We are motivated by notions of equity and fairness, and believe that the way humans use the ocean, and the resources within, should be governed in ways that ensure both ecological resilience and social wellbeing

Within Canadian waters, our work focuses on fisheries and ecosystems in the North Atlantic, Nunavut, Nunatsiavut, and coastal British Columbia. Globally, we also research fisheries and seafood supply chains in the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, and the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. We work with both small-scale fisheries that land only a couple tonnes per year as well as the largest fisheries in the world.

Our Team

Megan Bailey

Professor – Lab Director

I grew up in London Ontario, completing my Bachelors in Zoology at Western University in 2003. I have always been interested in the natural world, and fancied myself destined to be a vet, primatologist or marine biologist.

With that mission in mind, I spent a year in Suriname working on a capuchin monkey field study in a remote location on the Coppename River. Armed with idealism and a pair of binoculars, I thought I’d save the rainforest. What struck me after only a couple of weeks in the field was the coupled nature of social and ecological systems. Saving the rainforests because of ideology can also mean destroying local livelihoods and cultures. To have the largest conservation impact, I realized that I needed to expand my studies to include social and economic systems.

In 2005 I attended the Fisheries Centre at UBC to pursue graduate school under the supervision of Dr. Rashid Sumaila in the Fisheries Economics Research Unit. I completed my Masters in 2007 and my Doctorate in 2012. My PhD focused on solutions to global tuna governance through the lens of game theory and economics.

In July of 2015, I wrapped up a three year Postdoc with the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands where I helped to lead the BESTTuna and IFITT projects (www.besttuna.orgwww.ifittuna.info). With my studies spanning zoology, fisheries economics and environmental policy, I have a unique perspective on the issues facing marine resource use, as well as a unique vision for how solutions to these issues can be developed.

I am always looking for opportunities to supervise students and collaborate with partners and colleagues. I can be reached at:

Megan Bailey, Associate Professor, Marine Affairs Program
Canada Research Chair Integrated Ocean and Coastal Governance
Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus PI
Dalhousie University, 1355 Oxford St, Life Sciences Centre 801
Halifax, NS, B3H 1R2 Canada

Phone: +1 (902) 494-6906
Email: Megan.Bailey@Dal.ca

Wilf Swartz

Associate Professor of the Marine Affairs Program and the Deputy Director of the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Program

The Nexus program is an international partnership of ocean research institutes that studies the changes, responses and solutions to societal issues of oceans.

A marine ecologist by original intention, a fisheries economist by final decision, Wilf examines the role of public policies in shaping economic security and livelihoods for coastal communities. His previous research interests include globalization and seafood trade, fisheries subsidies, and Corporate Social Responsibilities in the seafood sectors.

Born in Canada and raised in Japan, Wilf is enthusiastic about seafood, from smoked salmon to skipjack sashimi. 

Email: wilf.swartz@dal.ca

Hekia Bodwitch

Postdoc (United States)

Hekia Bodwitch is a human geographer and a postdoctoral fellow with Marine Affairs at Dalhousie University. Her studies examine how environmental governance can advance justice, with a particular focus on Indigenous fishery development. Her projects have included collaborations with Indigenous fishers, leaders, and scientists in New Zealand, with whom she examined how Maori can use Treaty protected rights to re-establish indigenous-run fisheries. She has also collaborated with interdisciplinary teams of natural and social scientists to identify how California can regulate cannabis production to minimize impacts to downstream, Indigenous owned and claimed fisheries. Currently, she is working with Inuit youth and leaders in the Canadian Arctic to explore how Indigenous-scientist knowledge co-production initiatives can support Inuit-led marine spatial planning. Her research has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed publications, and she has presented her findings to government officials and public audiences through reports, webinars, and radio shows.  

Email: Hekia.Bodwith@dal.ca

Hussain Sinan

Postdoc (Maldives)

Sinan is a post-doctoral fellow with the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Program. His research is focused on equitable governance in transboundary species, particularly tuna and tuna-like species in Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs). It includes identifying legal, economic, political and institutional barriers to equitable tuna governance, political powerplay in RFMOs, and solutions for better participation of developing coastal States in the RFMO decision-making process.

Sinan has represented the Maldives in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission prior to his research. Apart from IOTC, he has participated in various international forums such as FAO’s Committee on Fisheries and the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ).

Sinan chaired the Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC) and also chaired the 2021 performance review panel for the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT).

Email: Hussain.Sinan@dal.ca

Suchinta Arif (she/her)


Suchinta is a postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie University, where she is working with local scientists, stakeholders, and community members to co-create positive future scenarios of ocean use for Atlantic Canada, with the aim of providing climate-adaptive policy and management recommendations for this region. She has always remained passionate about marine conservation, and has tackled various projects in the past ranging from exploring the genetic limitations of the St. Lawrence beluga population to understanding the factors that shape coral reef ecosystem services worldwide. In addition to marine conservation research, Suchinta is also passionate about teaching, community outreach, and mentoring the next generation of scientists. 

Email: suchinta.arif@dal.ca

Kayla Hamelin

Doctoral Student (Canada)

Kayla is a PhD Candidate in Biology, broadly interested in public participation in science, and relationships between people and the natural world. She is an NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate scholar, Killam doctoral scholar, and fellow with the Ocean Frontier Institute (Module D – Valued Fisheries). 

Originally from the shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario, Kayla holds a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Marine Biology and Oceanography from Dalhousie University and an MSc in Biology (Aquatic Ecology) from McGill University. She also brings 7+ years of work experience in science communication and NGO leadership to her work.

Kayla’s PhD research explores how unconventional data sources and coastal community engagement can inform scientific assessments, management protocols, and conservation actions for fish species of socioeconomic importance in Atlantic Canada. She is excited for the opportunity to merge her passion for the ocean and its weird and wonderful creatures, with her concern and care for fishing heritage and rural economic development.​

Email: kayla.hamelin@dal.ca

Rachael Cadman

PhD Candidate (Canada)

Rachael originally hails from Guelph Ontario, and is an Interdisciplinary PhD Candidate, working on fisheries governance in Nunatsiavut, a land claim area in Inuit Nunangat. Her dissertation examines how questions of Inuit sovereignty, rights and knowledge are bound up with natural resource governance. This is centered around a visioning project she has been facilitating on behalf of partner organizations in the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board, the Nunatsiavut Government, and the Torngat Fish Producers Cooperative, imagining desirable, Inuit-led futures for fisheries. Beyond her dissertation, Rachael has been involved for several years with the Imappivut Knowledge Study, a participatory mapping project run by the Nunatsiavut Government to identify how Labrador Inuit use and value the marine environment to inform policy and governance of the coastal and marine space.  

Email: R.Cadman@dal.ca

Dylan Seidler

Doctoral Student (Canada)

Dylan Seidler has long had a passion for marine conservation. As a history-environmental studies major at Whitman College, much of Dylan’s honors thesis, Cultural Staples in Crisis: A Historical Analysis of Southern Resident Orcas and Chinook Salmon, emphasized the value of examining Indigenous history and cultural attitudes alongside colonial perspectives to develop successful collaborative partnerships to aid in the recovery of endangered southern resident orcas and Chinook salmon. While a Master of Marine Management candidate at Dalhousie University she worked as an intern for the Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures Project. This project is a collaborative initiative focused on addressing the impacts of climate change on local communities by partnering with community members to share knowledge about effective ways to monitor, and manage, Arctic marine ecosystems. Dylan’s masters project, Marine Based Research in a Changing Climate: Lessons and Methods for Community Engagement in Nunatsiavut focused on gathering perspectives on community engagement process to explore how research conducted in the region can best support Inuit community goals.

As a PhD student in the Dalhousie’s Biology department, Dylan is continuing her work with the Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures Project. Her current research focuses on partnering with the Torngat Wildlife, Plants and Fish Secretariat and Torngat Fish Producers Co-Operative to combine different types of data and information sources on Arctic char numbers in Nunatsiavut. In addition, Dylan will be working to develop a model based on sonar data to predict future abundance of Arctic char in the region. The goal is to develop a holistic picture of population trends to support Inuit management of the char fishery and food security. Broadly, Dylan’s research interests include endangered species survival protection, marine mammal and salmonid conservation, mitigating climate change/environmental impacts and relationships with Indigenous communities and small-scale fisheries.

Email: Dylan.Seidler@dal.ca

Kate Ortenzi

PhD Candidate (United States)

Kate is originally from Upstate New York, and after a stint in international climate policy has transitioned back to the classroom.  Kate’s now a PhD student in the Biology department where she is researching how Marine Protected Areas can be designed to protect relational values between people and the environment in the face of climate change.  To do this, Kate is building and analyzing the networks that connect benthic habitats to cultural keystone species, important places, and Labrador Inuit values.  The goal is to identify areas of resilience and risk to enhance Inuit seafood sovereignty in the future. The best part of this work is getting to spend lots of time in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, working with community members and the Nunatsiavut Research Centre, and getting out on the land.  Kate is extremely interested exploring allyship in science and is actively engaged in the Biology Department’s equity, diversity and inclusion efforts.  When not doing research, you will find Kate either eating, cooking, thinking about eating, or playing with her dog, Muchlee.  

Email: ortenzi@dal.ca

Abdirahim Ibrahim Sheike 

Abdirahim is interested in the sustainable utilization of fisheries and marine resources, particularly tuna and tuna-like species of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs). He is a Research Fellow with the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center and a member of  Bailey Lab. 

He has earned a BSc in Biology and Chemistry and an MBA at the Northern University of Malaysia. Abdirahim Ibrahim is a graduate MMM student at the Dalhousie University of Marine Affairs Program. 

His research interest is the inequitable burdens and incompetence of developing coastal states and the nature of RMFOs governance systems towards shared fisheries resources. He continued to study and develop an interest in the human dimensions of resource use, particularly engagement related to resource conflict, corruption, and justice. Abdirahim was a regular attendant of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and the Head of the delegation for Somalia. He won numerous scholarships and international travel grants to attend conferences. His Ph.D. aims to identify the links and interactions among RFMOs and state policy on resource governance and management for better regional fisheries management.

Email: abdirahim.ibrahim@dal.ca

Grace Akinrinola

Master’s Student (Nigeria)

Grace Akinrinola is a Master of Marine Management (MMM) candidate at Dalhousie University (2022-2023), a Student Fellow with the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center, and a member of the Bailey Lab. She is an awardee of the Sobey Fund for Oceans scholarship. She completed her M.Sc. in Marine Pollution and Management (Distinction) and B.Sc. (Hons.) in Marine Biology from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She is passionate about the well-being of the environment, particularly the marine environment. Grace is a lover of new places with over 7 years of experience in environmental impact assessment, implementation of ecosystem-based approach programs, and strategic marine-related research, in addition to her 6 months undergraduate internship with Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). Throughout her applied marine biology work, she continued to witness and develop an interest in the human dimensions of resource use, particularly aspects related to conflict and justice. Her research is on a Two-Eyed seeing evaluation of the DFO (Maritimes Region) Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) Framework applied to Treaty fisheries implementation (particularly lobster) to assess and understand gaps in what the EBM Framework offers and what the Sipekne’katik First Nation community may need. The Sipekne’katik Governance Initiative (SGI) will provide the Mi’kmaw lens against which DFO’s EBM Framework will be co-examined.

Email: Grace.Akinrinola@dal.ca

Abigael Kim

Master’s Student (Canada)

Abigael is a marine socioecological researcher from Ontario, Canada interested in socially sustainable resource management strategies that enhance social equity in underserviced coastal communities. With a B.Sc. from the University of Guelph, Abigael is a recipient of the Canadian Association of Geographers Award and most recently, the Sobey Fund for Oceans Scholarship.

Originally from Southern Ontario, Canada, Abigael’s passion for marine issues comes from her time exploring the landscapes and culture of coastal Ireland in 2019. Formally trained as a fluvial geomorphologist, this experience was the impetus for her shift in focus to pursue research that explores the connection between people and oceans. With experience in both NGO and government spaces, her research is focused on the development of marine conservation strategies that encourage climate change resiliency, equitable benefits and burdens, and capacity building in underserviced coastal communities.

As a Master of Marine Management candidate at Dalhousie University and an Ocean Nexus Student Fellow, Abigael is currently investigating the social outcomes of marine ecotourism and blue economic development in Bocas del Toro, Panama, focusing on impacts to drinking water access. With the support of the Nippon Foundation, Bailey Lab, and Sobey Fund for Ocean, Abigael looks forward to translating her passions into tangible research outcomes that help keep oceans healthy and communities prosperous.

Email: Abigael.Kim@dal.ca

Aimée Hopton

Master’s Student (Canada)

As a candidate in the Marine Management program at Dalhousie University, Aimee hopes to conduct research that utilizes interdisciplinary thinking in the context of Indigenous fisheries. This way of thinking was brought on during Aimee’s undergraduate career, at Queens University where she considered and further analyzed the connection between the natural world and humans through a geographic lens. Aimee’s knowledge of planning and policymaking is something she intends to apply when evaluating how social, ecological, and economic dimensions play a role in sustainable fisheries management. As she continues her research, Aimee is interested in conceptualizing how management regimes that lack equitable and dynamic governance techniques impact Indigenous fisheries on both national and international scales.

Email: aimee.hopton@dal.ca

Katrina Côté-King

Master’s Student (Canada)

Katrina is a Master of Marine Management candidate at Dalhousie University. She moved to the Maritimes in 2018 to pursue her undergraduate studies at the University of Prince Edward Island, where graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Major in Biology. During her studies in PEI, she worked in small animal veterinary clinics and the coastal ecology department at the University, where she discovered a passion for marine biology. 

Katrina is interested in sustainable and small-scale fisheries, conservation of marine ecosystems, and implementation of interdisciplinary management approaches to improve the biodiversity and socio-economic sectors within the ocean environment. 

As a member of the Bailey Lab and a Student Fellow with the Ocean Nexus program, Katrina is focusing on international sustainable fisheries and eco-certifications. Her current research is evaluating the impacts of the Marine Stewardship Council on small island developing states in the Indian Ocean. She is very excited to merge her passion for ocean conservation with the socio-economic development of under-represented coastal communities. 

Email: katrina.coteking@dal.ca

The Marine Affairs Program

The Marine Affairs Program (MAP) at Dalhousie University provides an inquiring and stimulating interdisciplinary learning environment to advance the sustainable use of the world’s diverse coastal and ocean environments.

Contact the Lab

FACULTY OF SCIENCE | Marine Affairs Program

Life Sciences Centre, Room 807 | 1355 Oxford Street | PO Box 15000 | Halifax NS B3H 4R2 Canada

902.494.3555 | Fax: 902.494.1123 | marine.affairs@dal.ca | dal.ca/marineaffairsprogram