Get to know the team behind Ocean Voices. Supported by the Nippon Foundation, Ocean Voices is a flagship programme endorsed by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Ocean Voices is based at the University of Edinburgh in the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI) building. The team Programme Director Dr Harriet Harden-Davies Image Harriet Harden-Davies Harriet Harden-Davies is the Director of the Nippon Foundation-University of Edinburgh Ocean Voices Programme. Her research interests lie at the intersection of ocean law and science, including international ocean governance and equity, marine conservation and sustainable development, capacity building and ocean stewardship. Harriet is committed to advancing the study and practice of capacity building, she co-founded the Early Career Ocean Professional Programme under the UN Ocean Decade and is a member of the UNESCO-IOC Group of Experts on Capacity Development. Science diplomacy is a key part of her research and policy engagement partnerships. Her PhD and Postdoctoral research focused on the development of a new UN treaty for marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. She links scientists with policymakers as co-lead of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative and is a member of the Editorial Board for Marine Policy. Her previous roles include Deputy Director of the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Centre; Research Fellow at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, University of Wollongong; Visiting Science Diplomacy Fellow at Tufts University; Guest Investigator at the Marine Policy Centre of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; and Manager of Policy and Projects at the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. She is a Fellow of the Edinburgh Ocean Leaders Programme. Programme Officer Gail Sant Image Gail Sant Gail is a Maltese freelance environmental consultant with a background in marine science and policy. At The University of Edinburgh, she researched the role of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in safeguarding Small Island Developing States which face climate change-induced existential threats. Gail now works on various projects and initiatives which tackle climate change and ocean action. Her recent projects include advancing the work of the Resilience Frontiers, a UNFCCC foresight initiative, and working with charity organisations to support local environmental NGOs in Malta and the positive movement they lead. As an Early Career Ocean Professional herself, Gail advocates for youth empowerment within the climate-ocean space and is an active member of Surfrider Europe’s EurOcean’s Youth. Gail believes that to transform the issues faced by the ocean, an interdisciplinary, systems thinking approach that is fuelled by collaboration and empathy is required. She hopes that through her work, she can be a small part of this paradigm shift towards an equitable, healthy ocean for all. Head of Science Policy Research Dr Marjo Vierros Image Dr Marjo Vierros Marjo Vierros leads science policy research at Ocean Voices. She has worked internationally in ocean policy and marine biodiversity research for thirty years, including for United Nations agencies, research organisations and NGOs on topics related to ocean protection and management, capacity building, and sustainable development. She also holds the role of Director of Coastal Policy and Humanities Research, a Vancouver-based consultancy specialising on interdisciplinary and policy-relevant ocean research. She has led the Global Marine Governance Project at the United Nations University and coordinated marine issues for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. She has undertaken marine scientific research in Bermuda, the Caribbean and Hawaii, and worked on biocultural diversity and integration of traditional knowledge and science in the Pacific Islands and Australia. She is a Finnish and Canadian dual national. Research Programme Partner Kahlil Hassanali Kahlil Hassanali is a senior researcher at the Insitute of Marine Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago with over ten years experience in the field of marine policy and governance. He holds a BSc. in Environmental Sciences from the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom), an MSc in Environment and Development from the University of Reading (United Kingdom) and a PhD in Maritime Affairs from the World Maritime University - Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute (WMU-GOI) (Sweden). Additionally, he was a 2013-2014 recipient of the United Nations-Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellowship where he received advanced training in ocean affairs and Law of the Sea. Kahlil was also a 2017-2018 Hubert Humphrey Fellowship recipient in the field of Natural Resources, Environmental Policy and Climate Change. He has served as lead negotiator for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Environmental Impact Assessment in the process to develop a legally binding instrument being negotiated under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (The BBNJ Agreement). Kahlil is also currently a member of the Legal and Technical Commission of the International Seabed Authority. Research Associate Christine Gaebel Christine is PhD researcher at the University of Edinburgh with a focus on the use of science and knowledge in international marine biodiversity governance processes, including the new Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (the BBNJ Agreement). She has an interdisciplinary background in human rights, law and policy, and marine science, which she draws on for her research on science-society-policy interfaces in ocean governance. Christine Co-Leads the BBNJ Working Group for the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative where she works with an international group of experts to help better connect knowledge and decision-making. Advisory Group Dr Diva Amon Image Dr Diva Amon Dr. Diva Amon is a Caribbean marine biologist focused on the little-known habitats and animals of the deep ocean, and how our actions are impacting them. She works at the nexus of science, policy and communication and has a deep desire to see stewardship measures applied to the deep ocean as well as the engagement of a broader group of global stakeholders towards this effort. In 2013, she completed her PhD at the University of Southampton, UK, after which, she spent three years at the University of Hawai’i, USA. Diva then undertook a Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellowship at the Natural History Museum in London. She has participated in scientific expeditions around the world, regularly advises governments on ocean policy, and has an extensive communication and outreach record. Diva is also a 2020 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, a World Economic Forum Friend of Ocean Action, and a founder and director of SpeSeas, an NGO dedicated to marine science, education, and advocacy in home country of Trinidad and Tobago. Dr Andrei Polejack Image Dr Andrei Polejack Andrei Polejack (he/his) is a senior advisor for the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. PhD in Maritime Affairs from the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute of the World Maritime University, Sweden and MSc. in Evolutionary Ecology from Universidade de Brasília, Brasil. Former Coordinator for Oceans, Antarctica and Geosciences in Brazil, used to coordinate the national ocean and polar research programs, providing technical advice to governance, formulating and implementing public policies, and negotiating international agreements, among many other duties. As a transdisciplinary researcher, Andrei is interested in Ocean Science Diplomacy as a field of study, seeking to understand the role of science and scientists in international ocean affairs, along with the political sphere of power dynamics and interests in the marine realm. Theoretically passionate about post- and de-colonial reasoning applied to international relations and its many ways of linking with ocean science. A Latino soul, proud father of three of the best humans, and a lover of dogs, cats, sea puffins, beer, and fikas. Ms Angelique Pouponneau Image Angelique Pouponneau Angelique is a lawyer (Seychelles and UK) and she holds an LLM in Environmental law specializing in the law of the sea and natural resources law. Angelique is a trained climate change negotiator under the AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Programme at the United Nations. Until recently she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust. She is now pursuing a PhD in Law on regulatory frameworks for blue finance and is a policy adviser on ocean and climate matters to the Chair of the Alliance of Small Islands States. The New African Magazine recognised her as one of the 100 most influential Africans in 2021. Angelique has worked in different countries in the Caribbean, Pacific and the Indian Ocean on a wide range of projects relating sustainable fisheries, sustainable management of marine biodiversity within and beyond national jurisdiction. She serves on the advisory board of the UN Ocean Decade and as an alternate Board Member of the UNFCCC’s Adaptation Fund. H.E. Janine Felson Image HE Janine Felson Janine Felson is an Ambassador of Belize and a senior advisor to the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on climate and ocean matters. For more than two decades, she has been a leading voice for small island developing states (SIDS) in key negotiations including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement, and the intergovernmental conference for a new high seas treaty on marine biological diversity, with the aim of tailoring global policy to the specific needs and circumstances of SIDS. Janine is concurrently completing a fellowship with Melbourne Climate Futures at the University of Melbourne-Australia where she is focused on integrated approaches to global policy on climate, oceans, and sustainable development. Dr Katy Soapi Image Dr Katy Soapi Dr Katy Soapi is the Coordinator for the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS) at the Pacific Community (SPC). Before joining SPC, she was at the University of the South Pacific (USP) holding a range of positions including as a Lecturer at the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and a Manager of the Pacific Natural Products Research Centre. Katy has collaborated successfully with international scientists on marine scientific research projects and has executed numerous marine science expeditions in Fiji and the Solomon Islands. Katy is part of a team of expert advisors supporting the Pacific countries at the intergovernmental conferences on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) at the UN. Katy grew up on the island of Rendova, in the Solomon Islands and completed a bachelor’s degree at the USP, a master’s at the University of Sydney in Australia and a PhD at the University of East Anglia in the UK. She has a keen interest in science capacity development including strengthening the science-policy dialogue for ocean sustainability. She is also passionate about working at the community level on natural resource management. The partner The Nippon Foundation Image The Nippon Foundation generously supports the Nippon Foundation - University of Edinburgh Ocean Voices Program. Since 1988, the Foundation has collaborated with the United Nations, universities and research institutes, governments and NGOs, and other national and international organisations at the forefront of marine science and policy, to support interdisciplinary human capacity building for the benefit of the ocean. The Nippon Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organisation active both in Japan and internationally, with activity in over 100 countries. Over the years, it has expanded its activities to include education, social welfare, and public health.