Faculty Associates

Full-time faculty members in the Schulich School of Law with an actual or expressed interest in marine and environmental law related research. Membership by invitation or through a letter of application to the MELAW Director and a consensus decision by Faculty Associates. 

Associate Professor, Purdy Crawford Chair in Business Law
Topics:  International Economic Law, International Investment Law, International Law & Development, International Human Rights Law, Business Law and Transnational Law, Law & Policy of Public-Private Partnerships
Email: Olabisi.Akinkugbe@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-4298
Mailing Address: 
Room 422, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
law_professor_olabisi_akinkugbe_23 - 1
Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean Research
Topics:  Property and land law, Food and agricultural law, Local government law, Law, economics and political economy, Access to justice
Email: jamie.baxter@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-7113
Mailing Address: 
Room 326, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Professor of Law
Topics:  Administration of and access to civil justice, Dispute resolution, Class actions, Regulatory role of civil litigation, Tobacco litigation, Climate change litigation, Court reform in transitional legal systems
Email: camillecameron@dal.ca
Phone: 902-431-0604
Mailing Address: 
Room 429, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Dean Camille Cameron 2_PhotobyCT
Professor of Law
Topics:  Arctic shipping, Canadian maritime law, International maritime law, International law of the sea, Ocean law and policy
Email: aldo.chircop@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1007
Mailing Address: 
Room 437, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Ave
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Associate Professor of Law
Email: Patricia.Galvao@dal.ca
Mailing Address: 
Room 414, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Associate Professor of Law; Associate Dean (Academic)
Topics:  Family law , Gender and economic consequences of family breakdown, Retroactive Child Support, Nonhuman animals and the law, Animal Rights Activism and the Constitution, Ag-Gag Legislation and Freedom of Expression
Email: jodi.lazare@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1034
Fax: 902-494-1316
Mailing Address: 
Room 215, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Professor of Law
Topics:  Health law and policy, Indigenous health governance, Immigration and refugee law
Email: constance.macintosh@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-3554
Mailing Address: 
Room 319, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Associate Professor of Law; Chancellor's Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy, Aboriginal Law Certificate Coordinator
Topics:  Aboriginal law, Indigenous law, Constitutional law, Administrative law, Equality and human rights law, Diversity in legal education, the legal profession, and the judiciary
Email: naiomi.metallic@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-4500
Mailing Address: 
Room 314, Weldon Law Building, Dalhousie University 6061 University Avenue Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Associate Professor of Law and Management; Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Governance (Tier 2)
Topics:  Mi’kmaw & Indigenous Land and Water-Based Governance, Indigenous Food Systems, Indigenous Women’s Political Life, Rights and Activism, Treaty Relations and Rights, Mi’kmaw & Indigenous Land-Based Learning Practices, Decolonization & Resurgence, Multi-scalar Indigenous Peoples’ Movements, Indigenous & Small-Scale Fisheries Movements
Email: sherry.pictou@dal.ca
Phone: (902) 494-4092
Mailing Address: 
Room 323, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Assistant Professor of Law, Associate Director, Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Acting Dean, Research (September - November 2023)
Topics:  Critical legal studies, Culture and the law, Legal anthropology
Email: sara.ross@dal.ca
Mailing Address: 
Room 417, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Sara Ross
Associate Professor of Law; Associate Professor, School for Resource and Environmental Studies; Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Security and Development
Topics:  Law of the sea, Environmental law, International environmental law, Tort law and damage compensation, International law, Oil and gas law
Email: p.saunders@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1044
Mailing Address: 
Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Associate Professor of Law; Yogis and Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law; Director, Marine & Environmental Law Institute
Topics:  Business, Human Rights & Environment, International Environmental Law, Sustainable Development & Natural Resources Law, Climate Justice, Private International Law, Transnational Law & Legal Pluralism
Email: Sara.Seck@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-7715
Mailing Address: 
Room 416, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
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Professor of Law; Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Ocean Law and Governance; Primary Researcher
Topics:  Environmental law, International environmental law, Fisheries law and policy, Transboundary resource management, Species at risk protection, Law of the sea
Email: david.vanderzwaag@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1045
Mailing Address: 
Room 407, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2


Associates & Fellows

Research Associates

Researchers, not Faculty Associates, actively involved in MELAW-related research projects or initiatives. Post-doctoral researchers are also eligible. Membership by a Faculty Associate nomination, a letter of application to the MELAW Director and a consensus decision by Faculty Associates.

Aderonke Adekeye is a maritime lawyer with over 15 years of experience advising on ocean policy, sustainability, and compliance in Nigeria's maritime sector. She currently serves as an Assistant Director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, providing expert legal counsel and overseeing compliance programs.

Ms. Adekeye holds an MPhil in Ocean Governance and International Maritime Law from the World Maritime University in Sweden and the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta. She also earned an LLM from the University of Plymouth and an LLB from the University of Leicester. She is a member of the Nigerian Bar, WISTA, and other professional associations.

With extensive expertise in international law, ocean governance, maritime regulations, legislative review, risk management, blue economy principles, labour relations, environmental protection, and capacity building, Ms. Adekeye specializes in developing and reviewing legislation and policy initiatives. Her work focuses on increasing efficiency, safety, transparency, and collaboration in Nigeria's maritime sector to advance regional maritime strategic priorities and blue economy goals.

Polina Baum-Talmor is an Ocean Nexus Research Fellow, working with Dr. Sherry Pictou to advance an Indigenous land and water-based governance approach that is driven by Indigenous women’s ways of knowing focusing on women participating in fisheries. Polina is a Social Scientist with over 13 years of research experience, focusing mostly on issues relating to people and the ocean. She is a Nippon Foundation alumna, recipient of the NF-SIRC (Seafarers International Research Centre) PhD fellowship. Her PhD from Cardiff University (UK) focused on careers and labour market flexibility in global industries, using the case of seafarers. Polina also holds an MA in Anthropology, and a BA in Sociology, Anthropology and Human Resources from the University of Haifa (Israel). Polina is an Adjunct at the Marine Affairs Program (Faculty of Graduate Studies) at Dalhousie University, Associate Fellow at the Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC) at Cardiff University (UK) and a Research Associate at the Haifa Research Center for Maritime Policy and Strategy (Israel).

Using mostly qualitative research methods, Polina’s previous research focused on equity seeking groups, including seafarers, focusing on issues relating to labour, careers, and wellbeing. Previous research topics also include climate change and emotional wellbeing, digitalization and its impact on skills and training, seagoing labour issues, and multifaceted aspects of food in the workplace. She developed a genuine interest in seafarers after finishing her BA, which almost led to her joining the maritime industry as a Merchant Navy officer.

More information can be found on https://www.linkedin.com/in/polinabaumtalmor


Scott Coffen-Smout, B.Sc., DMA, M.Sc., is an oceans management biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Halifax, Canada. He studied biology and marine affairs at Dalhousie University and marine environmental science at Bangor University, Wales. He previously consulted in Somalia and Niue, South Pacific. Affiliations include: research associate at the Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University, co-editor of the Ocean Yearbook (Brill Nijhoff), alumnus of IOI-Canada’s training program, and senior research fellow at IOI-Canada. Areas of practice at DFO include marine spatial planning, spatial data and information management, sustainable fisheries certifications, coastal and ocean management, and area response planning.
Erin Dobbelsteyn is a PhD candidate in environmental law at the University of Ottawa and a Schulich Fellow at the Schulich School of Law for 2023-2024. She has a BSc in Neuroscience from McGill University and a JD from Dalhousie's Schulich School of Law with a specialization in health law and policy. After practising health law and professional regulation in Toronto for half a decade, she returned to academia and obtained an LLM in Global Sustainability and Environmental Law from the University of Ottawa. She is currently engaged in research and community initiatives related to environmental rights, climate justice, and public and planetary health. She is a board member of East Coast Environmental Law and an active member of the Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment.

Veronica Dossah, is a research associate at the Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University. She recently completed a Master of Laws program at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. She undertakes research projects on issues relating to business, human rights and the environment; the extractive industries; gender and; marine plastic pollution.

Veronica is also a teaching assistant at the Schulich School of law, Dalhousie University.

She has been called to the Ghanaian Bar and practices law in areas including corporate-commercial law litigation and advisory services, and alternative dispute resolution.

Cecilia Engler, LLM, PhD, is a Research Associate with the Marine & Environmental Law Institute at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. Her doctoral thesis work addresses aquaculture governance in the context of the ecosystem approach. Her research interests include the law of the sea, international fisheries, the oceans and climate change regime, the ecosystem approach to oceans management, and ecological law.

She held a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, 2012-2015; an honorary Izaak Walton Killam Predoctoral Scholarship, 2012-2013; and an Izaak Walton Killam Predoctoral Scholarship 2008-2010, and was awarded the Dalhousie University Governor General’s Gold Medal in Humanities and Social Sciences 2011 for her Master of Laws thesis work. She has also been distinguished with several other academic awards both in Canada and Chile.

She graduated as a lawyer from the Universidad de Concepción, Chile. She worked for the Chilean National Fisheries Service and the Undersecretariat for Fisheries and Aquaculture from 1998 to 2008. In that capacity, she worked on policy and regulation development for the fisheries and aquaculture sector and on enforcement of fisheries regulations.

Olga Koubrak, PhD, is researching and developing national and international legal approaches and tools to improve conservation outcomes for marine species at risk and management of marine living resources in general. She has co-written articles on transboundary fisheries management in light of climate change and dynamic management of marine industries to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, to name some. Olga is working through regional mechanisms (SPAW Protocol and WECAFC) in the wider Caribbean to improve protections for sawfishes and sea turtles, as well as develop management measures for shark and ray fisheries in the region.  
Keith MacMaster is a Ph.D. candidate and a Lecturer at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. Keith concentrates on legal issues in environmental finance for banking and ocean-based industries. One research area aims at improving responsible finance and creating new sustainable investments. At the heart of this research lies theories of materiality and the lack of environmental and human rights data in companies' disclosure documents.  The second research area investigates the policy and legal framework for seabed mining. This research aims to enable an environmentally and socially sustainable mining industry for the post-pandemic, low carbon world.


Abdul Hafez Mahamah is a legal professional with a diverse background spanning international and Canadian law, focusing on environmental regulations and natural resources. Holding a Master of Laws from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a concentration in International Environmental Law & Climate Change, Abdul Hafez brings a unique blend of global perspectives and local expertise to the table.

His academic achievements include major papers and a thesis that delve into pressing environmental issues, such as assessing Canada’s obligations in ocean fertilization and exploring perspectives on Fossil Fuel with Carbon Capture and Storage. His thesis, "Towards Effective Governance of Marine Geoengineering in West Africa," provides a nuanced understanding of global best practices in environmental governance.

Abdul Hafez's professional journey is marked by impactful roles, including Research Assistant at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, where he contributed to research on climate change law and policy intersecting with the law of the sea. This experience honed his ability to conduct in-depth literature reviews and engage in high-level academic research, skills directly applicable to Canadian environmental law research.

Previously, as a legal practitioner in Ghana, Abdul Hafez ensured adherence to Ghanaian and international laws, offering comprehensive legal opinions across various domains. His expertise encompasses representing clients in courts and tribunals, drafting commercial agreements, and ensuring compliance with industry regulations.

Additionally, Abdul Hafez's contributions to legal academia and community service underscore his commitment to the legal field. Notably, his involvement as a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Ghana School of Law and his role in community organizations demonstrate his dedication to legal education and public service.

As a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana and a member of the Ghana Bar Association, Abdul Hafez possesses a solid foundation in legal practice.

His blend of academic excellence, practical legal experience, and commitment to environmental law and policy aligns well with Canadian legal frameworks.

Adebayo Majekolagbe (Bayo), PhD, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. He researches and has published peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters on subjects including climate change policies and laws, just transition, impact assessment, and business and human rights. His doctoral thesis explores the intersections between climate change, just transition and impact assessment, and how fossil fuel dependent economies can deploy impact assessment as a just transition tool. Bayo has, overtime, taught the processes of justice (in the law, justice and society programme) and climate change law, and assisted in the teaching of global environmental governance (College of Sustainability) and environmental law at Dalhousie University. He is called to the Nigerian Bar and has practised at all levels of the Nigerian judicial system. He is also a Vanier and Killam Scholar.

Ted L. McDorman is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Before joining the University of Victoria in 1985, Professor McDorman was at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with the Dalhousie Oceans Studies Program (DOSP). He has been a visiting professor at institutions in Thailand, Sweden, the Netherlands and Canada and has over 120 publications in the areas of ocean law and policy, international trade law and comparative constitutional law.

Since 2000, he has been the editor-in-chief of Ocean Development and International Law. He has undertaken projects for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, including legislative drafting, conducting of workshops and report writing on fisheries and fisheries trade, and written reports on ocean law and policy matters for the governments of Canada, Quebec and British Columbia.

During 2002-2004 and 2011-2013 Professor McDorman was the “Academic-in- Residence” with the Bureau of Legal Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa where he worked on a wide range of ocean law topics including have a small role in the decision and process respecting Canada’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 2003 and the anticipated Canadian submission of information respecting the outer limits of the continental shelf to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in late 2013.

Akinwumi Ogunranti, PhD, Schulich Associate at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Canada. He is a Nigerian lawyer and an expert in private international law, international law, and business and human rights. He has also undertaken research projects on issues relating to the intersection between business, human rights, climate, and the environment.

Dr. Tahnee Prior the co-founder and co-lead of Women of the Arctic (WoA). Currently, she leads WoA’s research in the Horizon Europe-funded project ICEBERG, which seeks to comprehensively assess the sources, types, distributions and impact of human and climate-induced pollution on ecosystems and communities in the European Arctic; and how to enhance community-led resilience and adaptation in response. Together with her colleague, Gosia Smieszek, Tahnee also co-leads WoA's research contribution to the Horizon 2020 project Arctic PASSION, which aims to co-create and implement an Arctic observing system that is tuned to address the urgent needs of those who live in the Arctic and has relevance to global society. As a Research Associate at MELAW, Tahnee is also a member of the UArctic-funded Ocean Incubator Network (2023-2025) which will bring together experts, local authorities and educational institutions to develop integrated research and education programs with the objective of accelerating Ocean Literacy to advance Sustainable Development Goals 4 (quality education and lifelong learning for all), 5 (gender equality) and 14 (protecting life below water) across Arctic communities.

In 2023, Tahnee completed a Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Marine Environmental Law Institute, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. She holds a Ph.D. in Global Governance from the University of Waterloo. Her research interests broadly include global environmental governance, international law, complex systems theory, Arctic and oceans governance, and the gender-and-environment nexus.

Susan J. Rolston is sole proprietor of Seawinds Consulting Services, providing research, writing, editing, indexing, and publication management services. Ms. Rolston’s areas of special expertise include ocean and coastal law, policy and management, maritime transportation, and polar law. She is currently copy editor for the International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law. Ms. Rolston has contributed to numerous marine law and policy publications. She holds a BA (Hons.) from the University of Western Ontario and a MA from Dalhousie University, both in Political Science.
Nicole Van Lier is a critical human geographer and Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at Dalhousie University, working with Dr. Sherry Pictou at the Schulich School of Law. Broadly speaking, her research examines the racial, colonial, and capitalist relations that configure state environmental management regimes in North America. Her doctoral dissertation explored the reproduction of racial capitalism through the regulation, management, and financing of urban wastewater infrastructure across Metropolitan Detroit, and its role in deepening a racialized water affordability crisis. Her current project studies the historical and legal evolution of entangled Indigenous and settler colonial fisheries in northern Michigan to understand how expanding Odawa and Chippewa economies have reconfigured the resource management practices of the settler colonial state. She earned her PhD in Geography, with a specialization in Environmental Studies, from the University of Toronto. Her work has been published in the Annals of the American Association of GeographersAntipode, and Capitalism, Nature, Socialism


Research Fellows

Graduate students (LLM, PhD) enrolled at the Schulich School of Law with a research interest in the field of marine and environmental law. Research Fellows are expected to enrol in the MELAW distribution list, attend MELAW events and participate in program activities. Students remain fellows until graduation. Membership by nomination from a graduate supervisor, a letter of application and a consensus decision by Faculty Associates.
Kolawole Abiri, PhD, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. His research focuses on climate change laws and policies, climate litigation, intersections between climate change and energy, climate and environmental justice, impact assessment, international environmental law, and how to use the mechanism of impact assessment to achieve sustainable development goals. Kolawole holds a Master of Law from UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Master of Legal Science from Uppsala University (Sweden), Master of International and Comparative Law from the University of Eastern Finland, and a Bachelor of Law from the University of Ilorin (Nigeria). Kolawole also has over 22 years of litigation experience in Nigeria and has represented clients in civil and criminal litigations before all the superior courts in Nigeria, including the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the Court of Appeal. In addition to his research, Kolawole also teaches (on a part-time basis) Law and Ethics for Chemical Engineers at the Department of Process and Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University.
Mohamad Alikhani is a PhD student at Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. He earned his first PhD degree in oil and gas law, a master’s degree in energy and environmental law with distinction from University of Aberdeen while he was a Chevening Scholar in the UK, and a master’s degree in international commercial law, which was partly held in Queen Mary University of London. He also holds a bachelor's degree in law. He has written several peer-reviewed articles. His research interests are energy law, climate change law, ecological law, sustainability, and marine integrated planning. The current research focus of his PhD thesis is on examining how Canadian laws can be improved with respect to the development of offshore wind energy, having ecological sustainability as a theoretical lens, drawing from a critical comparative study of other states’ laws and practices, and guided by the principles of international law.
Kevin Berk is a Graduate Research Assistant and PhD candidate at the Schulich School of Law. While completing his LLM Kevin served as a Graduate Fellow at Osgoode Hall Law School’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic. Prior to his graduate work Kevin obtained a JD from the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law where he participated in the inaugural year of Windsor Law’s Transnational Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. Kevin’s research focuses on examining how law shapes and reflects human relationships to the ecological systems in which we are embedded, with a specific focus on environmental, property, and treaty rights. During the 2020-2021 academic year Kevin taught the course “Property in its Historical Context” at the Schulich School of Law.

Phillip A. Buhler has been practicing maritime law for over thirty years in the United States, representing shipowners, operators, insurers and other commercial interests in many aspects of maritime casualties, environmental issues and regulatory matters. He is a correspondent for most members of the International Group of P&I Clubs. He also serves as an instructor in international and US civil procedure at the Universitat zu Koeln and has taught courses in maritime law and intermodal transportation at the Universitat Hamburg.

Mr. Buhler has served on the Board of Directors of the Maritime Law Association of the United States and as Chair of its International Organizations, Conventions and Standards Committee, during which time he directed a focus towards emerging Polar shipping issues. He is also active in the Comite Maritime International and serves on its Polar Shipping International Working Group and its Antarctica Sub-Committee.

Since Fall, 2019 Mr. Buhler has been a Ph.D. candidate at Dalhousie University, developing his thesis concerning application of non-prescriptive regulatory options to commercial shipping in the Polar regions. He received his BA from the College of William & Mary, his J.D. from the University of Miami, and his LL.M. (Admiralty) from Tulane University. He is Board Certified in Admiralty Law and International Law by the Florida Bar, and is the author of numerous articles, book chapters and a book on maritime and international law issues.

Rufaro Emily Chikuruwo is a dedicated legal scholar specializing in environmental law, climate law, ocean law, social justice, business law, international trade law, human rights law and environmental sustainability. Currently completing her second Master of Laws at Dalhousie University, she holds a Doctor of Laws focusing on international aspects of law from North-West University, South Africa. Dr Rufaro's academic and professional experiences, including research fellowships, and legal assistant roles, underscore her commitment to addressing global environmental challenges through rigorous scholarship and practical solutions.
Devdatta Mukherjee is a PhD candidate at the Schulich School of Law and a Graduate Research and Writing Assistant at the MELAW. She has an MPhil in International Legal Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She obtained an LLM from the Indian Law Institute, specializing in human rights and humanitarian law. Devdatta was a Nippon Foundation Fellow at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in 2022-’23. She worked as a legal officer with the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, at its headquarters in New Delhi, for more than five years. Prior to that, she had taught international trade law for a semester at a university in India. Law of the sea, international environmental law and international trade law constitute her areas of research interest.
Loveth Ugwu Ovedje is a driven legal professional and scholar currently pursuing a Master of Laws (LLM) degree at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Canada. With a bachelor's degree in law from Benue State University, where she graduated as the overall best in her cohort, Loveth has established a solid foundation in legal studies.

With over four years of extensive practice experience spanning across the domains of energy, natural resources, project finance, oil and gas, and corporate/commercial law, Loveth has gained valuable insights into the intricacies of legal frameworks in these sectors.

Driven by a passion for environmental sustainability and international law, Loveth's current research focuses on developing sustainable governance structures for offshore renewable energy. Guided by the principles of international environmental law, she aims to contribute to the advancement of environmentally sound practices in the energy sector.

In addition to her academic pursuits, Loveth actively engages in peer review activities, including contributing as a peer reviewer for the Ren Report, a prestigious global renewables report. Her areas of research interests are diverse, encompassing energy law, natural resources law, environmental law, international law, human rights, business law, climate change law, maritime law, climate finance, and ocean governance.

With a demonstrated commitment to advancing legal scholarship and promoting sustainable development, Loveth Ugwu Ovedje is poised to make meaningful contributions to the field of environmental and energy law.
  Sixiang Peng is a PhD student and his research area covers public international law, the law of the sea and international fisheries law. His current study focuses on the issue of illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing which poses a great threat to the world’s sustainable fisheries. He also writes articles on other ocean topics for Chinese newsletters.

Jinho Yoo (PhD, JD, Attorney at Law) is a practicing attorney (Licensed in New York) specialised in Maritime Law with more than 10 years of experience as in-house lawyer in Korean Register (Classification Society) and Hanjin Ship management company (Hanjin Shipping Group). He already holds two PhD degrees: One in Maritime Law from Korea Maritime and Ocean University in Busan South Korea, and the other PhD in the law of Tort from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, Korea. During 2015-2018, He also served as managing director of a maritime cluster organization in Korea comprising over 50 number of Korean public and private stakeholders such as ship owners, shipbuilders, ship equipment manufacturers, etc. He is currently a PhD Candidate in Maritime Law at Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.

Honorary Fellows

Persons recognized for their outstanding contributions in the past to the founding or building of MELAW. Membership through a Faculty Associate nomination and a consensus among Faculty Associate members.
Bill Charles QC, Professor Emeritus Bill Charles, QC, Professor Emeritus, formally a full time member of the Faculty of Law and Dean (1979-85) is still active in the environmental area. Currently serving as special council to the Nova Scotia Law Reform Commission he has been actively involved in the preparation of a Discussion Paper on Contaminated sites in Nova Scotia (March/09). Professor Charles taught environmental law at the law school in the 90s and has had considerable experience with the Environmental Impact Assessment process in the last fifteen years. This experience includes among other assignment serving as the Nova Scotia representative on a Joint Federal/Provincial Assessment Panel dealing with Remediation of the Sydney Tar Ponds (2006-2007), Chair of a Provincial assessment panel to evaluate strip mining (coal) in Stellarton, NS and Chair of an assessment panel to evaluate a proposal to construct an incinerator to burn garbage in the Metro/Halifax area. Prof Charles has also served as President of The Environmental Control Council (N.S./1993-95) and Chair of the Environmental Assessment Board (1995-98).
  Brian Flemming, QC

Brian Flemming CM, QC, DCL, is Counsel to the Atlantic Canada law firm of McInnes Cooper. He is a non-practising member of the Nova Scotia bar and a former member of the Ontario bar.

In recent years, as a Research Fellow of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute in Calgary, Dr. Flemming has published articles on Arctic issues, the global war on terror, Canada-China relations in the Arctic, the war in Afghanistan and border security issues involving Canada and the U.S. He has also written papers for the School of Public Policy and the Van Horne Institute at the University of Calgary on national transportation issues.

Dr. Flemming was Assistant Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau from 1976 to 1979. After 9/11, the Canadian government made him the first CEO and chairman of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), Canada’s principal public response to 9-11. In 2005, he was appointed to the federal Advisory Council on National Security. In 2000-1, Dr. Flemming chaired the Canada Transportation Act Review Panel, a statutorily-mandated review of Canada’s transport policies. The report of that Panel—“Vision and Balance”—caused Dr. Flemming to be given the national “Award of Achievement” in 2003.

In the mid-1960s, following graduate studies in England and the Netherlands, Dr. Flemming taught the first graduate course in public international law at Dalhousie’s law school and wrote many peer-reviewed articles for learned publications and international conferences. He was a key figure in the establishment of the Dalhousie Ocean Studies Program (DOSP) in the 1970s. He was founding chairman of the International Centre for Ocean Development, a Crown Corporation headquartered in Halifax in the 1980s.

Dr. Flemming is a former member, vice chairman and interim chairman of The Canada Council and is a former director of the CBC. He is honorary chairman of the Dalhousie Law Alumni Association of Canada, having been its founding chairman in 1983. In 2010, he won the Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service at Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law. He is a former chairman of the Board of Governors at University of King’s College. He was the founding chairman of Symphony Nova Scotia and has been on the boards of many local, regional and national not-for-profit organizations. He was awarded an honourary degree by Saint Mary's in 2014, given an honourary degree by King’s in 1991 and, in 1989, was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Edgar Gold, QC, Master Mariner

Professor Edgar Gold, CM, AM, QC, grew up and went to sea in Australia but settled in Halifax, Canada, in the early 1960s. He is a former senior partner with the law firm Ritch Durnford in Halifax, where he specialized in maritime,
energy and environmental law and international commercial law. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1995. He also served as the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, 1986-1998. He is a former President of the Canadian Maritime Law Association and a Titulary Member of the Comité Maritime International. Dr. Gold is a Master Mariner (UK and Canada) and served at sea for 16 years, including several years in command. He was Professor of Law (1975-1994) and Professor of Resource and Environmental Studies (1986-1994) at Dalhousie University, Halifax. He is a founding member of Dalhousie Law School’s Marine and Environmental Law Institute (formerly MELP).

Professor Gold was a founder and former Executive Director of the Dalhousie Oceans Studies Programme (DOSP), and the International Institute for Transportation and Ocean Policy Studies (IITOPS), the predecessors of the International Oceans Institute of Canada. He was a member of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board 1996-2003, and a member of the Roster of Experts of the Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines, 2001-2004. He is also a former Adjunct Professor and former Canadian Member of the Board of Governors of the World Maritime University, Malmö, Sweden, and a former member of the Governing Board of the IMO-International Maritime Law Institute, Malta. Until the end of 2010 he also held an appointment as Adjunct Professor at the T.C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, where was involved with the School’s Marine and Shipping Law Unit. Professor Gold has active experience in most regions of the world and has completed over 250 publications in the maritime law and policy field. He has received honorary degrees from the Canadian Coast Guard College (1992) and the World Maritime University (2007), and was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit by the German Government in 1997; the Order of Canada (C.M.) in 1997, and the Order of Australia (A.M.) in 2005. In 2012 he was honoured with the presentation of a ‘Festschrift’ entitled The Regulation of International Shipping: International and Comparative Perspectives—Essays in Honour of Edgar Gold. Professor Gold is now based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Arthur Hanson, OC

Professor Arthur J. Hanson, OC, is a Distinguished Fellow and former President of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). He was a Professor and Director of the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University. Prior to that, during the mid-1970s, he worked with the Ford Foundation in Indonesia. Dr. Hanson addresses environment and economy, biodiversity, oceans, and international development concerns globally, in Asia and in Canada. He was one of the founders of the Dalhousie Ocean Studies Programme (DOSP) in the 1970s.

He has served on Canada’s National Round Table on the Environment and Economy (NRTEE), as Canada’s Ministerial Ocean Ambassador with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and in a number of other national advisory posts. He has initiated several major international development activities in Southeast Asia, and currently is a Member and Lead Expert of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). He is chairing a Working Party on Biotechnology, Sustainable Development and Canada’s Future Economy for the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee. Dr. Hanson is a member of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and a Mentor with the Trudeau Foundation. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Hugh Kindred

Professor Hugh Kindred, who joined the Law School as a faculty member in 1971, continues to research and write in the fields of ocean transportation, overseas trade and international law, as well as to assist with the supervision and examination of LLM and PhD students. He is a member of the bars of Nova Scotia and England as well as a past Chair of the Carriage of Goods Committee of the Canadian Maritime Law Association. He was appointed Senior Legal Officer in the Shipping Division of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva for 1985-86, and he was the Director of the Marine and Environmental Law Program (MELP) at the Law School during 1996-97 and again in 2001. In 1998 he went as Visiting Professor of maritime law to the University of Sydney, Australia.

Hugh is a member of the editorial boards of the Ocean Yearbook and the Canadian Yearbook of International Law, and he serves as the coordinator of Canadian contributions to the Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts.

In addition to many articles and book chapters on maritime, commercial and international law, Hugh has published Marine Cargo Delays (with Max Ganado), Multimodal Transport Rules (with Dr. Mary Brooks) and Canadian Maritime Law (with Drs. Edgar Gold and Aldo Chircop), which was co-winner of the Walter Owen Book Prize for 2003-05. In 2014, together with Phillip Saunders and Rob Currie, he produced the 8th edition of International Law Chiefly as Interpreted and Applied in Canada. Also in 2014 he completed a research project with Steve Coughlan, Rob Currie and Teresa Scassa with the publication of Law Beyond Borders: Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in an Age of Globalization.

In 2003 Hugh Kindred was honoured by the Canadian Association of Law teachers with its Award for Academic Excellence and in 2010 he was designated by Dalhousie University as Professor of Law Emeritus.

Moira McConnell

Professor of Law

Dr. Moira L. McConnell is a Professor of Law Emerita and Honorary Fellow of the Marine & Environmental Law Institute (MELAW). She retired from full-time teaching in 2015 but remains engaged in numerous research projects and supervision of masters and doctoral students at the Law School and other departments including the Marine Affairs Programme. In 2015 she was appointed to the UN World Maritime University (WMU) as External Examiner. A former Director of the MELAW she has been a member of the Faculty of Law at Dalhousie University for over 25 years and a member of the Nova Scotia Bar Society since 1990. She has had many important “law in practice” roles in her career including over a decade as a Special Advisor to the ILO in connection with the Maritime Labour Convention,2006. She is also a former Executive Director the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia. Over the last nearly 30 years Professor McConnell has undertaken numerous international, regional and national legal implementation projects related to the law of the sea and to maritime law and remains involved with projects with colleagues in MELAW.

Professor McConnell's research interests are in the fields of public and private international law and domestic law including international law, law of the sea, maritime law and policy, international labour law, environmental law, governance systems, corporate law and governance, administrative and constitutional law, social justice, contract law and human rights. She has over 100 publications in a wide range of topics in these fields. She is also a co-editor of the international interdisciplinary Ocean Yearbook (1998-ff), an Associate Editor of the Yearbook of International Environmental Law (2006-ff), and is on the editorial board of the WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs.


Dawn Russell

Associate Professor Dawn A. Russell practiced law in Halifax for five years with the Atlantic law firm of Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales before beginning her career as a law teacher in 1987 as an Assistant Professor. She received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor in July 1992. She served as Acting Dean of Dalhousie Law School from May 1, 1995 to March 31, 1996 and as Dean from April 1, 1996 to June 30, 2005.

Professor Russell is currently the President of St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Wendell Sanford

Wendell Sanford holds degrees from Saint Mary's University (BA and BEd), Dalhousie (LL B) and Victoria University of Wellington, NZ (MPP)

Mr. Sanford has been a career diplomat, international lawyer, and naval officer. Most recently at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development he has been Canadian High Commissioner to Brunei and the first Canadian Representative to the Government of Burma. In Ottawa he has served as Director of Oceans and Environmental Law and Director of Criminal, Diplomatic and Security Law. During his lengthy diplomatic career he has been involved in the negotiation of the UN High Seas Fisheries Convention, Western and Central Pacific Tuna Convention and NAFO reform process. With respect to Canadian Arctic Mr. Sanford held the lead in the legal aspects of extending the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act to 200 nautical miles and the regulation which made compulsory reporting to NORDREG. He held the Foreign Affairs lead in developing the Canadian Extended Continental Shelf Submission for the first two years of the seven year process.

Prior to joining Canada's foreign ministry Mr. Sanford had an extensive naval reserve career including servicing as Staff Officer Naval Control and Shipping at Maritime Command Headquarters in Halifax.

Part-time Faculty

Persons teaching part-time in one or more courses in MELP offerings. 

Ella Dodson

Ella Dodson has more than 30 years’ experience representing businesses of all sizes, governments, non-profits, financial institutions, and others with respect to:

  • Structuring, negotiating, drafting and closing cross-border contracts and business deals;
  • Advising on structure, and a broad range of business issues;
  • Researching and drafting maritime and corporate law and policy.

She graduated from Columbia University in New York with an LL.M. in International Law.  She also holds a JD with High Honors from Illinois Institute of Technology-Chicago-Kent College of Law and an AB from Washington University in Saint Louis in Political Science and Asian Studies.

Ms. Dodson is admitted to the New York Bar and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. She is a member of Financing Sounding Board of the Baltic and International Maritime Council, (http://www.bimco.org).

Further information about her maritime practice may be found at http://www.hillbetts.com/ella-dodson.html.

Ramón Filguera Ramón Filgueira grew up in Galicia, Spain, where seafood has dominated the economy, culture and diet of the Galician people for centuries. He completed his undergraduate degree in Marine Sciences at the University of Vigo in Spain. He then went on to complete a Master diploma in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development at the University of Valencia. Ramón obtained his PhD in Marine Sciences from University of Vigo on the ecophysiology of mussels. In 2008, he came to Canada for a postdoctoral fellowship in ecosystem modelling at Dalhousie University. In 2012, Ramón began a postdoctoral fellowship at the Gulf Fisheries Centre, Fisheries and Oceans Canada. There he developed ecosystem models of aquaculture sites that could be used for marine management decision-making. Ramón joined the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie University in March 2016. Since then, Ramón has expanded the scope of his research to cover aquaculture from an interdisciplinary perspective, fully embracing an “ecosystem approach to aquaculture.” 
Hannah Harrison

I am originally from traditional Dena’ina lands (Homer, Alaska) where I grew up in a salmon fishing family. My work and interests stem from a close relationships with fish, community, and the lands and waters on which I grew up.

By discipline, I am best described as a human ecologist, meaning I’m interested in the many facets of human-environmental relationships. I specialize in qualitative research and am interested in critically exploring problems related to marine social-ecological systems, particularly within fisheries and coastal community contexts.

I earned my Bachelor of Science (Natural Resource Management) and Master’s of Science (Environmental Ethnography) at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. My PhD was earned as part of a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions ITN at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. I came to Canada in 2019 as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Guelph on Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory (Guelph, Ontario). In July of 2022 I joined the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie University in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia), where I now work as an Assistant Professor and teach in the Master of Marine Management program.

Sadira Jan Sadira Jan is a partner with Stewart McKelvey’s Halifax office. Admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 2007 after completing her law degree at Dalhousie University, Sadira works with a broad range of clients across diverse industries, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, financing transactions and general corporate advice.

Balancing a demanding client schedule with volunteerism, Sadira is actively involved in nonprofit organizations across the Halifax Regional Municipality, contributing time and leadership as a member of the Board of Directors for the Prescott Group; Prescott Futures Committee; and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Lisa Mitchell Lisa Mitchell is a lawyer (Dalhousie, 1991) and principal of LJM Environmental Law.  She has a Masters of Environmental Studies from the School for Resource and Environmental Studies (Dalhousie, 1994), and more than fifteen years of experience working in the areas of environmental law, policy and environmental management. Lisa’s law practice is exclusively in the area of environmental law.  She has developed a broad-ranging practice base that includes governments, non-government organizations, private-sector companies, community groups and individual clients.  Her expertise in this area originated in the challenging field of agri-environmental law and has expanded to include contaminated sites, environmental impact assessment, water regulation, professional and corporate environmental liability, coastal management and other areas.  Lisa has provided advice and training on environmental legislation and policy in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Ontario and federally. Lisa’s interest in environmental law grew out of a childhood spent in the woods and this history continues to infuse her law practice on a daily basis.  Over the past three years her practice has evolved to a primarily public interest practice providing legal advice and support to community groups, environmental and conservation organizations.  Since 2011 she has served as the lawyer for the East Coast Environmental Law Association, an organization that seeks to use and improve the law in a manner that supports a clean and healthy environment for present and future generations.

Daniel Watt Daniel Watt is an associate at the Halifax office of McInnes Cooper. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, offshore oil and gas, and maritime law. Daniel has advocated for clients before various courts, including the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, and the Federal Court.

Daniel advises and advocates for various clients in the marine and oil & gas industries, including: offshore regulators; exploration and production companies; energy processing companies; shipbuilders; ship and specialized offshore vessel owners; charterers; protection and indemnity (P&I) clubs; salvors; Canadian Port Authorities and private port owners; fishing and aquaculture interests; and freight forwarders.  He also provides advisory and dispute resolution services to energy and natural resource companies, customs brokers, construction companies, insurers, leasing and finance companies, and private clients, among others.

He is a director and secretary of the Eastern Admiralty Law Association and a member of the Canadian Maritime Law Association, where he sits on the Ports and Harbours Committee. He is also a volunteer director for Bridgeway Academy.

Daniel received his Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) in political science from Dalhousie University (2005) and his Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie Law School (2008).