The vision of the Nippon Foundation-University of Edinburgh Ocean Voices Fellowship programme is sustained capacity development outcomes that meet the individual self-determined needs of early career ocean professionals of low or middle income countries to secure a sustainable ocean future.

Map of OVP
Ocean Voices Fellows, Advisors and Programme Office

Kathryn Audroing

Kathryn Audroing
Kathryn Audroing
Research focus: Examining the climate change impacts on marine turtles and their habitats to guide policies for cooperative management of highly migratory species.   

Kathryn Audroing is an environmental scientist with special interest in marine species and ecosystems. She has a master’s in Marine Environment and is currently engaged with a conservation NGO which works to conserve sea turtles while empowering the coastal communities of Trinidad and Tobago.    

Kathryn manages a national sea turtle conservation programme and other conservation initiatives within communities. Kathryn acts as an extension service to assist community groups in designing, implementing, and replicating successful conservation projects and ecotourism activities. She also liaises with project stakeholders on an ongoing basis and facilitates adequate participation in all phases of projects to ensure project success.  

Kathryn enjoys that her work fulfils a childhood dream to care for sea turtles alongside community residents and that it takes her around the coasts of Trinidad and Tobago. 

Dr Maila Guilhon

Dr Maila Guilhon
Dr Maila Guilhon
Research focus: Identifying and discussing needs, potentialities and obstacles for women from developing countries to flourish leadership skills and other relevant capacities for occupying positions in ocean decision-making. 

Maila is Brazilian, she has a bachelor’s in biology, master’s in Integrated Environmental Analysis (Federal University of São Paulo - Brazil), with a Ph.D. in Oceanography by the University of São Paulo (Brazil). Maila is a part-time Researcher Assistant at the Research Institute for Sustainability – Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, working on the EU-funded program Marine SABRES (Systems Approaches for Biodiversity Resilience and Ecosystem Sustainability) and an Ocean Voices fellow. Additionally, Maila takes part in the advisory boards of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) and the Women’s League for the Ocean in Brazil. She is convinced that ocean challenges should be addressed at their interface with human systems through holistic, interdisciplinary, collaborative, participative, and equitable efforts. Her main interests include capacity development, gender, science-to-policy interface, ecosystem-based management, ocean governance (focusing on the deep-sea mining regime at the International Seabed Authority), and science communication and outreach.    

LinkedIn / Twitter / Instagram / Research Gate 


Mariana Caldeira

Mariana Caldeira
Mariana Caldeira
Research focus: Identifying how the application of Traditional knowledge can enhance the contribution of least developing countries to the implementation of ABMTs and MPAs in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Identify how Traditional Knowledge is been integrated and applied in MPAs in Brazil. 

Mariana is a biologist from Brazil who holds an MSc degree in Applied Marine Biology from the University of Aveiro, Portugal. She is passionate about how ocean governance can promote the conservation of marine biodiversity and ecosystems beyond national borders and has been focused on how the new Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Agreement can support effective actions for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity. As a member of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) working group, Mariana is dedicated to fostering opportunities for Early Career Researchers from developing countries. As an OV fellow, she is dedicated to exploring how traditional and cultural knowledge can contribute to fair discussions and decisions for the BBNJ Agreement, driving toward a more sustainable ocean, while being more inclusive and reflecting the concerns of all. 

LinkedIn / Twitter / Instagram 


Munshidha Ibrahim

Munshidha Ibrahim
Munshidha Ibrahim
Research focus: Exploring opportunities to expedite the adoption of an equitable tuna allocation system in the Indian Ocean and lessons that could be learnt from other Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.

Munshidha’s experience lies in the field of biodiversity and marine resource management. As a Director leading the Fisheries Management Section of the Maldives Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, Munshidha has a strong commitment to improving the policy and management framework for the Maldives fisheries sector. Her aspiration is to explore and develop innovative environmental and fisheries management solutions and to integrate socio-ecological dependence and connections into the policy dialogue and enhance the science-policy interface in the country’s as well as regional policy interventions. At her current position, she works to develop and implement fisheries management activities at regional and national level and is a member of the official delegation of the Maldives to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission. 

Before joining the Ministry, she worked as a Social Science Officer at IUCN Maldives to understand stakeholder dependence on natural resources and their conservation targets. In this role, she has had strong exposure to community-based project planning, socio-economic research, community outreach and engagement, and development of environmental education programmes. 

Munshidha holds a MSc. in Conservation Science & Policy from the University of Exeter, UK. 

Socials: LinkedIn / Twitter  


Kalene Eck

Kalene Eck
Kalene Eck
Research focus: Enhancing the science-policy interface of ocean and coastal management in Belize & the Caribbean: Addressing challenges of identifying and providing relevant information for decision-making processes. 

Kalene Eck is a consultant and researcher from Belize. She has devoted her career to unpacking and understanding the challenges of marine conservation and resource management. She has worked with many governmental and non-governmental institutions on developing management strategies for fisheries, conservation, restoration, and coastal livelihoods in Belize. She holds a Master of Marine Management degree with a focus in Marine Policy and Law from the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie University. She possesses a wealth of knowledge and over ten years of experience working in the blue space. She aims to continue to work alongside dedicated personnel towards the implementation of sustainable practices through research, and science communication with policy and decision makers 

Socials: LinkedIn / Twitter

Sergio Cambronero Solano

Sergio Cambronero Solano
Sergio Cambronero Solano
Research focus: Identifying opportunities and designing a strategy to allocate funding towards ocean technology capacity development and its integration to BBNJ and ISA frameworks

Sergio is a marine biologist and ocean enthusiast from Costa Rica. He works part-time as a researcher at the Department of Physics of Universidad Nacional, CR and as a Co-Founder/Director of Development of local NGO Colectivo Internacional Pelagos Okeanos. He has a B.Sc. in Marine Biology and a Lic. in Marine Resource Management, both from Universidad Nacional, CR.  

His work focuses on physical oceanography, data science, ecological connectivity, resource management and conservation of deep-sea environments. Sergio is interested in studying benthic-pelagic coupling in the open ocean and advancing capacity in the LATAM region through marine technology, science diplomacy and youth leadership. He is pursuing a project integrating float data and remote sensing to unravel the complexities of the biological carbon pump, the Costa Rica Dome and the Oxygen Minimum Zone.  

Sergio has been part of the delegation of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative, which has earned him experience and motivation about translating deep-sea science into actionable policies for environmental preservation. He aspires to bridge the realms of science, technology, policy, and communication, believing this integration is pivotal for revolutionizing ocean management. He enjoys surfing, cooking, scuba diving and doing underwater filming/photography. 

Socials: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / ResearchGate / LinkedIn 


2022/23 Fellows
2023/23 Fellows

Alumita Talei Sekinairai

Research focus: Enabling a sustainable ocean future for the Pacific region, including maritime boundary delimitation and implementing technology transfer mechanisms, such as data analysis of pelagic fish. 

Alumita Talei Sekinairai is originally from Fiji. She recently graduated with a Master’s of Science in Maritime Affairs from the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden. Her thesis focused on understanding human impacts on the marine environment in Fiji and is a first Option for Delivering Ecosystem-Based Marine Management (ODEMM) Conceptual Model in Fiji to have been created. Alumita has also attained a Postgraduate Diploma in Climate Change and Bachelor of Science in Marine Science from The University of the South Pacific. 

Alumita has worked with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji, WWF-Pacific, The Uto Ni Yalo and Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) doing projects and research in ocean, environment, maritime and climate change. She has consulted for The Asia Foundation as a research assistant addressing human rights concerns within the fisheries, maritime and business sectors in Fiji and Talanoa consulting with Sustainable Tourism in Fiji. 

 Alumita is a Sasakawa Peace Foundation Fellow under the Nippon Foundation at the World Maritime University Alumni 2021 and is currently the President of the newly developed youth group “iTaukei Women in Conservation” and was selected to be part of the first ever regional workshop on Young Pacific Leaders in Marine Sustainability that was held in Hawaii from the 28-30th November, 2022. 

LinkedIn / Twitter / Instagram

Gemma Nelson

Research focus: Telling the Pacific story of our role in and influence on multilateral processes with a particular focus on the BBNJ instrument and how this experience can be replicated in other fora to strengthen Pacific engagement and meeting our priorities. 

Gemma is a lawyer with experience in public policy, international law and legal advice in public and international sectors. She has extensive litigation experience from her time at the Attorney General’s Office in Samoa (2013-2018) during which she acted as counsel on a range of issues from land disputes to contract law to multilateral agreements. As a public servant to a government of a small country with few resources, Gemma has a strong passion for creating strategic, dynamic and effective solutions while also cultivating a positive learning environment where peers can interact with and between projects for input and learning. In 2022 and 2023 she was contracted as technical advisor to the Pacific SIDS on ocean issues and in that role was afforded the opportunity to guide coordination and organizational efficiency across the 12 PSIDS members in New York in several processes such as UNOC22, BBNJ IGC4 and IGC5 and in UNEP Plastics INC-1.  

Her intersectional experience has given Gemma a unique approach to identifying and resolving issues as well as creating robust and efficient working relationships. As a Pacific Island woman, she believes fully in the power of grassroots work, of empowering youth and marginalised communities and the importance of never doubting the role and influence of the Pacific on the world. 

LinkedIn / Twitter / ProGreen Samoa 

Sheena Talma

Research focus: Better understanding the capacity gaps of deep-sea research in the Seychelles and Indian ocean. 

Sheena Talma is a marine biologist and owner of Talma Consultancy, a marine based consultancy in the Seychelles. Her time is split between Nekton and various other organisations including Save Our Seas Foundation lending her expertise both internationally and in the Seychelles. She also volunteers her time with the Deep-sea Biology Society. Sheena has a keen interest in learning more about how we use the ocean and the implications of overfishing, resource exploitation and climate change in that relationship. Sheena holds a Master's degree in Ichthyology from Rhodes University and NRF-SAIAB, she is a National Geographic Explorer, a Mandela Rhodes Foundation Scholar and a finalist for the local ocean hero award. 

LinkedIn / Twitter / Instagram

Vanessa Lopes

Research focus: Exploring the linkage between ocean science and policy to identify challenges and options for sustainable development of the ocean in Cabo Verde. 

Vanessa is an early career scientist and recent graduate of Boston University with a Master of Science degree in Marine Biology. Prior to her master’s degree, she completed her undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and obtained a Forensic Science concentration. Vanessa is now beginning her fellowship with the Nippon Foundation-University of Edinburgh Ocean Voices programme. She is a recent member of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction working group. Her research interests include focusing on enabling capacity building for early career scientists in SIDS and identifying challenges and options for sustainable development and conservation of the Oceans in Cabo Verde. 

LinkedIn / Twitter 

Visiting Fellows

Visiting Fellows
Visiting Fellows (L-R Luciana Coelho, Anaïs Rémont, Júlia Schütz Veiga, Constance Rambourg, Alix Chatton, Nellie Catzim).

Luciana Coelho

Luciana Coelho is a Brazilian lawyer pursuing a PhD at the World Maritime University with an interest in the law-science-policy interface. Her PhD investigates the State practice of Small Island Developing States on the consent regime for marine scientific research under UNCLOS. She holds a master’s in Environment, Politics & Society from UCL, a Master of Law from the University of Brasilia and an LLB from the Dom Bosco University. She has experience in providing legal support for NGOs like Oceana and Sea Shepherd Legal. Luciana is a member of the Brazilian Institute for the Law of the Sea (BILOS), the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), the Early Career Ocean Professional (ECOP) and Ocean Voices. She is interested in postcolonial theory - including TWAIL, poststructuralism, more than-human relations and legal geography. Luciana is keen to connect with people and values opportunities for academic brainstorming, exchanging knowledge and collaboration. She is a cat-lover and is happy to share her time between researching and serving two lovely cats. 

Anaïs Rémont

Anaïs is a legal expert, specialized in international and European environmental law, with a specialised interested in marine topics and negotiations. She holds a master degree from Aix-Marseille University on international and European environmental law. She has worked with Wildlife Conservation Society in Vietnam on illegal wildlife trafficking and with IUCN in Sri Lanka on a review of integrated strategic environmental assessment for a post-conflict reconstruction in the Northern Province. Anaïs worked for the French Ministry of the environment on the international negotiations for biodiversity under the Convention of Biological Diversity on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. She was in charge of the coordination of the experts' work at French and European levels on the ecological footprint, drivers of biodiversity loss, sustainable use of biodiversity, etc. Anaïs has just started a PhD at the University of Wollongong on international ocean governance and climate change. Here, she will focus on the current international negotiations of BBNJ and how it can be implemented it in a better way. She is particularly interested in marine biodiversity and climate interactions and wants to see how the notion of ocean commons can be included in governance processes at various levels.   

Júlia Schütz Veiga

Julia is a Brazilian enthusiast when it comes down to achieving equity among states. She is a PhD candidate in Law at NOVA School of Law (NSL), UNL, Portugal. Her PhD research focuses on unlocking IP (Intellectual Property) constraints to transfer knowledge and technology, particularly ensuring access effectively and environmentally friendly technology utilisation by least developed and developing countries. She holds a master's degree in law and economics of the Sea from NSL, and a postgraduate degree in International Law from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil. She has since become an advisor for the Brazilian Delegation to the IGC-BBNJ in 2019. Her focus is on giving a voice to the Global South. Julia wishes to be a turning point in designing the protection of marine biodiversity and build solid bridges among stakeholders. In this context, she has promoted and led bilateral meetings on genetic resources, capacity-building, and technology transfer, culminating joint proposals for the BBNJ agreement's draft text. In the academic field, Julia co-organised the IV Brazilian Congress of Law of the Sea held by the Centre for Studies in Law of the Sea 'Vicente Marotta Rangel' of the University of São Paulo (USP), which presented more than 150 lectures from Brazilian and international researchers, supported by live translation. She is part of the NOVA Knowledge Centre on Intellectual Property and Sustainability at NSL. 

Constance Rambourg

Constance Rambourg completed her Master of Maritime Policy with Honours at the University of Wollongong in 2020, where she is now working on a PhD thesis exploring the relationships between colonialism and the implementation of large-scale marine protected areas in overseas territories. Constance is also a member of the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Program, and a tutor and research assistant at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, taking part in various teaching and research projects covering themes such as the blue economy, fisheries management, and marine conservation policy. Constance Rambourg has a background in English and French Law and is fluent in both languages, facilitating her work in francophone territories and States.  

Alix Chatton

Alix is from Switzerland, and she is a passionate scuba instructor. Throughout her diving career, she became concerned about the ubiquitous plastic pollution problem. She undertook an internship dedicated to creating the first stock of microplastics for Lake Geneva before enrolling in her current master’s programme in Marine Systems and Policies. This new academic experience confirmed Alix's commitment to pursue a career in plastic pollution by focusing her dissertation on the role of plastic removal in achieving the elimination of plastic pollution goal of the Plastic Treaty. More precisely, the research aims to provide an environmental and equitable framework that will enable plastic removal for Small Island Developing States to ensure benefits from plastic removal and remediation measures. 

Nellie Catzim

Nellie Catzim is an oceans governance and climate change policy expert. She holds an MBA with concentrations in Economics, Finance, and Sustainable Development and has more than twenty years’ experience working on environmental and marine conservation issues at global, regional, and national scales.  She is the former Senior Advisor for the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS), where she worked closely with 44 small island and low lying coastal developing states on Climate Change, Oceans Governance, and Multilateral Environmental Agreements. She has served as the Regional Project Coordinator at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre where she served as the regional lead on the development of a Caribbean Regional Action Plan to address the impacts of climate change on coastal and marine ecosystems. She has also served in high level management positions as the Executive Director of the Southern Environmental Association (SEA), a marine conservation NGO and the Coordinator of Belize’s National Protected Areas Commission. She also has extensive knowledge of the UN system and has experience negotiating multilateral agreements including the Climate Change Agreement in Paris and the more recently concluded negotiations on the development of a new legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Ms. Catzim remains committed to her work in oceans governance and climate change and continues to seek opportunities to amplify the voice of the most vulnerable.   

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