Skip to main content

Project Advisory Board

Dr. Natalie Ban

Dr. Natalie Ban, a Professor at the University of Victoria’s School of Environmental Studies in Canada, is a marine conservation scientist who mixes social and natural sciences to understand conservation issues, priorities and actions for coastal species, places, and communities. Co-creating projects with and guided by research partners, she weaves multiple perspectives with conservation science to help devise effective strategies that balance the needs of human communities with the sustainability of marine populations. Having obtained her PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies from the University of British Columbia, and a Master’s degree in Geography from McGill University, Natalie’s research focuses on marine conservation, fisheries, marine protected areas, and marine spatial planning. She has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers, and has received multiple awards for her scholarship, including being inducted in the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars in 2022.

Sheila JJ Heymans

Sheila JJ Heymans is Executive Director of the European Marine Board – the leading European marine science policy think tank - and Professor in Ecosystem Modelling at the Scottish Association for Marine Science and the University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland. She has 30 years’ experience in research on the environmental impacts of ecosystem change and has published >90 peer-reviewed publications. Sheila is Co-Chair of the EOOS Steering Group and on the External Advisory Board for various projects including EuroFleetsPlus and the EU Blue Cloud. She is the editor of EMB Policy documents ( and her publications are here

Frank Maes

Frank Maes is professor of Public International Law in the Faculty of Law and Criminology at Ghent University and used to lecturer inter alia law of the sea, environmental legislation, protection of oceans and seas. He is director of the Maritime Institute ( and coordinator of the Msc in Maritime Science ( His research is now focussed on law of the sea topics, pollution from ships and marine spatial planning. Main publications are in the field of marine environmental law and policy (see

Patrycja Enet

Patrycja Enet specializes in integrated ocean management, ocean-climate nexus and ocean pollution. She draws on over 20 years of experience in maritime policy, planning and management. For the last 4 years, she has been the MSP focal point for the North Sea basin at the MSP Assistance Mechanism of the European Commission (European MSP Platform). She is also involved in the works for developing the national protection plans for Spain and Malta, enhancing resilience and an ecosystem-based approach (EU Technical Support Instrument).

Since 2019 P. Enet has been serving as a senior advisor in the United Nations at the UNFCCC Secretariat Adaptation Programme Oceans and at the Secretariat of the UN Environment Management Group, where she advances actions in the area of multilateral solutions to marine environmental issues. She is notably a member of international working groups for sustainable ocean management, including the UNFCCC NWP Expert Group on Oceans; the UN Task Team on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution; and the UN Global Compact’s Advisory Group on Ocean Stewardship for Sustainable Ocean Management. (

Jörn Schmidt

Jörn is working on social-ecological systems, marine and fisheries ecology, inter- and transdisciplinary concepts, knowledge co-production, and games for communication (, He has worked in the Baltic and North Sea as well as in Senegal, Cabo Verde, Haida Gwaii (Canada), Sitka (USA) and Peru. Jörn is now working with the ICES science network of over 6000 scientists to implement ICES strategic and science plan. He is Chair of the Science Committee of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Ocean and Society at Kiel University (CeOS) and adjunct professor at the Marine Affairs Programme at Dalhousie University.

Scroll to top