Canadian marine expert wins Adelaide fellowship

Sabine Jessen

Sabine Jessen
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Friday, 30 March 2012

Canadian marine conservationist Sabine Jessen will spend six months at the University of Adelaide from this May after being awarded a 2012 Endeavour Research Fellowship to investigate new strategies to protect the ocean's ecosystem.

Ms Jessen, who has an international reputation in marine conservation, will work alongside social scientist Dr Melissa Nursey-Bray from the University of Adelaide's Discipline of Geography, Environment and Population.

The pair will compare marine conservation strategies in Australia, Canada and New Zealand by analysing governance arrangements, including the roles of politics, science and stakeholders.

"Ocean ecosystems are increasingly stressed by human exploitation and climate change, and strategies are urgently required to ensure marine ecosystem resilience," Ms Jessen said.

Her research will look at existing governance arrangements and how they affect Indigenous rights and aspirations and the emerging issues of climate change.

Ms Jessen is renowned as a leader in shaping Canada's ocean management. She is the National Manager of the Oceans and Great Freshwater Lakes Program for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and also serves as the Conservation Director for the British Columbia Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

Ms Jessen is currently completing her PhD in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

She has worked on marine conservation issues since 1993, and also conducted research on land use planning in Canada's Arctic.

Dr Melissa Nursey-Bray said the project offered an important opportunity for collaboration between Canada and Australia on issues of international significance.

"I look forward to working with Sabine on this important project. The preservation of marine areas will be vital to ensure future livelihoods and biodiversity is protected, especially given the threat of climate change," Dr Nursey-Bray said.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Adelaide, Professor Kent Anderson, said the Endeavour Scholarship enabled high achieving scholars from participating countries to undertake research in Australia and for Australians to do the same abroad.

"This exchange of knowledge from some of the world's brightest scholars and professionals helps build our global skills base and establish valuable linkages with other countries," says Professor Anderson.


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