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Announcing the First Cohort of the Maritime GENIE (Governance Expanded Network for Innovation and Education) Program

Emerging researchers from Australia and 5 ASEAN states selected

· Australia,maritime governance,ASEAN

YCAPS, in partnership with La Trobe Asia, is pleased to unveil the exceptional individuals selected for the inaugural cohort of the Maritime GENIE (Governance Expanded Network for Innovation and Education) program. This diverse group of emerging scholars, representing six countries, bring a breadth of knowledge and new ideas that will strengthen maritime governance across the Indo-Pacific region.

Over the next year, they will participate in a series of online and in-person workshops designed to hone their skills in policy development, leadership and innovation. Key highlights include workshops in Sydney and Jakarta, where they will engage in hands-on activities, site visits and collaborative exercises. At the end of the program, each participant will publish a praticial briefing aimed at policymakers in governments and other key maritime stakeholders.

Let’s meet the cohort:

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Edward Sing Yue Chan (Australia)

Edward Sing Yue Chan is a scholar, researcher and policy analyst specialising in China’s maritime security. He is a Postdoctoral Fellow from the Australian Centre on China in the World, the Australian National University. With expertise in international relations, Indo-Pacific security, China’s foreign policy, and maritime security, his current research focuses on China’s evolving influence in oceans governance. He is the author of China's Maritime Security Strategy: The Evolution of a Growing Sea Power (Routledge, 2021). Edward is also the Associate Editor of The China Journal.

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Genevieve Quirk (Australia)

Genevieve Quirk BSc (UQ), DULF(UParisIII–Sorbonne), MEnvLaw (ANU), PhD (UOW) is a Researcher/Lecturer at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security. Her PhD in International Law and International Relations explored the evolution of regional ocean governance and diplomacy by Pacific States over 75 years. Dr Quirk’s research examines the governance architecture implementing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea focusing on the ecological security of the Indo-Pacific. Dr Quirk’s publications are frequently cited in UN, regional agency and national government reports. Genevieve is on the editorial board of the journal Marine Policy, an East West Centre Visiting Fellow, Earth System Governance Research Fellow and a member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law. Dr Quirk joined the Australian delegation to the UN in relation to SDG14 and the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty. In Brussels, Dr Quirk worked as a Policy Advisor on ocean governance reform in the EU. Previously, she held the position of Lecturer at the University of Paris II–Pantheon-Assas for three years whilst also consulting to UNESCO.

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Jeslyn Tan (Malaysia)

Jeslyn Tan is a Senior Program Manager for maritime initiatives at the Australian High Commission in Malaysia. Previously, she was a Researcher at the Centre of Maritime Security and Diplomacy at the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA). Her main research interests include ASEAN-major power relations, Indo-Pacific geopolitics, regional multilateralism, and maritime security in Southeast Asia. She is also a participant in the Indo-Pacific Maritime GENIE (Governance Expanded Network for Innovation and Education) Program funded by the Australian Government and a Young Leader of the Pacific Forum. Furthermore, she was a Security Research Fellow in the EU-funded EU-ASEAN Think Tank Dialogue (EANGAGE) Project.

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Lupita Wijaya (Indonesia)

Lupita Wijaya is a teaching associate and module expert in Data Analytics Fundamentals at Monash University and has been teaching at the University of Melbourne since 2020. She holds a doctoral degree in Media Studies & Communications from Monash University and has extensive teaching and research experience in mediatised conflict and geopolitical security in the South China Sea, with an emphasis on exploratory quantitative approaches and data analytics. She completed her undergraduate degree in Indonesia and her master's degree in Taiwan. Her research has been published in various journals and platforms, including Asian Politics & Policy, The Indonesian Quarterly, and Strategic Review, as well as widely-read media outlets such as The Conversation and The Jakarta Post. Actively teaching and publishing since 2016, her latest publication, "What's in a Name? Imagined Territories and Sea Names in the South China Sea Conflict," was featured in the leading journal, the International Journal of Communication, in 2023.

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Ariel Phuphaphantakarn (Thailand)

Ariel (Phantitra) Phuphaphantakarn is an IAEA (Marie-Sklodowska-Curie) scholar at Middlebury Institute of International Studies (Nonproliferation Studies). For several years, Ariel has been associated with multiple scholarship and research programs, conferences, and projects run by international organizations such as CSIS, IAEA, CTBTO, EUNPDC, Alva Myrdal Center, and the Atlantic Council. On all occasions and associations, Ariel contributed her research expertise on the relationship between Emerging Technologies, Undersea Nuclear Deterrence, Nuclear Risk Reduction, The Third Nuclear Age, and the Indo-Pacific. Ariel is also running her own research team at The New Global Order and is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant at James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).

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Johaira Wahab-Manantan (the Phillippines)

Johaira Wahab-Manantan is a lawyer and career diplomat from the Philippines. She received her Bachelor (magna cum laude) and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of the Philippines and completed her LLM in National Security Law (with distinction) in Georgetown University as a Fulbright Scholar. Before becoming a diplomat, she headed the legal team for the Philippine Government in peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which culminated in the signing of a peace agreement establishing a new autonomous region in Mindanao. As a diplomat, she served at the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia and is currently handling climate and environmental security in multilateral contexts. Her research interests lie primarily in international law, particularly in issues involving human rights, self-determination, autonomy, counterterrorism, use of force, territorial integrity and maritime security. She has published articles on fiscal autonomy in peace agreements, use of force against non-State actors and links between diplomacy and international law. She also authored a book chapter outlining the constitutional foundations for peace negotiations, peace agreements and autonomy in Philippine law. She is participating in the GENIE program in her personal capacity to explore international cooperation in marine environmental protection in the Sulu-Sulawesi areas.

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Linh Nguyen (Vietnam)

Linh T Nguyen is a Ph.D. Scholar at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC), Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, the Australian National University. Her research is funded by the Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP). Linh is also a Research Fellow at the East Sea Institute, the Diplomatic Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam since 2018. Her research interests include Vietnam’s foreign policy, China-US relationship, maritime security and the South China Sea. She earned a Master of International Public Policy with Distinction from University College London (UCL), where she was awarded Chevening Scholarship from the UK government. Linh also held diplomas from the International Foundation for the Law of the Sea (IFLOS) (Germany) and the University of Wollongong (Australia). Previously, she was a research assistant at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank.

For more information about the Maritime GENIE program, please click here.  Support for the program is generously provided by the Australia-ASEAN Council. Media inquiries can be directed to Sam Baron ( or Kate Clayton (