The project’s team builds on collaborative, inter-institutional and region-wide approach that is ingrained in the nature of the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI). EMUNI was established in 2008 by 43 Heads of states (all EU and non-EU Mediterranean countries) to foster integration among higher education and research institutions in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The team is cross-discipline and complementary in terms of expertise, experience and ability to reach out to stakeholders, building on past and other running networks, projects and collaborations. All the team members act in their personal capacity, and do not necessarily represent their institutions.
Mounir Ghribi is Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Blue Economy at the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI), Slovenia.
Prof. Dr. Ghribi holds a PhD. in methods for monitoring environmental change from the University of Trieste; a Masters in Open Innovation and Knowledge Transfer from the Politecnico di Milano; a MSc in Environmental Management from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Crete; and an Engineering degree from the ESAM School of Engineering, Tunisia.
Prof. Dr. Ghribi is Director of International Cooperation and Research Promotion (ICAP) at Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS) in Trieste, Italy. He is also Director of the Advanced Masters in Sustainable Blue Economy jointly organised by OGS and the University of Trieste as well as the Coordinator for the Blue Skills Project for Developing Skills in the Blue Economy Sector in the Mediterranean, a project labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in 2019 and winner of the Best Project Award in 2021. Prof. Dr. Ghribi is also Professor of Sustainable Development and Science Diplomacy at EUCLID Intergovernmental University.
A former United Nations Officer, Prof. Dr. Ghribi was in charge of capacity building and the fellowship programme at ICS-UNIDO (UN Industrial Development Organisation). He is a member of the UfM advisory board on Mediterranean for Jobs Initiative (Med4Jobs), and represents Italy in various other international initiatives, namely the intergovernmental forum for the Western Mediterranean Forum (5+5 Dialogue) for Research, Innovation and Higher Education, as well as the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative. Prof. Dr. Ghribi also coordinates the internationalisation of the national Blue Italian Growth (BIG) cluster.
Diana Rico has joined the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) as a Junior Researcher. She is a biologist and with a Master of Sciences degree in Marine Ecosystems and Fisheries Sciences from the University of Hamburg, Germany. She was born in Colombia, where she gained a Bachelor degree in Biology, her thesis focusing on coral reef ecology.
Diana moved from Colombia to Spain where she worked as teacher, and in 2019 she moved to Germany, where she started her Master’s programme, holding a Merit Scholarship for International Students. At the same time, she worked as a Research Assistant in sustainability in the maritime sector. Diana has experience in citizen science projects, teaching, field and lab work in marine biology, and assisting research projects related to marine biology and science education. She has also been very active, participating as a volunteer in various projects related to marine biology in Germany and organising conferences for marine researchers.
In 2022, Diana moved to Slovenia, and thereafter started a new position as Junior Researcher at the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Blue Economy – EMUNI University. She is very passionate about the ocean and has a strong interest in bridging natural sciences and society, interdisciplinarity in marine sciences, ocean governance and ecosystem-based management, working in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. In Germany, Diana is interested in promoting the role of women and gender equality within the area of ocean sciences.
Vera Noon is a multidisciplinary planning expert for terrestrial and marine spaces. She began her career in Architecture, followed by Urban Design, and finally landed in Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and Sustainable Blue Economy. Her knowledge in sustainable development principles spans various scales, covering both coastal and marine ecosystems. This back-and-forth motion between development and conservation realms allowed for a wider understanding of human activities’ impacts on the marine natural and cultural environment. In the past few years, she has worked as a consultant for UNESCO IOC, UNEP MAP PAP/RAC, the UfM, and the Honor Frost Foundation. She has given trainings on the topics of MSP, Blue Economy, Blue Planning in Practice, and since 2020 she is a guest lecturer at the American University of Beirut in the Maritime Cultures and Science Master course.nShe is currently working at ACTeon on Ocean Literacy and Marine Policy international EU projects, where part of her work consists of bringing together experts, policy makers and industries. She speaks five languages, and practices painting, photography and freediving as her hobbies.
Melita Mokos is a marine biologist, an Assistant professor working at the Department of Ecology, Agronomy and Aquaculture at the University of Zadar, Croatia where she teaches at the Underwater Science and Technology undergraduate programme and Sustainable Management of Aquatic Ecosystems graduate programme. She was a vice president of the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) (2018-2022) and a coordinator of the regional EMSEA Mediterranean group, EMSEA – Med (2015-2022). She is an ocean literacy (OL) expert, working in this field since 2015 and her OL work focuses on advancing OL in the Mediterranean basin, development of the Mediterranean Sea Literacy, the role of Ocean Literacy in sustainable management of the Mediterranean Sea ecosystems and resources, as well as importance of OL in education at different educational levels. Her research interests are ocean literacy, marine litter and blue carbon. She is very engaged in science outreach working mainly with preschool and school children.
Daniel Depellegrin (PhD) is a senior lecturer and research scientist at the Department of Geography of the University of Girona (Spain). His main area of research is decision-science applied to sustainability challenges in the marine environment, socio-ecological system analysis and Maritime Spatial Planning. He has worked in numerous research projects (e.g. H2020, INTERREG, NATO-SPS) in the Baltic, Atlantic and Mediterranean and acts as expert for organizations, such as NOAA (USA), Eklipse Network or EU-ESPON.
Almotaz Abadi is the UfM Deputy Secretary General in charge of Water, Environment and Blue Economy since September 2022. He was UfM Acting Deputy Secretary General for the same division between September 2015-August 2016. Moreover, Abadi has held the Water Managing Director position at the UfM, leading initiatives on the water political process in the Mediterranean, including a Ministerial Declaration and approving a regional water strategy, linking resource efficiency with bolstering investment and financing for the services sectors, including water and renewable energy. Before the UfM, he was the director of the Aid Coordination & Management Unit with the donor community and the Government of Palestine in the water and related sectors. Also, he had a main role in the EXACT program, led by the State Department and coalition of Donors to enhance the socio-economic aspects, and helping build just and equal opportunities with the framework of the MEPP. Abadi is an international and regional cooperation expert, engineering by training and accredited diplomat by experience. He developed his career during the last 20 years working with international donor agencies, international and regional organizations as well as policy advisers to governments in the region. He holds a master’s degree in Water Resources Management and one in Governance, as well as a postgraduate in leadership and multilateral cooperation on resources and cross border arrangements. Regarding informal activities with civil society, Abadi was part of groups that established the Green Buidling Council in Palestine, the Middle East Water Forum. He is also Alumni to International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) of the US and Active member of the Pugwash group.
Ahmed Elshazly is Associate Professor of Marine Geology, Oceanography Department, Alexandria University and currently, the Director of the office of Sponsored projects at Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development. He has his PhD in 2016 in a joint supervision program between Alexandria University, Egypt and University of Sassari, Italy. Ahmed has several publications in the fields of Marine Science, Climate Change, Marine Management, Blue Growth, and more. He was the national representative of Egypt in the 1st Global Planning Meeting for the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development. He is Ocean Ambassador of International Ocean Institute (IOI, Malta). He had a position of a Visiting Professor in Bologna University (UNIBO), Italy in 2017, and currently he is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Science and Technology at Zewail City. He is a coordinator of several research and capacity building projects funded by national and international funding bodies. He has attended many trainings and workshops and conducted several mobilities for teaching and training in the Euro-Mediterranean Universities. He has a great experience in civil work and students’ activities, he was the coordinator of the student’s activities in Alexandria University throughout several years. Ahmed is a Certified Trainer, AT level, from the International Board of Certified Trainers (IBCT).
Emna SOHLOBJI is the founder of a company with a research & development mission called Tellus Advisory, which statutorily gives itself a social and environmental purpose in addition to its profit-making purpose. Trained in Law of the Sea, she has made Tellus Advisory a combat and commitment product that offers a reality of marine management “female entrepreneur and business leader” capable of making the voice of nature heard first. navy, by imposing a feminist vision of the law of the sea that breaks with gender stereotypes, but also to participate in supporting women in the fishing sector by strengthening their technical skills, their self-confidence and supporting their participation in the governance of the sector through advocacy activities. Emna Sohlobji intervenes on issues related to the blue economy advocating equality between economic performance and contribution to the social and environmental common good. Former UN (FAO), she was responsible for designing and implementing gender-sensitive development projects in the fisheries sector. Actually, it positions itself on issues related to climate change law and its socio-climatic impacts. In this context, she accompanied her country in the development of national climate strategies in the fisheries and aquaculture sector. With her experience in development project management, Emna Sohlobji has supported CSOs in networking and setting up development projects on several themes related to the marine environment. Emna Sohlobji is Secretary General of the Tunisian Maritime Cluster. She is the author of scientific publications related to the Law of the Sea, the Law of Pleasure and Boating, Regional Fishing Organizations.
Amel Hamza-Chaffai has a PhD (1993), and an Accreditation to supervise Research (1999) in Marine Ecotoxicology. She is Full Professor at Sfax University. She is an invited Professor at Akita University (Japan), University of Technology (Malaysia) and different French Universities (Le Havre, Le Mans, and Caen). She published in 2007 an online course “Zoology of Invertebrates”. During 32 years, her main research focus was about marine pollution biomonitoring, biomarkers, endocrine disruptors, and pollution and cancer. She has published more than 80 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and managed 3 national and 9 international research projects, which were built up with her international network. She is also the designer of a regional museum of marine science. She is the president founder of a research NGO named “Environnement et Bio Innovation”, recently approved as partner of the UNEP/MAP, whose activities are based on education outreach and entrepreneurship. Pr Hamza-Chaffai was involved in different European programmes as partner (FP7 IRSES PEOPLE); as evaluator (EARANET-MED, PRIMA, MSCA-IF); and as external advisory board (and ERASMUS+). She is also a senior expert at Innovation House Consulting ® in charge of marine science and projects dealing with environmental issues. She attended different Mediterranean workshops organized by UNEP-IOC/UNOSCO. She was actively involved in different workshops on Entrepreneurship in LifeSscience (Massachusetts Institute of Technology-2016); about Research Management (Academy of Science Malaysia-2009); and on E-learning (University of Georgia-2006). She has implemented different training sessions about “turning ideas into business” for students at Masters level (Caen University-France). In 2007, she received the National Medal of Merit in Education and Science, Tunisia. In 2020, she was elected as a member of the Tunisian Academy of Science, where she is President of the Commission Environmental Sciences. In December 2022, she was elected as a Vice Chair of Africa and Adjacent Island States Ocean Decade Taskforce (UN). She will oversee the region of the Mediterranean and Red Sea.
Jérémie Fosse is an international expert on sustainable development with a specific focus on green and blue economy, supporting the transition to sustainability for organizations, cities and territories in Europe, the Mediterranean region and globally. He is co-founder and president of eco-union, an independent environmental Think and Do Tank based in Spain (Barcelona), that aims to catalyze the socio-ecological transition towards sustainable development in the Euro-Mediterranean region. He is also the founder and director of the Global Eco Forum, an annual and international multi-stakeholders conference on sustainability in the Euro-Med region. Moreover he regularly advises international institutions on Green and Blue Economy as well as Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean region. He holds an Msc in Industrial Engineering at INSA Lyon (France) and an Executive MBA at ESADE Business School (Spain), completed by short courses from major universities on Economics, Sustainability and Energy Transitions.
Ant Türkmen is one of the founder members of Ecological Research Society of Turkey. He carried out projects on marine protected areas, integrated coastal zone management, and ecosystem-based management of fisheries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. For the recent years, he has been contributing to the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Global Programme of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, as a thematic expert of MSP and Blue Economy. He is one of the lead authors of IPBES Nexus Assessment, for the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health. He is also a co-leader in work groups of EU-COST Action Sea-Unicorn. He is interested in developing projects about the integration of innovative transformative technologies to the science-policy-society interactions.
Abed El Rahman HASSOUN holds a PhD in Oceanology since 2014, prepared in co-direction between Université de Perpignan Via Domitia, France and the National Council for Scientific Research in Lebanon (CNRS-L). Currently, Dr. Hassoun is a researcher at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany where he is working on extracting gaps in the EU Ocean Observing System to give actionable recommendations to the EU Commission and on identifying gaps in standards and best practices of the Essential Ocean Variables. He is also an associate researcher in the National Centre for Marine Sciences affiliated to the CNRS-L in Lebanon. Dr. Hassoun is interested in long-term biogeochemical trends such as ocean acidification, and in phytoplankton (HABs and their biotoxins) in the context of climate change. He is involved in many regional and international projects, supervised many students (Masters and PhD), and published many scientific documents related to these topics, and participated in several regional and local oceanographic cruises. Dr. Hassoun was a consultant for the OA-ICC of the IAEA to assess ocean acidification status and trends in the Mediterranean Sea, and for the Canadian OFI in two projects related to ocean carbon observations (North Atlantic Ocean Carbon Observatory (NACO) and Transforming Climate Action (TCA)). Dr. Hassoun is a member in several international networks, in the Executive council of GOA-ON and a co-champion of the outcome 6 of the UN Ocean Decade Programme, OARS. He is the founder and the chair of the OA Med-Hub.
Aomar BOURHIM is a graduate of the World Maritime University in Malmo – Sweden, (Subsidiary of the IMO, United Nations), Master of Sciences in Maritime Safety and Environment Protection. Until July 2022, he was the national coordinator of the WestMED/BE initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the Western Mediterranean. He served as Moroccan focal point of the IOC-UNESCO MSP global project for cross-borders maritime spatial planning. He Also was representative of Morocco at the Co-Presidency of the Steering Committee of the WestMED/BE initiative: 2019-2020. Mr. Aomar was the Head of Multilateral Cooperation Service at the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, Maritime Waters and Forests (Department of Maritime Fisheries, directorate of the Strategy and Cooperation: www.mpm.gov.ma) POB 476 -Agdal -Rabat-. Mr. Aomar BOURHIM retired in July 2022. Currently he is an Expert in Sustainable Blue Economy maritime spatial planning and Blue Ports, Consultant to COMHAFAT/ATLAFCO: The Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation between African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean (COMHAFAT: www.comhafat.org).
Maria Cristina Pedicchio is a Full Professor of Algebra at the University of Trieste and has great experience in managing of public and private Research Institutions. She is President of the Maritime Technology Cluster of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, President of the Technical Scientific Committee of the National Agency for the Promotion of European Research – APRE and Member of the Scientific Council of the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research- ISPRA. Member of the Board of the National Blue Growth Cluster BIG. Prof. Peddichio has been (2011-2019) President of the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics – OGS, and is still a board member; President of Area Science Park (2002-2006) and of the FVG Cluster in Biomedicine (2004 – 2012). She is General Secretary of the “Marevivo” Friuli Venezia Giulia Environmental Delegation. Prof. Peddichio collaborates since many years with the European Commission in different boards and expert groups. She is a member of the Board for the Mission Ocean. Scientific Responsible for different projects, like the Italian Innovation Ecosystem “Marine and Maritime Technologies: towards the digital twin of the upper Adriatic Sea”- funded by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan PNRR.
Commander, Order “of Merit of the Italian Republic”
Alice Affatati has a background in Engineering, but she has tailored her studies to include Oceanography and Marine Biology. While in South Africa and Namibia, her research focused on cetaceans’ bioacoustics and the movement ecology of great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). She was involved in interdisciplinary projects linking bioacoustics, oceanography, and underwater noise at GEOMAR (Germany), at the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (Spain), at the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics – OGS (Italy), and at Memorial University (Canada). Alice was part of a group of experts on the effects of underwater noise in the Arctic Ecosystem in the Framework on the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in the Arctic Ocean. She is a Ph.D. candidate at UniTS and OGS researching underwater noise from seismic surveys and its effects on marine fauna. Moreover, she is now involved in the JPI Oceans SONORA project “Filling the gap: Thresholds assessment and impact beyond acoustic pressure level linked to emerging blue growth activities.” and iNEST project funded by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan PNRR.
An Innovator at heart, Maria is somewhat a hybrid professional with Biology, R&D, Innovation Consultancy and Management on her portfolio. Maria has lift off her professional career by learning the ways of Biology followed by 10 years of R&D with published scientific articles, a PhD and two Post-docs in Health sciences as outputs. During this period, Maria was lucky to have worked in various international set ups gaining substantial experience in multicultural social and professional settings, e.g.: Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital (Paris, France), Paraplegian Nacional Hospital (Toledo, Spain), National Institute for Medical Research (London, UK) and Trudeau Institute (New York, US). The urges for challenging herself, namely being involved in bringing innovative ideas from paper to market and see them thriving, led her to switch gears towards Management and Innovation consultancy. Maria then worked as a project developer/ innovation consultant in a multinational Danish consultancy firm, Innovayt – during this experience, Maria has broaden considerably her innovation and managerial skill set and immersed herself in the most various business areas and fields of knowledge, ranging from medical devices to logistics or renewable energy technologies. At B2E CoLAB, in 2020 Maria has started as an innovation consultant mostly involved with the CoLAB’s business development, stakeholder networking and partnering with academia and companies and project development for funding opportunities. In 2023, Maria was promoted to the position of Executive Coordinator becoming responsible for the design and implementation of B2E’s strategy and for managing overall operations; Maria is also accountable to the board of directors and associates of company.