We ask you to read the below biographies and use these to guide your vote casting for the next OPI governing board (steering group). You have 8 votes. To ensure vibrant participation of ECR members in OPI governance and a balance of experience, a minimum of three Board seats will be reserved for ECR members, with a minimum of three seats reserved for non-ECR members.
Cristina Brito – Marine Environmental History
Assistant Professor at the History Department of NOVA FCSH, Head of CHAM - Center for the Humanities at NOVA FCSH, Portugal
I hold a PhD in History, a Masters in Ethology and a Bachelor degree in Marine Biology. I have an interdisciplinary, comparative and cross-cultural approach to my research with scientific interests that include early modern local and global perceptions about and uses of the seas, Atlantic and oceanic histories, humans and nonhumans interactions, the Anthropocene. I have been a member of the Board of OPI – Oceans Past Initiative and of the UNESCO Chair on Oceans' Cultural Heritage and the H2020 RISE project CONCHA, and currently am the PI in European projects (EEA Grants Bilateral Funds) and co-PI in the ERC Synergy Grant 4-OCEANS (2021-2027).
Ryan Tucker Jones – Environmental History
Professor of History, University of Oregon, USA
I am the author of Empire of Extinction: Russians and the North Pacific’s Strange Beasts of the Sea, 1742 – 1867 (Oxford UP, 2014) and Red Leviathan: The Secret History of Soviet Whaling (Chicago UP, 2022). I am also co-editor of the Journal of Pacific History. I am standing for membership on the OPI governing board because I would like to use my broad experience across the Pacific to grow the scope of Oceans Past, bringing in more scholars from both the sciences and the humanities, especially Indigenous scholars in the Pacific and early career researchers.
Alison MacDiarmid – Marine Ecology and Historical Marine Ecology
National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Wellington, New Zealand
My key areas of research have been on the impacts of exploitation on spiny lobster population ecology and mating systems, marine ecological impact assessment and historical marine ecology in Aotearoa New Zealand where the last 1000 years span from pre-human to industrial levels of marine exploitation and impact. My interest in serving on the Board is to bring a Southern Hemisphere and Oceania perspective to OPI which continues to have primarily a European and North American makeup. I will push for broadening OPI membership and conference participation to under-represented regions so we gain a truly global perspective on oceans past.
Poul Holm – Environmental History
Professor of Environmental History, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
In the past twenty years I have led major research projects (HMAP, NorFish, and currently 4-OCEANS) that have established marine environmental history as a new and fruitful field of collaboration between the humanities and the natural sciences. I have served as chair of OPI and am keen to offer my support as the next generation takes over.
Georgina Hunt–Fisheries Science and Marine Historical Ecology
Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen, UK
I am a conscientious ECR who is passionate about evoking positive change in the marine environment through an inter-disciplinary lense. I wish to support the OPI board by engaging others, from ECRs to the wider public from different disciplines, to harness the collaborative nature of OPI. Specifically, I would like to act as a representative of the ECR community by finding ways to reinforce and expand the value of using environmental history for benchmarks of ecosystem recovery. I hope to achieve this by forging meaningful networks, and by sharing knowledge to bring together multiple facets of OPI for the long-term viability of marine resources.
Hope Loiselle – Archaeology, Historical Marine Ecology
PhD Candidate, University of Washington and Predoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, USA
I am a PhD candidate at the University of Washington where my research focuses on historical marine ecology and archaeology of the North Pacific. I use zooarchaeological, genetic, and isotopic methods to study impacts of human hunting and climate change on marine mammal populations (sea lions, dolphins, & porpoises). If elected to the board I hope to find ways to expand ECR participation, collaboration, and to help establish professional development opportunities for ECRs. I would also continue to expand the geographical, methodological, and species representation on the board and contribute to the interdisciplinary nature of the organization.
Ben Fitzhugh – Archaeology
Professor in Archaeology, University of Washington, Founder and co-chair, Paleoecology of Subarctic and Arctic Seas working group since 2014
My research focuses on the archaeology and historical ecology of high-latitude coastal/maritime environments (especially North Pacific Rim). I seek to understand the dynamics of human and marine interactions over century and longer time scales in the past. I am passionate about combining social and natural scientists to understand these processes. I have enjoyed serving as a member of the OPI Board since 2018 and co-organized the OPI conferences in 2020 (online) and 2022 (hybrid in Seattle). In that time, OPI’s energy and global reach has expanded in exciting ways. I would be honored to continue serving if elected.
André C. Colonese – Archaeology
Director of Research, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain, PI of the ERC-Consolidator project TRADITION
I am an environmental-biomolecular archaeologist with a PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology (Un. Siena, Italy), and nearly 20 years of experience researching past human-ocean interactions (3 postdocs, including a MSC fellowship, and a permanent Lecturer position at the Un. of York). In 2019 I took up my current position of Director of Research at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain) leading an ERC-COG (TRADITION) on the historical development of coastal fisheries in Brazil. As a member of the governing board, I would expand OPI’s research network to the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean, while benefiting from its research leadership in Marine Historical Ecology.
Carolina Chong-Montenegro – Historical Fisheries Ecology
PhD Candidate, University of Queensland and University of Exeter, Australia.
I am a marine ecologist from Ecuador. I graduated with a bachelor’s in marine science at ESPOL (Ecuador) in 2014, and completed an MSc in tropical ecology at the University of Bremen, Germany in 2017. My current research focuses on the use of archival sources and statistical modelling to reconstruct ecological trends of commercially and recreationally important fish species and evaluate the long-term effects of fishing activities in Queensland, Australia. As part of the OPI governing board I would support further collaborations across disciplines and time periods, and help build stronger working partnerships among OPI members globally.
Ilse Alejandra Martínez Candelas – Social Sciences
Ph.D. student. School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada
I am a Mexican scientist that went from monitoring the Mesoamerican reef to spending hours listening to fishers’ stories. I started studying sharks and how their vulnerability changed over time and now, nothing is more rewarding than interviewing fishers and learning about the history of different fisheries. I want to join the OPI governing board because I believe the Global South has a rich marine history that deserves to be shared, from ancient cultures with a deep connection to the ocean to more recent times where there have been profound socioecological transformations.
Patrick Hayes – Marine Environmental History
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Victoria, Canada
Since attending my first OPI event in 2016, this network has been a constant source of inspiration, learning, constructive feedback, friendship, and collaboration that has greatly benefited me and my work. The OPI supported me during my PhD at Trinity College Dublin (2016-2020), and as I have just started a postdoc position in Canada, I am more eager than ever to stay connected with OPI members across the globe. Ultimately, I hope to serve on the OPI board so I can give back to this organization that has been so valuable to my career and positively contribute to its future.
Youri van den Hurk – Zooarchaeology and Historical Ecology
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
My main area of research is marine mammals in zooarchaeology. I am especially interested in the socio-economic role marine mammals played in the past, shifting trends in hunting activities, and how zooarchaeological data can be used to aid modern conservation efforts. The interaction between scholars from various disciplines performing research on how diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life have changed is something I am very passionate about. I would like to promote the network in the zooarchaeological community and enhance collaborations between the two. Moreover, I am an early career researcher and I would like to strengthen the position of ECRs.
Ruth Thurstan – Marine Historical Ecology
Senior Lecturer in Marine Social-Ecological Systems, University of Exeter,
My research aims to understand the scale and drivers of past marine ecosystem changes, and the outcomes for ecosystem functioning and human communities in the past and the present. A member of the OPI board since 2015, I am passionate about continuing to facilitate the growth of this global, interdisciplinary network and to communicate the importance of past perspectives for the sustainable management of our oceans. I co-convened the 2020 and 2022 Oceans Past conferences and am excited to further strengthen the OPI network while providing a welcoming space for researchers across disciplines and of all stages to thrive.
Gesche Krause – Social Scientist
Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven, and Senior research fellow at the Institute for Advance Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam, Germany.
My research captures and links natural science findings to societal processes, focussing on sustainability issues of marine food production over time. I chair the ICES working group on social and economic dimensions of aquaculture (WGSEDA), the WG Food from the Ocean (EU4Oceans Ocean Literacy Initiative), and a working group in the EU-COST Action Oceans Past Platform on the historic dimension of marine resource use and aquaculture. A board member of the Oceans Past Initiative since 2016, my motivation is to ensure mutual learning across disciplines, and endorsement of different perspectives of past oceans to foster understanding of the roots and consequences of human-ocean interactions.