The Research Team

The Research Team is comprised of collaborators and partners from the 12 islands, under the leadership of Principal Investigator Dr. James “Jim” Randall. The Research Team is supported by a student research team comprised of graduate students from the partner islands.

Godfrey Baldacchino
Professor, Faculty of Arts
University of Malta, Malta

Godfrey Baldacchino PhD (Warwick), BA (Gen.) (Malta), PGCE (Malta), MA (The Hague) is Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Labour Studies, both at the University of Malta, Malta.

He is also an Island Studies Teaching Fellow at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), Canada; and outgoing Canada Research Chair in Island Studies (2003-2013) at the same university. He is founding Executive Editor of Island Studies Journal (ISSN: 1715-2593), now indexed in Web of Science, and incoming Executive Editor of Small States & Territories (a new, on-line, open access journal). He served as Visiting Professor of Island Tourism at the Universita’ di Corsica Pascal Paoli, France (2012-2015). He was Member and Chair of the Malta Board of Cooperatives (1994-2003) and core member of the Malta-European Union Steering & Action Committee (MEUSAC). In 2008-2010, he was Vice-President of the Prince Edward Island Association for Newcomers to Canada. In 2014, he was elected President of the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA). In June 2015, he was elected Chair of the Scientific Board of RETI, the global excellence network of island universities.

Since October 2016, he is serving as Pro Rector (International Development and Quality Assurance) at the University of Malta, assisting the Rectorate of Prof. Alfred J. Vella. His areas of research interest include: island studies, small state studies, political geography, sociology of work, international relations, island tourism, entrepreneurship, brain rotation, immigration, labour relations, human resource management, adult education, worker empowerment and the development of cooperatives.

Prof. Baldacchino has (co-)authored 22 books, reports and monographs; (co-) edited or guest edited another 27 and has authored, since 1993, over 130 peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters.


Laurie Brinklow
Co-ordinator and Sessional Lecturer
Island Studies
University of Prince Edward Island, Canada

Currently Co-ordinator of the Institute of Island Studies | UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability at University of Prince Edward Island, Dr. Laurie Brinklow is a writer, editor, and former book publisher, founding Acorn Press in 1993. A 2007 graduate of UPEI’s Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program, she has a PhD in Geography and Environmental Studies from University of Tasmania. A long-time “islophile,” Laurie was Publishing Co-ordinator with the Institute of Island Studies from 1990 to 2004 and helped co-ordinate the North Atlantic Islands Programme (1994-98), during which time she developed a passion for all things “island.”

She teaches in the MAIS program at UPEI and is particularly interested in the power of place and story, and their impact on identity. She has published in several academic journals and books, and is the author of a book of poetry, Here for the Music (Acorn, 2012). She was recently appointed the Government of Iceland’s Honorary Consul for Prince Edward Island and is a member of the Vinland Society of Prince Edward Island. She also sits on the boards of the International Small Island Studies Association (ISISA) and the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF).


Bojan Fürst
Knowledge Mobilization Manager,
The Leslie Harris Centre for Regional Policy and Development
Memorial University, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Bojan Fürst is the Knowledge Mobilization Manager at  the Leslie Harris Centre for Regional Policy and Development. Here he is responsible for brokering community-university relationships, overseeing outreach activities (such as regional workshops), managing a suite of applied research funds, building and participating in provincial, regional, national and international knowledge mobilization networks, and building knowledge mobilization capacity at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

His specialties include rural development, small islands, community development, knowledge mobilization, photography, analog photography, darkroom printing, writing, facilitation, and knowledge brokering.


Hamid Ghany
Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences
University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago

Dr. Hamid Ghany is Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Development (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad. Prior to that, Dr. Ghany was a Senior Lecturer in Political Science in the Department of Political Science as well as a former Head of the Department of Behavioural Sciences (1999-2003) and a former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at The UWI, St. Augustine (2003-2012).He is also a Senior Lecturer in Government whose areas of teaching, research and publication lie in the fields of Parliamentary Studies and Constitutional Affairs.

He is the Coordinator of the Constitutional Affairs and Parliamentary Studies Unit (CAPSU) at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. Dr. Ghany is a well-known commentator and analyst of political and contemporary issues in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.

He previously served as a member of the Constitution Review Commission (1988-90) under the chairmanship of the late Sir Isaac Hyatali, T.C.; the Tobago House of Assembly Technical Team for discussions with the Central Government (1992-1995) under the chairmanship of Mr. Karl Hudson-Phillips, Q.C.; the Prime Minister’s Roundtable on Constitution Reform (2008-10) under the chairmanship of former Prime Minister Mr. Patrick Manning, M.P.


Robert Greenwood
Executive Director, Public Engagement and
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development
Memorial University, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Dr. Rob Greenwood is Executive Director, Public Engagement for Memorial University and of The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development. He has operated his own consulting business and has served as a Director and Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy in Economic Development departments in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Saskatchewan. He was Vice President, Corporate Development, Information Services Corporation of Saskatchewan, and was founding Director of the Sustainable Communities Initiative, a partnership of the University of Regina, the City of Regina, and the National Research Council of Canada.

Rob holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Business Studies from the University of Warwick, England, which he attended as a Commonwealth Scholar and an Institute of Social and Economic Research Doctoral Fellow. He was Newfoundland’s representative on the International Advisory Board of the North Atlantic Islands Program and co-edited Competing Strategies of Socio-Economic Development for Small Islands, published in 1998. He was also co-editor of Remote Control: Lessons in Governance for and from Small, Insular and Remote Regions, published in 2009.


Pia Hansson
Director of the Institute of International Affairs
and Center for Small States Studies
University of Iceland

Pia Hansson is the Director of the Institute of International Affairs and its two centres, the Centre for Small States Studies and the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies. Pia holds a B.A. degree in Communication from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. degree in International Relations from the University of Iceland. She also pursued an M.F.A. programme in Television Production at the City University of New York. For years Pia worked as a Broadcasting producer and director, both in Iceland and abroad, until she became the media specialist at the Embassy of the United States in Iceland from 2002-2006. In the winter of 2007-8 Pia served as the Head Spokesperson for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), a Nordic ceasefire monitoring mission in Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.


Tómas Joensen
Project Manager
Centre for Small Island State Studies
University of Iceland

Tómas Joensen is a Project Manager at the Centre for Small State Studies. He has a B.A. degree in Icelandic literature and language from the University of Iceland and an M.A. degree in European Studies from the University of Iceland. Tómas has worked as a researcher at the University of Iceland since 2012. For the past years Tomas has been involved in different projects concerning editing and publication. His projects include participation in a report on Iceland’s accession negotiations with the European Union. The report was commissioned by the Icelandic Confederation of Labor, the Confederation of Icelandic Employers, the Icelandic Federation of Trade, and the Iceland Chamber of Commerce. He is also co-editor of a forthcoming textbook on the European Union.


Romina King
Assistant Professor
Geography Pacific Islands Climate Science Coordinator
Center for Island Sustainability
College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, University of Guam

Dr. Romina King is the Climate Coordinator for the Center for Island Sustainability at the University of Guam. She completed her PhD at the University College Cork in Ireland on vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in Guam. Her study integrated climate change impacts to Guam with rural community perceptions and knowledge of those impacts.



Thanasis Kizos
Department of Geography
University of Aegean, Greece

Dr. Thanasis Kizos currently works at the Department of Geography, University of the Aegean. Thanasis does research in Geography, Food Science and Environmental Science. One of his recent projects is ‘Sustainable Futures for Europe’s Heritage in Cultural landscapes: Tools for Understanding, Managing, and Protecting Landscape Functions and Values (HERCULES).



Stefano Moncada
Institute for European Studies
University of Malta, Malta

Dr. Stefano Moncada has been working since November 2008 with the University of Malta, where he lectures and conducts research in the areas of development economics, climate change, island studies, sustainable development, and European studies. He completed a Master of Arts in European Studies at the University of Malta in 2005. He obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Malta in 2016 focusing on the links between development and climate change adaptation, especially on the impacts of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) on health and adaptive capacity in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). As part of his research he developed a new impact evaluation assessment that makes use of participatory qualitative research and quantitative (quasi-experimental) techniques. His recent research activities include health and economic assessments, in the face of climate change, of urban communities in Africa and in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), with a focus on the Pacific Region.

Stefano is also member of the board of the Islands and Small States Institute of the University of Malta, and part of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Development and Training Institutes (EADI). He is active in numerous outreach and knowledge-transfer initiatives, including training courses and consultation sessions for public, private, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).


Patrick Nunn
Professor of Geography and Associate Director
Sustainability Research Centre
University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

Dr. Patrick gained a PhD on Quaternary landscape evolution at University College London. He was later appointed to a Lectureship in Geography at the University of the South Pacific, an international university serving 12 Pacific Island nations, based at its main teaching campus in Suva, Fiji. Thinking he would complete his three-year contract there before returning to the UK, Patrick in fact spent 25 years there, being appointed to a Personal Chair (Professor of Oceanic Geoscience) in 1997 and then in 2009 becoming Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and International). Patrick left the University of the South Pacific in 2010 to become Head of the School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences at the University of New England, a position he held until joining the University of the Sunshine Coast as Professor of Geography in March 2014.

Patrick’s main research interests for the past 30 years have focused on the Pacific Basin and, as befits a true geographer, have been in a number of distinct areas. His early work on the Quaternary geology and tectonics of many islands and island groups in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu still represents the latest word on many of these issues today. In response to an invitation from the Fiji Museum, he began a collaboration that lasted more than a decade and involved Patrick directing a number of excavations in Fiji, notably the seven-year programme along the Rove Peninsula in southwest Viti Levu Island that involved the discovery of what is still likely to be Fiji’s first settlement at Bourewa.

Climate change has also been a long-term research interest of Patrick’s, focused initially on the Pacific Islands region but now more generally situated in poorer countries (the ‘developing’ world) and the Asia–Pacific region. His world-class research in this area has been extended with the announcement that he will be Lead Author on the ‘Small Islands’ chapter of the next (6th) Assessment Report of the IPCC, scheduled for completion in 2022. He also gave Keynote Addresses at the Adaptation Futures 2018 conference in Cape Town in June 2018 and at the Climate Change and Islands Symposium, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, in Hanover the following month.


Gerard Prinsen 
Senior Lecturer
School of People, Environment and Planning
Massey University, New Zealand

In addition to Dr. Gerard Prinsen’s teaching and research at Massey University, he has also been teaching at Victoria University Wellington since 2007, in the two papers Development Practice and Development Policy. Between 2011 and 2015, he worked in a research project supported by New Zealand’s Marsden Fund and France’s Fonds Pacifique into the impact of aid on sovereignty of Pacific islands. The team is led from Victoria University (VUW), and includes the University of the South Pacific (USP), and the Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie(UNC). Currently, they are shifting their focus on to the rivalry between islands and how this affects the islands’ sovereignty and political integrity.

For the 2011-2015 period, Gerard worked as an adviser to the Dutch Consortium for Rehabilitation (DCR), operating in six post-conflict states in Africa. They are currently working to develop a programme to enhance collaboration between international NGOs and Africa’s national universities.

For the 2014-2017 period he was a member of an international research network centered around Tanzania, investigating the food safety risks of meat for urban consumers as well as the economic opportunities for livestock owners.


Jim Randall
Institute of Island Studies
University of Prince Edward Island, Canada

Dr. Jim Randall is the Principal Investigator for this SSHRC-funded research Project. Currently Professor of Island Studies at UPEI, Jim is the Chair of the Executive of the Institute of Island Studies, and serves as Co-ordinator of the Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program and the undergraduate Island Studies minor.

He is the also the co-holder (with Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino at University of Malta) of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. His background training is as an economic and social geographer. He has been the Principal Investigator, Co-investigator, or Collaborator on peer-reviewed grant and contract applications totalling almost $5 million (CAD) and has written more than 35 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the area of quality-of-life indicators, economic and urban geography, and community-university research collaboration. Since joining the Island Studies program at UPEI, he has written on quality-of-life issues in small island jurisdictions and biotechnology-based entrepreneurship on Prince Edward Island. He is currently writing an introductory undergraduate Island Studies eTextbook to accompany an online version of the 2nd-year Introduction to Island Studies course at UPEI.


Suzana Russell
Senior Lecturer

Decision Sciences and Information Systems Unit, Mona School of Business and Management  
University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica

Dr Suzana Russell is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Mona School of Business and Management, University of the West Indies, Mona. She started this position in January 2018. She completed her PhD in 2006 at the University of Cambridge, UK, focusing on using scenario planning and life cycle analysis to evaluate sustainable manufacturing practices. Her research focuses on industrial sustainability, corporate environmental management strategies and performance, eco-industrial development (industrial symbiosis) and sustainability of small island states.


Ioannis Spilanis
Associate Professor
Social and Humanistic Environmental Sciences Sector
University of the Aegean

Dr. Ioannis Spilanis is economist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Environment at the University of the Aegean. His research interests are in sustainable development issues focused on islands’ development and tourism planning. As member of the Laboratory of Local and Insular Development he has participated in many articles, research projects and studies on these topics. Ioannis has also been involved in in politics. In 2012-2013, he was General Secretary of Aegean and Island Policy at the Ministry of Marine and Aegean. Currently, he is member of the council of the North Aegean Region.


François Taglioni
University of La Réunion

After having worked extensively on the social, political and economic specificities of the small island developing states and territories in the Indian Ocean, Caribbean and Pacific islands, Dr. François Taglioni is now working on the interactions between environment and health. The study of health, from a social and human sciences point of view, is a real spatial, economic, political and social observatory of societies and territories.



Verena Tandrayen-Ragoobur
Associate Professor
Department of Economics and Statistics
University of Mauritius

Dr. Verena Tandrayen-Ragoobur is Associate Professor in Economics in the Department of Economics and Statistics at the University of Mauritius.  Her research areas are international trade, labour markets, gender and development.  She has published in the Review of Development Economics, Journal of African Business, Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Issues, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal and Journal of Economic Research, among others.  She has been involved in a number of research projects and consultancies funded by international and regional institutions like UNDP, CEEPA, AERC, BIDPA, TIPS, UNCTAD, ILO and World Bank among others.


John Telesford
Lecturer and Associate Dean
A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC), Grenada

Dr. John Telesford is an experienced consultant in Sustainability, Environment and Energy, with special focus on policy and planning and the transition to sustainable energy especially in an island context.  The role of businesses, especially small and medium enterprises in islands and the interface with these businesses and the sustainable development goals for 2015 and beyond is a critical focus of his research and practice.

He also has experience with the competency based education and training approach, with a key focus on sustainability living and literacy and environmental sustainability practices, at community, national and regional levels. He is a Research Associate of the Institute of Island Studies.

His specialties include Energy Auditing; Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Indoor Environmental Quality, and Sustainability Strategies for Businesses.


Baldur Thorhallsson
Faculty Head and Professor
Faculty of Political Science
University of Iceland

Dr. Baldur Thorhallsson is Faculty Head and Professor on the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Iceland. He is also the Jean Monnet Chair in European Studies and Programme and Research Director at the Centre for Small States at the University. His research focuses primarily on small state studies, European integration and Iceland’s foreign policy. He has published extensively in international journals. He has contributed to several academic books and written two books on small states in Europe, Iceland and European integration – On the Edge and The Role of Small States in the European Union. He holds a PhD (1999) and MA (1994) in Political Science from the University of Essex in England. In 2002, Baldur established the Centre for Small State Studies at the University of Iceland in association with colleagues from around the globe and re-established the Icelandic Institute of International Affairs. He was Chair of their Board until 2011. Baldur has taught on small states at several universities and was the ‘Class of 1955’ Visiting Professor of International Studies at Williams College (MA, USA) in 2013 and Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the Queen Mary University of London in 2017. Baldur is currently working on a number of research projects related to Iceland’s external affairs, small states in European integration, and theories on small states, as well as teaching two courses on small states in Europe.


Patrick Watson
Former Director
Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social & Economic Studies, Trinidad and Tobago

Formerly Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social & Economic Studies, Prof. Watson was also Coordinator of Economic Measurement Unit, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies and former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences (1995-2003).

He obtained his BSc in Commerce from the University of Leeds in 1973 and his L-es-Econ, M-es-Econ, and PhD in Mathematical Economics and Econometrics, Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris in 1980. His areas of expertise include Econometric Modelling of Caribbean phenomena (in particular monetary and fiscal policy), Economic Measurement, Statistical Analysis and Climate Change Related Issues.Prof. Watson’s publications include books and articles in the area of Theoretical and Applied Econometrics and Caribbean Economy. He is also involved in the supervision of PhD and Master’s theses and projects, and teaching of quantitative economic courses at the Graduate level.

His current Research includes Social Accounting Matrices (and extensions) for the Caribbean, with applications to poverty, human capital formation and income distribution; Computable General Equilibrium and System Dynamics modeling of the Caribbean Economy, with applications to trade, poverty, income distribution and the environment; Finance (including micro finance) and Financial markets in the Caribbean.