Dr Georgia Holly

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant Rising from the Depths; Marine Archaeologist


Georgia is an interdisciplinary Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Edinburgh. With a background in both marine biology and archaeology, Georgia’s research focusses on the interconnections between natural and cultural marine resources; and addressing the management of these resources within integrated policies and frameworks for the sustainable development of the ocean and coastal communities. Her PhD research examined the benefits marine heritage can provide to society and the surrounding ocean through communicating the shared values between nature, heritage and the blue economy into policy and practice.

Further to her academic research, Georgia has worked on multiple ocean survey projects from underwater excavations to coral reef surveys, and continues to look for opportunities to bridge the gap between these two disciplines in both industry and academia, as well as through interdisciplinary capacity building and public engagement. After completing her post-doctoral post with the Rising from the Depths Network, Georgia has gone on to lead in research projects which focus on the integration of heritage and communities into environmental protection frameworks such as Marine Protected Areas, and coastal climate change mitigation plans. Alongside managing the Cultural Heritage Framework Programme – an official Action of the United Nation’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development,  Georgia currently works across multiple research projects in East Africa, the Philippines, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Southern Pacific.

Research Themes: Marine Cultural Heritage, Marine Protected Areas, Coastal Community and Indigenous Heritage, Biocultural Heritage


Research summary


  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australasia and the Pacific
  • Britain & Ireland
  • Caribbean
  • Europe
  • Mediterranean
  • Near East
  • Scotland


  • Culture
  • Gender
  • Material Culture
  • Politics
  • Society


  • Twentieth Century & After

Research interests

I am particularly interested in how Marine Cultural Heritage can contribute to the sustainable development of the ocean and the people who depend on it, and how heritage interacts with large scale issues such as Climate Change and the Environment, Gender Equality, Blue Growth and the Blue Economy.

A focus of my work thus-far has been on the connections between Marine Cultural Heritage, the natural environment, and coastal communities, and I am interested in extending this work in both policy research and underwater survey. 


  • Marine archaeology 
  • Marine ecology
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Marine heritage and environmental governance, law and policy
  • Coastal Community Heritage
  • Reef wreck and heritage site habitats
  • Ocean knowledge-sharing and capacity building
  • Marine cultural heritage and the sustainable development goals
  • Marine cultural heritage economies

Holly, G., Rey da Silva, A., Henderson, J., Bita, C., Forsythe, W., Ombe, Z.A., Poonian, C. and Roberts, H., 2022. Utilizing Marine Cultural Heritage for the Preservation of Coastal Systems in East Africa. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 10(5), p.693.