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Received prestigious award

Received prestigious award

Published 19 January 2018

Senior Researcher Rachel Tiller received the prestigious Fulbright Arctic Chair Award for 2018-2019. She will be a Visiting Scholar at the Maritime Studies Program at Texas A&M University at Galveston outside Houston.

The picture is from the annual meeting of the REGIMES project in August 2017, where Elizabeth Nyman (left), Rachel Tiller`s son Theodore Tiller (13), Rachel Tiller and the project manager for the REGIMES project Dorothy Dankel from the University of Bergen were present.
The picture is from the annual meeting of the REGIMES project in August 2017, where Elizabeth Nyman (left), Rachel Tiller`s son Theodore Tiller (13), Rachel Tiller and the project manager for the REGIMES project Dorothy Dankel from the University of Bergen were present.

The SINTEF researcher will move to Texas in August and stay until June of 2019. She will work closely with the renowned Political Science Professor Elizabeth Nyman. The title of her project is: "Evaluating the BBNJ treaty as a global political solution to plastic pollution in areas beyond national jurisdiction, with a special focus on the Arctic Ocean".

Research on political questions on the Arctic

During her stay, she will research political questions around the topic of the Arctic in light of climate change and a new treaty under negotiation for the next two years, the BBNJ treaty (Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction).

-I will analyse the treaty negotiations in light of the current lack of international management of marine plastics, to explore to what extent this topic may have an effect on the negotiations in any ways, says Tiller, who is very pleased with being a recipient of this award.

-This award is very important to me. It gives me the opportunity to be in the US and work with the relevant competence at Texas A&M, and participate in the negotiations while working with some of the most renowned political scientists in the world. The Fulbright Scholarship is highly acknowledge in the US, and I am very proud of having been evaluated so highly by the committee, says the Senior Researcher.

Will collaborate with recognized American Professor

Tiller will work closely with Professor Elizabeth Nyman, who leads the Center for Maritime Studies at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Professor Nyman is an expert in international maritime conflicts and is especially interested in marine resources like fish, oil and gas, and how these influence State wishes to control the ocean space. She is highly respected in her field, with a high number of publications. She is in addition an expert on the BBNJ process at the UN.

-Since the negotiations for the BBNJ treaty will happen at the UN Headquarters in New York, the US is the right place for me to be in 2018-2019 when the negotiations commence, Tiller says.

These negotiations for the BBNJ treaty also have strong attachment to two other projects that Tiller works on, namely the REGIMES (www.regimes.no) and the GoJelly (https://www.facebook.com/GoJellyEU) projects, that bothare about marine resources under climate change and plastic stress.

Her second Fulbright scholarship

Tiller has long wanted to return to the US, where she was a visiting scholar on a Fulbright scholarship in 2011-2012 as well, then at the University of California Santa Barbara, though not as an Arctic Chair.

- What is the aim of the Fulbright Arctic Chair Award?

-The aims with the Arctic Chair award, which has been awarded since 2010, is to increase the research mobility between Norway and the US. The wish was to showcase the University in Svalbard as an international platform for polar research, and promote Arctic research and mobility. The award was originally intended only for the natural sciences, but has since 2016 also included the social sciences and humanies, with the recognition that all disciplines may have relevance for our knowledge about the High North.

You can find out more about Texas A&M University here.

Find out more about the Fulbright Arctic Chair Award here.

Senior Research Scientist