Project Team

Associate Professor Pascale Hatcher, Primary Investigator

Associate Professor Pascale Hatcher, Primary Investigator

Political Science and International Relations, University of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand

The prospect of Deepsea mining is daunting for Pacific Island Countries. It is forcing a decision that promises vast revenues and development but great environmental unknowns as well. I want to understand how Pacific Island communities and their governments are discussing these important issues.

Pascale has been working on the political economy of mining in the Global South for over two decades. She looks into how transnational norms around regulations in extractive industries are being promoted, transplanted, adapted and contested, with a specific interest on how these norms and regulations impact local communities’ livelihood and environment.

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Distinguished Professor Steven Ratuva, Associate Investigator

Distinguished Professor Steven Ratuva, Associate Investigator

Director of the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand

Distinguished Professor Steven Ratuva, an award-winning political sociologist and global interdisciplinary scholar, is Director of the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies. His work is transdisciplinary across sociology, anthropology, political science, development studies, economics, philosophy and history. He has published widely on a range of issues such as Pacific societies and culture, indigenous knowledge, development, political change, memory activism, social solidarity economy, social protection, and climate security.

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Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies

Dr Isoa Korovulavula, Associate Investigator

Dr Isoa Korovulavula, Associate Investigator

Director of the Institute of Applied Sciences, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji

With the quest for more economic growth and development in the form of deep-sea mining I am concerned of its impacts on the Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction and within national waters of Pacific Islands Countries (PICs). Its implication on PICs communities socioeconomic and cultural livelihood now and beyond given the existing threat of climate change impacts is unknown and this is one key area I want to examine in this research initiative.

Isoa Korovulavula is the Acting Director of the University of the South Pacific Institute of Applied Sciences, where he is also manages the Environment Unit. He holds a PhD in Environmental Management and Master of Natural Resource Economics from the University of Queensland. His areas of expertise include socio-economic assessment of biodiversity, environmental impact assessment, economic valuation, community natural resource management and community based integrated water management. He is currently one of the Trustees of Fiji’s Women and Fisheries Network and the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) network. He chairs the National Integrated Coastal Management Committee in Fiji.

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Dr Geoff Ford, Associate Investigator

Dr Geoff Ford, Associate Investigator

Arts Digital Lab, Faculty of Arts, University of Canterbury

I’m interested in the role of experts in debates about deep sea mining and how expertise is used in attempts to mobilise the public on these issues.

Geoff is a political scientist working at the intersection of politics, digital methods and linguistics. He has a professional background as a software developer focused on web technologies and uses this experience to collect large data-sets from the web, to apply quantitative and qualitative computer-assisted approaches to analyse texts, and to build web-based interfaces to interact with and analyse data. Geoff is working on the focused on the digital controversy mapping aspects of the project and developing the project’s digital outputs.

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Dr Jhon Blesia, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Jhon Blesia, Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Political Science and International Relations / Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury

My interest in studying DSM governance in the Pacific comes from my concerns with social justice and development of Pacific Island Communities. I want to contribute to positive social change to the Pacific Island Communities around DSM governance.

Jhon’s research focuses on social and environmental accounting, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder engagement, and indigenous community around the mining industry. His PhD research operated at the intersection of accounting, economics, anthropology, ethnography, politics, and history. He explored experiences of the indigenous communities in the mining industry, involving issues related to control and exploitation of natural resources and traditional territories of the indigenous communities, cultural imperialism, human rights issues, environmental destructions, and disparity of social and economic development of the indigenous communities.

Alexandra Teague, PhD Candidate

Department of Political Science and International Relations / Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury

The implications of DSM are still unknown, and the development of regulations remain in progress. I am interested in the factors and actors within the debate that shape DSM regulations, and how small states navigate these issues.

Alex is investigating the political and economic ties between the International Seabed Authority and Pacific Island Countries. She has a vast experience working on issues of human rights, global health, and public policy in the context of global governance. Alex holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy (MIRAD) from the University of Canterbury (2023) and a Postgraduate Certificate of Public Health: Public Policy and Health from the University of Otago (2023).