Professor of Law; Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Ocean Law and Governance; Primary Researcher; Associate Director, Marine & Environmental Law Institute
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
- Environmental law
- International environmental law
- Marine law
- Public law
- Transboundary resource management
- Law of the sea
- BA (Calvin)
- MDiv (Princeton)
- JD (Arkansas)
- LLM (Dalhousie)
- PhD (Wales, Cardiff)
- Nova Scotia
David VanderZwaag is Professor of Law and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Ocean Law and Governance at the Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. He teaches international environmental law and serves as the Associate Director of the Marine & Environmental Law Institute. Professor VanderZwaag is a member of the International Council of Environmental Law as well as the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL). From 2004-2018, he co-chaired the WCEL’s Specialist Group on Oceans, Coasts and Coral Reefs.
Dr. VanderZwaag has authored over 150 papers in the marine and environmental law field. His most recent co-edited book publications are: Aquaculture Law and Policy: Global, Regional and National Perspectives (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2016); Routledge Handbook of National and Regional Ocean Policies (London & New York: Routledge, 2015); Polar Oceans Governance in an Era of Environmental Change (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2014); and Recasting Transboundary Fisheries Management Arrangements in Light of Sustainability Principles: Canadian and International Perspectives (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2010). His educational background includes PhD (1994, University of Wales, Cardiff), LL.M. (1982, Dalhousie Law School), J.D. (1980, University of Arkansas Law School), M.Div. (1974, Princeton Theological Seminary), and B.A. (1971, Calvin College).
- International Environmental Law (LAWS 2051)
- Visiting Professor, International Ocean law and Governance, University of Auckland (2012, 2006), Hue University (2009)
- Visiting Professor, International Environmental law, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (2001, 2000, 1999), University of Sydney (1997) and Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Law (1993)
Areas of supervision: ocean acidification: future directions in international environmental law and policy; protection of the marine environment; international fisheries law; Arctic Ocean development and governance
Professor VanderZwaag’s research covers a wide range of topics in the field of international ocean law and governance. Research interests include: aquaculture regulation; fisheries management; marine species at risk, maritime boundary delimitation; transboundary cooperation; Arctic law of the sea; Canada-US ocean relations; marine protected areas; climate change and oceans; and principled oceans governance.
- Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Ocean Law & Governance Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 2017/07 - 2024/06 [7 years]
- Future-proofing Marine Protected Area Networks Ocean Frontier Institute (CFI) / Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) 2017/04 - 2022/03 [5 years]
- Comparing Canadian and Russian Approaches and Challenges in Arctic Ocean Governance  Donner Canadian Foundation 2017/09 - 2021/12 [4 years]
- Transboundary Fisheries Management in Changing North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans OceanCanada Partnership / Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 2014/04 - 2020/03 [6 years]
- Canadian Ocean Acidification Research Partnership  Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) / Networks of Centres of Excellence Program (NSERC/NCE) 2017/04 - 2019/03 [2 years]
- Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Ocean Law & Governance Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 2010/07 - 2017/06 [7 years]
- Biogeochemical Projection under a Changing Climate  Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) Network / Networks of Centres of Excellence Program (NSERC/NCE) 2012/10 - 2017/03 [5 years]
- Tracking & Protecting Marine Species at Risk: An Interdisciplinary and International Partnership International Joint Venture Project: Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) / Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 2010/03 - 2015/12 [5 years]
- Tracking and Envisioning the Future for Arctic Ocean Governance Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 2011/03 - 2015/04 [3 years]
Selected awards & honours
- Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Ocean Law and Governance, Schulich School of Law
- Member, International Council of Environmental Law
- Member, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law
- Canadian Donner Foundation funded project, Comparing Canadian and Russian Approaches/Challenges in Arctic Ocean Governance
- SSHRC funded project, Tracking & Envisioning the Future for Arctic Ocean Governance
- International Joint Venture Project Ocean Tracking Network (OTN), Tracking and Protecting Marine Species at Risk
- Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR), Governance Challenges and Responses to Ocean Acidification
- D.A. Russell & D.L. VanderZwaag, eds, Recasting Transboundary Fisheries Management Arrangements in Light of Sustainability Principles: Canadian and International Perspectives (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2010).
- D.R. Rothwell & D.L. VanderZwaag, eds, Towards Principled Oceans Governance: Australian and Canadian Approaches and Challenges (London: Routledge Press, 2006).
- D.L. VanderZwaag, “The Arctic Council at 15 Years: Edging Forward in a Sea of Governance Challenges” (2011) 54 German Yearbook of International Law 281.
- D.L. VanderZwaag, “The Precautionary Approach and the International Control of Toxic Chemicals: Beacon of Hope, Sea of Confusion and Dilution” (2011) 33 Hous J Int'l L 655.
- D.L. VanderZwaag, “The Gulf of Maine Boundary Dispute and Transboundary Management Challenges: Lessons To Be Learned” (2010) 15 Ocean & Coastal LJ 241.
View a list of additional publications [PDF-195 kB]
Service & activity
- Advisory Committee (SCARs), Arctic Graduate School (ARKTIS) at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland
- Editorial Board, Ocean & Coastal Management
- Editorial Board, Ocean Yearbook (Martinus Nijhoff)
- Editorial Board, Macquarie Journal of International and Comparative Environmental Law
- Regional Editor, Canadian Environmental Law 2d ed. (Butterworths)
- Regional Reporter, Arctic, Yearbook of International Environmental Law (Oxford)
- Co-chair IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) Specialist Group on Oceans, Coasts and Coral Reefs (2004-2018)