My story

My name is Nikolas Sellheim and I’m an independent consultant working on international conservation law issues, livelihoods and marine mammals. I used to be a researcher at the Helsinki Institute for Sustainability Science (HELSUS), where I worked on a post-doc project entitled “Livelihoods, cultures and local communities in international conservation law”, funded by the Finnish Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation.

I hold a doctorate in law (2016) from the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland, in which I focused on the European Union’s ban on trade in seal products and the way Newfoundland sealers have been represented in the drafting process.

The research included fieldwork in the sealing industry in Newfoundland. My dissertation Legislating the Blind Spot. The EU Seal Regime and the Newfoundland Seal Hunt is freely available here.

Apart from my research, I’m also co-Editor-in-Chief of Polar Record, the journal of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, UK, published by Cambridge University Press. I’m also a Fellow of the Polar Research and Policy Initiative as well as on the International Advisory Board of the Sixth International Symposium on Arctic Research (ISAR-6), organised by the Japan Consortium for Arctic Environmental Research.

From 2017-2018 I conducted my first postdoc Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) at Kobe University, Japan, where I conducted research on the Arctic legal order as well as on small-type coastal whaling, including fieldwork in the dolphin drive in Taiji. The stay was funded my the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

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