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      David VanderZwaag

      David VanderZwaag holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Ocean Law and Governance at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. He teaches in the areas of international environmental law and law of the sea and is the past Co-director of Dalhousie's interdisciplinary Marine Affairs Program (1986-1991) and the past Director of the Marine & Environmental Law Institute.

      Dr. VanderZwaag is currently a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) and Co-chair of the WCEL’s Specialist Group on Oceans, Coasts & Coral Reefs. He is an elected member of the International Council of Environmental Law.

      Dr. VanderZwaag has authored over 150 papers in the marine and environmental law field. He has written widely on polar law and policy issues including: co-leading the writing of the Governance of the Arctic Shipping chapter of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (Arctic Council 2009) and co-editing The Challenge of Arctic Shipping: Science, Environmental Assessment and Human Values (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1990) and Transit Management of the Northwest Passage: Problems and Prospects (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988, reprinted 2008). His most recent book publications include: Polar Oceans Governance in an Era of Environmental Change (edited with Tim Stephens) (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar 2014); and Recasting Transboundary Fisheries Management Arrangements in Light of Sustainability Principles: Canadian and International Perspectives (edited with D.A. Russell) (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff 2010).

      Professor VanderZwaag’s educational background includes: PhD (1994, University of Wales, Cardiff), LL.M. (1982, Dalhousie Law School), J.D. (1980, University of Arkansas Law School), M.Div. (1974, Princeton Theological Seminary), and B.A. (1971, Calvin College).

      Research Topics

      • Environmental law

      • International environmental law

      • Marine law

      • Public law

      • Boundary resource management

      • Law of the sea


      • BA (Calvin)

      • MDiv (Princeton)

      • JD (Arkansas)

      • LLM (Dalhousie)

      • PhD (Wales, Cardiff)

      Bar admissions

      • Nova Scotia


      • International Environmental Law(LAWS 2051)

      • Visiting Professor, International Ocean law and Governance, University of Auckland (2012, 2006), Hue University (2009)

      • Visiting Professor, International Environmental law, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (2001, 2000, 1999), University of Sydney (1997) and Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Law (1993)

      Areas of supervision

      Ocean Acidification: Future Directions in International Law and Policy (Masters Scholarship may be available), Protection of the Marine Environment, International Fisheries Law, Arctic Ocean Development and Governance

      Research interests

      Professor VanderZwaag’s research covers a wide range of topics in the field of international ocean law and governance.  Research interests include: aquaculture regulation; fisheries management; marine species at risk, maritime boundary delimitation; transboundary cooperation; Arctic law of the sea; Canada-US ocean relations and principled oceans governance.