmental impact assessment of urban and marine farm systems
  • Development and application of remote sensing technology


  • PhD Marine Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand, 2022
  • MSc in Ocean, Coastal, and Earth Sciences, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, USA, 2017
  • BSc in Biology and Environmental Science, University of Iowa, USA, 2014

Professional affiliations

  • New Zealand Marine Science Society
  • Society for Ecological Restoration
  • Society for Conservation Biology
  • British Ecological Society



Anna Berthelsen