Aleke Stöfen O’Brien

Assistant Professor
WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, WMU

Dr. Aleke Stöfen-O’Brien, LLM is an Assistant Professor (Research/Ocean Sustainability, Governance & Management) at the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden. Her research interests include law of the sea, marine environmental protection and sustainable ocean governance. Her work focuses in particular on plastic pollution and equity questions in (ocean) governance. 

Prior to joining WMU, Dr. Stöfen-O’Brien served as Policy Officer in the Marine Unit of the Federal Environment Agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. Dr. Stöfen-O’Brien has extensive professional experience as an Associate Programme Officer at the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Montréal, Canada, as Research Associate at the University of Trier, at the Marine Unit of Directorate-General Environment (DG ENV) of the European Commission, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) as well as the WHO/Europe representation to the EU working on aspects such as marine environmental protection, marine litter, aquaculture, sub-seabed CO2 capture and storage, capacity-building and broader aspects of international and European law.

Aleke’s research work has seen her participate in numerous international scientific collaborations, including that of co-convening Chapter 12 on marine debris and dumping of the United Nations Second World Ocean Assessment, which was published in July 2021. She has also contributed to The Economist Plastics Management Index (in collaboration with the Nippon Foundation), which was published in October 2021 as well as The Economist Invisible Blue report on marine chemical pollution, which was published in collaboration with the Nippon Foundation in March 2022. Aleke serves as PI on the WMU-The Nippon Foundation Closing the Circle Project on Marine Debris, Sargassum and Marine Spatial Planning in the Eastern Caribbean Region. 

Aleke has extensive teaching expertise, which has seen her most recently serving as the lead co-convenor of the Master Course on Sustainable Ocean Governance at the WMU as well as the convenor of the PhD Course on Ocean Governance in the academic year 2021/2022. Aleke supervises PhD and Master students on a wide range of topics.