Youna Lyons is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore where she has been leading multi-disciplinary research projects with other research institutions of the University since the creation of the Centre in 2009. She also teaches and provides training to governments in international and regional (Southeast Asia) marine law and policy.

Her research focuses on varying aspects of the management of the marine environment and resources in Southeast Asia and globally, at the interface of international marine environmental law and marine sciences. Research topics include marine sensitive areas in Southeast Asia and globally (within and beyond national jurisdiction) and ways to prevent and control adverse impacts from activities deployed in these areas, regional legal and institutional regime building for the protection of the marine environment, responses to marine plastic pollution in Southeast Asia,  the prospects for re-use of obsolete offshore installations as artificial reefs in Southeast Asia and sensitivity mapping for oil spill preparedness and response.

Youna participates as an observer in international and regional (Southeast Asia) intergovernmental meetings in order to assist negotiations through the provision of objective legal and scientific data. These include the International Maritime Organisation, the United Nations,  the Coordinating Bodies of the Seas of Southeast Asia and meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

She is a bilingual former French litigator with more than 12 years of international practice in Asia and Europe. Passionate about the ocean, Ms Lyons later studied marine sciences at the College of Ocean and Fisheries of the University of Washington. She is currently also completing a PhD with the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security at the University of Wollongong titled ‘Sensitive Marine Areas in the South China Sea and States' Obligations under International Law’.

TRUSTEE – Lord Hunt of Chesterton

Lord Hunt's current position is Visiting Fellow of the Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre in Cambridge University.  He is a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge and an Honorary Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge.  He is also a J.M. Burgers Visiting Professor at the Delft University of Technology, Visiting Professor at Arizona State University, Pierre Fermat Visiting Professor in Toulouse (2007-2008), and Academic Director of the Lighthill Risk Network.  He is Emeritus Professor of Climate Modelling in the Department of Earth Sciences, and Honorary Professor of Mathematics at University College London.  He was Director-General and Chief Executive of the Meteorological Office from 1992-1997.  He was created a Baron in the House of Lords (with the title Lord Hunt of Chesterton) in May 2000.

In 1986, Lord Hunt and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge formed a company – Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants Ltd (CERC) – which developed environmental software and, in collaboration with other organisations, a new air pollution dispersion model which is now the standard model for the UK Environment Agency.  He has been Chairman of CERC since 2001.

While at the Met Office, Lord Hunt was elected to the Executive Committee of the World Meteorological Organisation.  He was active in negotiating new international arrangements for the exchange of data to ensure that National Meteorological Services worldwide can continue to collaborate with each other at the same time as encouraging the commercial applications of meteorology worldwide.  He lectured on behalf of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) at the UN World Conference on the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction in 1994, and on urban problems at Habitat II in Istanbul in 1996.  He also worked at WMO to improve international warnings for disasters ranging from tropical cyclones to volcanoes and to emphasise urban meteorology.  He actively promoted collaboration in Europe and was elected Chairman of the Informal Conference on West European Directors for 1994-95.

In the House of Lords, Lord Hunt sits on the Labour benches and has served on select committees on ‘Animal experiments for scientific procedures’ (2003), ‘Chips for everything’ (2004), ‘International Scientific Treaties’ (2004), ‘EU and Climate Change’ (2005), and the joint pre-legislative scrutiny committee on the Marine Bill (2008).

TRUSTEE – Dr Philomène Verlaan

Dr Verlaan is an oceanographer and an attorney-at-law, member of the Florida Bar.  She is a Visiting Colleague at the Department of Oceanography, University of Hawai'i.

As a scientist, Dr Verlaan’s research addresses the formation, biogeochemistry and ecology of deep-sea ferro-manganese nodules and crusts.  She has participated in 22 oceanographic research cruises and nine research submersible dives.  As a law of the sea specialist, she focuses on marine mining and marine scientific research in supporting the environmentally and commercially responsible use of marine resources under the auspices of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Dr Verlaan has worked on the interface between marine science and marine law to assist international intergovernmental organisations (e.g., United Nations Environment Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Maritime Organization, International Seabed Authority, Office of the London Convention, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) and international non-governmental organizations (e.g., Law of the Sea Institute, Rockefeller Foundation, Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea), including participation in related multi-lateral treaty development and implementation.  She is the author of over 50 refereed marine publications, made over 40 invited presentations on marine topics in international fora, is a member of international learned marine professional societies (International Marine Minerals Society, Marine Technology Society, Oceanography Society, Oceans Group of the World Commission on Environmental Law; she is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology), a guest lecturer at the Rhodes Academy for Oceans Law and Policy, and serves as editorial associate for the journal Marine Georesources and Geotechnology and the International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law.