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Women In Marine Governance: Kamilla Rathcke

#WIMG is a PERMAGOV campaign designed to celebrate the role of women in marine governance. Case studies take the form of short interviews where participants share their background, interests, ideas and recommendations for improving the way in which ocean affairs are managed. Each story is unique. By spotlighting our WIMG stars, we hope that readers from all walks of life will be inspired to make their contribution in support of a sustainable ocean. Featured in this case study is Kamilla Rathcke, Research Assistant at the Centre for Blue Governance, Aalborg University.

Kamilla Rathke, Research Assistant at the Centre for Blue Governance, Aalborg University

Current job

I mainly work closely with senior researchers on EU projects, as our group is exclusively externally funded. This gives me many opportunities for international cooperation, and I work day-to-day with researchers and industry from all over the globe. However, for now, I mostly work with people based in the Arctic regions. I do this because one of my research projects - ECOTIP - is focusing on understanding and predicting changes in Arctic marine biodiversity. We work on analysing testimonies from fisheries on the Greenlandic east coast, while coordinating a very big science conference in Nuuk, Greenland. Here the whole arctic research community meet up to discuss all the research going on in and around the Arctic areas.

However, I also work on an exciting project called PERMAGOV. Here, my research skills have come to the test as I’ve been working on big literature reviews and analysis of the concepts of Institutional Barriers and Multi-Layered Collaborative Marine Governance Strategies.

But besides working on projects, I also teach on the topic of sustainability and seabed mining. Here, I work with the students to teach them about Research Design and Problem Solving, using a renowned method of our university called Problem Based Learning.

Hence my day can look like everything from intense literature screening on the computer, to teaching and having close cooperation with our students, to reading articles and traveling to places to gain knowledge or collaborate with our partner universities. Truly no day is the same for a research assistant!

Study and career path

My interest in the topic of marine- and also maritime-science evolved throughout my studies. I specialise in Arctic Studies, which by default is about the ocean, but my main area of interest was around mining in the Arctic, which provided interesting perspectives on planetary topics like the seas and oceans. I also worked for a municipality with business development in Greenland. This experience presented me for the opportunity to understand fisheries and ocean governance from many academic angles, both from the angel of how arctic governments think of and work around their coasts and seas, but also from the perspective of private companies, often fishers, and from organisations working with the ocean.

After graduating I traveled to Brussels and worked for the European Commission Research Center. Here I worked with some of the most interesting researchers on the topic of Science in Policymaking, with a special focus on Foresight and Design. I worked on a project around strategic considerations regarding research relations between the European Commission and the surrounding community, as the EU wants to reinforce anticipation culture and to mainstream foresight into policymaking processes. This experience has provided me with many of the skills and network that I use every day in my work with governance in fisheries and in understanding how global demands fuel innovations and developments.

Participation in PERMAGOV

My responsibilities in the PERMAGOV project vary. However, for now I have mainly dealt with literature reviews and analysis of data connected to WP3 and WP4. I also assist in coordinating the bigger events to come, together with the broader PERMAGOV team. We have a big event coming up in February 2024, where partners, stakeholders and researchers will meet. Many ends must come together, so I take care of all the practicalities surrounding the upcoming workshop.

Marine governance

I understand Marine Governance as all the policies, regulations, and practices implemented at local, national, and international levels to manage and protect marine environments sustainably. I'm especially interested in the decision-making processes that balance environmental and social considerations to ensure the long-term viability of the coastal communities that depend on the oceans.

To achieve effective marine governance, I believe collaboration between stakeholders, including governments, scientists, industry, and coastal communities is of the utmost priority if we want to achieve a shared vision for a healthy and productive ocean. I argue that we should employ transformative approaches to governance, to secure a system design that is adequate for all!


Women and girls that we to be in this field should focus on building a strong educational foundation in oceanography, resource economics, environmental law, policy analysis or other scientific research that connects to governance and the “Blue”. Get involved in internships, research projects, and networking opportunities to gain practical experience and build a professional network; this is highly sought after. Working in marine governance can be challenging, but also highly rewarding as it offers many opportunities to protect the ocean, its biodiversity, and the communities that depend on it.

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PERMAGOV has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-03 under grant agreement No 101086297, and by UK Research and Innovation under the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee grant numbers 10045993, 10062097, 101086297.

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