Holds a Master in Political Sciences: Diplomatic Sciences – Ghent University, a Master in Shipping Law, University of Antwerp (UFSIA) and is Doctor in Law, Ghent University. He is professor Public International Law at the Law Faculty of Ghent University (www.law.ugent.be/intpub), lecturing inter alia International and European Environmental Law. He was guest lecturer at various universities, such as University opf Nairobi, University of Dar es Salaam, University of Santa Clarta (US), University of Santa Barbara (US), the University of Wuhan (China) (2007, 2009, 2012) and Tsinghua University (China) (2011). He is research Director of the Maritime Institute of Ghent University (www.law.ugent.be/intpub). He actually supervises 16 PhD students and his research is focused on international and European environmental law, in particular climate change law, fresh water law and protection of oceans and seas. Other research interests are maritime spatial planning and local ecological fisheries knowledge. Main publications (books, articles) are in the field of marine environmental law (see http://lib.ugent.be/bibliografie/801000646927
). He has a long experience with interdisciplinary research projects funded by BELSPO, such as MARE-DASM (MArine REsources Damage Assessment and Sustainable Management of the North Sea) (1998-2002), BALANS (Balancing Impacts of Human Activities in the Belgian Part of the North Sea) (2002-2006), GAUFRE (Towards a Spatial Structure Plan for Sustainable Management of the Sea) and SUMANOS (Cluster SUstainable MAnagement NOrth Sea). Ghent University takes a front position in marine spatial planning, starting with GAUFRE, contributions to 1st UNESCO International Workshop on Marine Spatial Planning (2006), the ENCORA Paris Conference on a European Coastal Action Plan (2007), involvement in CALAMAR (EU EX – on the topic of Transatlantic spatial planning: 2009-2011), partner in MASPNOSE (Preparatory Action on Maritime Spatial Planning in the North Sea - EU DG MARE: 2010-2011) and host institute for TransMASP (Transboundary MArine Spatial Planning - EU Marie Curie Fp7: 2010-2012).