International Scientific Committee (ISC)

Francesco Sindico – Co-chair

Francesco Sindico is a Professor at the University of Strathclyde Law School in Glasgow where he founded and was Director for ten years of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG). From an islands’ perspective his work centres on the role of law in promoting public participation towards greater sustainability and resilience. From a freshwater perspective, his research focuses mainly on the international law of transboundary aquifers and water governance. Francesco is currently on secondment with the Scottish Government (since September 2021) where he leads the Carbon Neutral Islands Project. Francesco is also the co-chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law Climate Change Law Specialist Group and a Director of the Climate Change Litigation Initiative (C2LI). Francesco has experience in advising governments and international organisations before international courts and contributing to capacity building programmes in developing countries.

Óluva Reginsdóttir Eidesgaard – Co-chair

Óluva holds a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Geology from Lunds University, Sweden and a Ph.D. from the University of Copenhagen. Since 2011 she has worked as a research geologist at the Faroese Geological Survey in Tórshavn, the Faroe Islands. Her research focus was initially on offshore petroleum exploration, logging interpretation, petrophysics and formation evaluation in volcanic basins but has expanded to incorporate onshore groundwater and geothermal energy matters the recent years, where she has been involved in a row of groundwater project. Additionally she is the project leader of one current groundwater project aiming to use groundwater as an energy source and for the recently funded and newly initiated project Investigation of the groundwater potential in the Faroe Islands.

Gabriel Eckstein – ISC member

Gabriel is Professor of Law at Texas A&M University where he focuses on water, natural resources, and environmental law and policy at the local, national, and international levels.  At Texas A&M University, he also serves on the Graduate Faculty for the Water Management & Hydrological Science program and as Associated Professor with the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Eckstein regularly advises UN agencies, national and sub-national governments, NGOs, and other groups on international and US water and environmental issues. He chairs the Executive Council of the International Association for Water Law, and is Immediate Past President of the International Water Resources Association. He also serves as Associate Editor for the book series Brill Research Perspectives: International Water Law, and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Water Law.  Eckstein holds an LL.M. in International Environmental Law, a Juris Doctor in Law, an M.S. in International Affairs, and a B.A. in Geology.

Jana Ólavsdóttir – ISC member

Jana Ólavsdóttir, has been a research geologist at the Faroese Geological Survey (Jarðfeingi) in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands since 2003 and she holds a B.Sc. M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her research focus is volcanic basins tectono-stratigraphic evolution; interaction of volcanic and non-volcanic material in basins; volcanic reservoir in relation to hydrocarbon, groundwater, geothermal energy, and CO2 storage. Jana Ólavsdóttir, is project leader for groundwater and geothermal energy regarding to research, administration, and legislation. The Faroese Geological Survey advise the Faroese Government in this matter. She is at present a member of the Programme Committee for Research and the Aid Scheme for the Labour Market Campaign at the Research Council Faroe Islands. The members are elected for at 3-year period.

Firouz Gaini – ISC member

Firouz Gaini is professor in anthropology at the University of the Faroe Islands. He is a co-editor of Island Studies Journal and BARN (Nordic Childhood Journal). His fieldwork is from the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Japan. He has published widely on the topics of young people’s everyday lives and futures, fatherhood and masculinities, and small island communities in articles and books. He is co-editor of the volume Gender and Island Communities (Routledge 2020). He is the Research Leader of the Faculty of History and Social Sciences and a Deputy Member of the Board of the University of the Faroe Islands. Gaini was affiliated to the Norwegian Centre for Child Research, NTNU, in Trondheim 2012-2015. Besides the academic literature, is also the author of collections of essays and short stories. He currently lives in Torshavn, Faroe Islands

Jill Robbie – ISC member

Dr Jill Robbie is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Glasgow. Jill’s research interest lies within the field of natural resources and sustainability. She is currently investigating the tensions between social justice, economic development and environmental protection in the context of the law regulating land use. She is particularly interested in analysing these tensions in relation to water. Jill is working on an interdisciplinary project on Decentralised Water Technologies, which is exploring the challenges and opportunities for implementing new water technologies.  

Kate Brown – ISC member

Kate Brown has led the Global Island Partnership since 2009 and is based in New Zealand.  She is an island partnership and network specialist and with GLISPA advises governments, NGOs and others on strategies for working together to improve the lives of island people across the globe including on climate change. She is a co-lead of the Local2030 Islands Network a new network of island economies focussed on advancing sustainable development in a locally and culturally appropriate way and adviser to a range of other networks and initiatives including the Climate Strong Islands Network, the board of Island Conservation, Blue Nature Alliance, Micronesia Challenge, Caribbean Challenge Initiative, Aloha+Challenge, Coalition of Fragile Ecosystems, Niue Ocean Wide, and many more.

Laurie Brinklow – ISC member

Dr. Laurie Brinklow is an Assistant Professor and Co-ordinator of the Master of Arts in Island Studies program / Chair of the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, Canada. There she facilitates and supports research on sustainable communities on islands around the world, as well as engaging in knowledge mobilization and public engagement activities. She also teaches ‘islandness’ in the Master of Arts in Island Studies program and supervises graduate students. She is President of the International Small Island Studies Association and is Iceland’s Honorary Consul to Prince Edward Island. A passionate Islander, her PhD research explored people’s attachment to islands by examining islandness in Tasmanian and Newfoundland artists. She is the author of several scholarly articles and two books of poetry, the most recent is the award-winning My island’s the house I sleep in at night (Island Studies Press, 2021)

Ronald Roopnarine – ISC member

Dr. Ronald Roopnarine is a researcher and academic with a thorough background in Disaster Risk Resilience and Sustainable Land and Water Resource Management. Presently, Dr. Roopnarine is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Food and Agriculture, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus (FFA, UWI) responsible for teaching and development of courses related to Agri-environmental Disaster Risk and Climate Resilience. He is also the Network Manager of Caribbean WaterNet, (Caribbean arm of CapNet UNDP) and a consultant for various international and regional developmental and state agencies. He has also served on numerous projects implemented by various UN agencies such as UN-water, UN- FAO, UN Environment and UNDP. Thus far he has amassed significant experience in Integrated Water Resources Management, Land management and Climate Change Adaptations, with specific focus on Caribbean Small Island Developing States.

Milika Nagasima Sobey – ISC member

Dr Milika Naqasima Sobey is an indigenous Fijian who currently works as a Technical Adviser-Coastal Ecosystems for GIZ Pacific. Milika was an academic for 20 years, teaching and conducting research at the University of the South Pacific.  Her research interests included nutrient cycling, fisheries, coral reef ecology and water quality.    She has worked at IUCN Oceania managing donor funded Climate Change Adaptation projects in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.  For freshwater systems, Milika has worked on water quality monitoring, freshwater fisheries, catchment management and most recently on the political economy of the water sector in select Pacific Island countries.  Milika was one of the founding members of the Women in Fisheries Network and continues to do voluntary work for Nature Fiji-Mareqeti Viti and Fiji Environmental Law Association. 

Steinunn Hauksdóttir – ISC member

Steinunn Hauksdóttir is Director of Mapping and Exploration at ÍSOR, Iceland Geosurvey. She holds a B.Sc. in Geology from University of Iceland and M.Sc. in Geology, igneous petrology/volcanology, from University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She worked as geologist/geochemist at the Geothermal Research Division of National Energy Authority from 1995 and since 2003 at ÍSOR. Her research focus has involved geothermal and groundwater mapping, sampling of fluids and rocks, monitoring of district heating services, consultation and tracer testing. In recent years supervision and project management in the fields of natural resources including geothermal, groundwater and marine geology. She has served as Board member of GEORG-Geothermal Research Cluster, Iceland Renewable Cluster, Geoscience Society of Iceland, Geothermal Association of Iceland, and currently serving as National Delegate for Iceland in EuroGeoSurveys and member of Water Consultant Committee of governmental institutes and inspectorates for the implementation of Water Framework Directive in Iceland.

Manuel Sapiano – ISC member

Manuel Sapiano is the Chief Executive Officer of the Energy and Water Agency (EWA) within Malta’s Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise.  In this role, he coordinates a team of experts with responsibilities for the formulation, evaluation, monitoring and implementation of national policies concerning the use of energy and water in a sustainable manner and the formulation of plans to meet National and EU energy and water resources management targets. Mr Sapiano is a hydrogeologist, with specific specialisation in island and coastal hydrology.  He has previously led the Agency’s Water Policy Unit, where he had the responsibility of coordinating the implementation process of EU related water legislation in the Maltese islands. He has been involved in the implementation process of the EU Water Framework Directive since 2002, where within the Common Implementation Strategy of this Directive, he fulfils the role of Water Director for Malta. 

Gunnhild Storbekkrønning Solli – ISC member

Gunnhild Storbekkrønning Solli is Associated Professor of Law at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) where she focuses on water law (especially groundwater law), natural resources law and environmental law. At the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, she is academically responsible for Environmental law and teaches at several Master’s programmes including the Water Management & Hydrological Science program. She is member of the Norwegian Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics and serves as the chair of the board of the Norwegian Environmental Law Association. She holds a PhD in Law from University of Oslo, Master of Law from University of Oslo and LL.M in EU Law and International Human Rights) from University of Durham. 

Kim Steve Gerlach Bergkvist – ISC member

Kim holds a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Science and Biomedicine from Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark. He is working as a chemical department manager at the Faroese Food- and Veterinary Agency where the chemical composition of the raw and the drinking water is being analyzed and monitored. The research at present is focused on drinking water where he participates in a Nordic research program involving eight countries and the main emphasis of this project is to improve the drinking water quality in small water supply systems and transparency to users. Several articles have been published based on the results of this project and guidelines and recommendations on how to secure safe drinking water in small water supplies in the Nordic countries are currently being generated for the public. He is also working on a research project investigating the occurrence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in sheep and cattle in the Faroe Islands and the potential risk for parasitic contamination of the drinking water reservoirs.

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