Olive Heffernan is a freelance science journalist, living in Dublin, Ireland. She covers oceans and climate change for a variety of publications, recently including Nature, WIRED, New Scientist, Scientific American, NationalGeographic.com and BBC Wildlife, among other outlets.
Before going freelance, eight years ago, Olive was an editor with Nature Publishing Group in London. During her time at Nature, she launched the website Nature Reports Climate Change and the blog Climate Feedback, which was part of the Guardian Environment Network. She was also the founding chief editor of the research journal Nature Climate Change. Prior to her career in journalism, Olive was a fisheries scientist in the UK where she worked on overexploited cod stocks in the Northeast Atlantic.
Olive is currently writing her first book, about the High Seas, the half of our planet that is ocean belonging to no-one. The book, which will be published by Profile UK and Greystone North America, explores our complex relationship with this vast global commons, from our desire to explore and exploit it to a growing willingness to defend it. In telling the story of the High Seas, Heffernan explores how this mysterious realm has, in turn, transformed those who’ve sought to discover, conquer and protect it. As we enter the 21st Century, the High Seas is no longer a place where ‘here be dragons’ is scribbled on a map. We are beginning to explore the High Seas, to know it and close in on it. But will we manage to create a more harmonious relationship with this half of our planet? In 2019, Olive received the Giles St Aubyn Award for non-fiction from the Royal Society of Literature in the UK. She is a member of ABSW, ISTJA and the SEJ.