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USP Professor is new Norway-Pacific Research Chair in Oceans & CC

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Professor Elisabeth Holland is the new Norway-Pacific Research Chair in Oceans & Climate Change.

The University of the South Pacific and the University of Bergen (UiB), Norway are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Elisabeth Holland as the inaugural incumbent of the Norway-Pacific Research Chair in Oceans and Climate Change.

Professor Holland’s appointment to this jointly funded position represents a major outcome of the long-standing collaboration between the two Universities.

At the UN Oceans Conference in June 2017, UiB and USP hosted a joint side event and submitted a joint Voluntary Commitment for the Norway-Pacific Chair in Oceans and Climate Change.

Launching this joint effort as a Voluntary Commitment at the UN Ocean Conference was of particular significance, as it brings together a unique convergence of oceans and climate change, which fits extremely well with UiB and USP’s own work and expertise in these fields.

Research cooperation between the two universities was also discussed when Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon visited the USP Laucala campus in April 2019.

UiB is Norway’s leading university on ocean and climate change studies, with research and education in this area being of a high international standard.

UiB and USP have a long record of working together in the ocean and climate field, through several large-scale research and education programmes supported by the European Union and the Research Council of Norway, and through the exchange of researchers and students.

The large-scale marine science and climate research facilities of the UiB will work closely together with their counterparts at USP to build expertise across all the 12 Pacific member countries of the University. The joint Chair will be multidisciplinary in orientation and dedicated also to the multiple connections of SDG14 to other SDGs.

Professor Holland has a distinguished international record, most recently as Professor of Climate Change and Director of the Pacific Centre for Sustainable Development (Pace-SD) at The University of the South Pacific. Professor Holland’s honors include membership of the IPCC team awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and more recently Fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, Atmosphere and Hydrology Section.

As the Norway-Pacific Chair in Oceans and Climate Change, Professor Holland’s mission will be to strengthen ocean and climate connections research to ensure that the USP is recognized as for its research excellence.

Professor Holland leads by establishing strong collaborative partnerships within the University, across the Pacific and among internationally recognized universities. Professor Holland will be based at USP, spending time at UiB to strengthen the collaboration.  Professor Holland was a visiting fellow at the UiB Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, when she received the offer to become USP’s Professor of Climate Change from USP.

Professor Holland looks forward to re-devoting herself to her passion, research.  Her research will focus on the evidence basis for strong policy incorporating insights from indigenous and local knowledge with traditional scientific knowledge, remote sensing, human perspectives and her role as Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere.

Professor Holland will join Ashneel Chandra, lecturer in Engineering, who is embarking on his own UiB journey as a PhD student in tropical climate dynamics at UiB’s Bjerknes Centre. For interested PhDs, a post-doctoral fellowship studying sea level rise and its implications for the Pacific at the UiB Bjerknes Centre is available together with a PhD scholarship lined to the chair at the University of the South Pacific. 

This news item was published on 5 Jul 2019 01:53:06 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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