Scientific Associate, Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum

Ruth Leeney is a Scientific Associate at the Museum of Natural History, London. She holds a PhD in cetacean ecology and acoustics from University College Dublin, Ireland.
She has expertise in boat-based, aerial and acoustic monitoring methods for marine mammals; bycatch mitigation methods for small cetaceans and using interview surveys to assess the presence and socio-economic value of rare aquatic species in data-deficient regions.
Her research currently focuses on using scientific and social science methods, including eDNA, catch assessments and interviews, to collect baseline information on sawfishes (Pristidae) and other elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) in the global south. She is particularly interested developing accessible and culturally appropriate education and communication materials for audiences in developing countries, as part of conservation strategies.


  • 2018–present
    Scientific Associate, Natural History Museum


  • 2005 
    University College Dublin, PhD, Zoology
  • 1998 
    University College Dublin, BSc (Hon), Environmental Biology

Professional Memberships

  • IUCN Shark Specialist Group