EEI people

Dr Damien Short

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Dr Damien Short is the Director of the Human Rights Consortium and Reader in Human Rights at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. His research interests focus on sociological and anthropological approaches to human rights, indigenous rights, extractive industries and indigenous peoples, the ecological crisis and human rights, reconciliation initiatives and genocide studies.

See his institutional profile and list of publications here.

Prof Karen Hulme

Karen Hulme

Professor Karen Hulme from the School of Law in the University of Essex researches on environmental protection in armed conflict, weapons laws, environmental security and environmental human rights. Karen is a consultant with the Essex Business and Human Rights Project (EBHR), and has worked on consultancies for Amnesty International and Global Witness on the extractives industry, including on legislative amendments and human rights impact monitoring, and, in particular, on issues of environmental law and environmental human rights.

See her institutional profile and list of publications here.

Prof Steffen Böhm

Steffen BoehmSteffen Böhm is Professor of Management and Sustainability and Director of the Essex Sustainability Institute (ESI) at the University of Essex, Colchester. The ESI brings together expertise on environmental sustainability from a range of different departments, disciplines and partner organisations of the University of Essex, particularly focusing on energy, food, health, behavioural change, governance and community engagement. Read Steffen’s guest article on fracking here.

Dr Tara O’Connor Shelley

Tara O’Connor Shelley is an Associate Professor with the Center fortara shelley the Study of Crime and Justice (CSCJ) and a faculty affiliate with the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis (CDRA) in the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University.  Her research focuses on issues that pertain to justice, law and society in the areas of: environmental crime and regulation; environmental justice; public opinion, crime, and the environment; and police and society.  Shelley has a strong background as a mixed methods researcher with skills in qualitative and quantitative research. She is currently Co-PI on several projects related to environmental victimization that include: (1) Understanding the Nature of Citizen Complaints in the Case of Oil and Gas Exploration in Colorado; (2) Examining the Nature and Extent of Oil and Gas Inspections, Spills and Violations in Colorado; and (3) Environmental Crime, Environmental Policy and Hydraulic Fracturing: The Role of Risk Perception and Exposure on Public Attitudes.  She has recently published in Deviant Behavior, Social Psychological Quarterly, and Organization and Environment.

Helle Abelvik-Lawson

Helle Abelvik-Lawson develops research projects and works on public engagement activities at the Human Rights Consortium. Helle has a professional background in academic publishing and project management and is a voluntary campaigner for the Amnesty International UK and Taxpayers Against Poverty. She has a particular interest in business and human rights, the environment, indigenous peoples and Latin America.


Jennifer Huseman

Jennifer Huseman is currently undertaking her PhD at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, and is a project researcher at the Human Rights Consortium, both at the School of Advanced Study, University of London.  She has worked as a researcher and activist in both the US and UK for over a decade on the often interconnected issues of indigenous struggles for land, dignity, and self-determination, the environment, women’s rights and genocide studies.  Since 2007, the primary focus of Jennifer’s work has been investigating the impacts of Canada’s tar sands oil industry on Native North Americans.


Garth Lenz

Garth Lenz is an award winning conservation and fine art photographer. His work is widely published in the world’s leading international publications and has been exhibited in major museums and galleries in Canada, the United States and Europe. The relationship between extreme energy, human rights, and conservation has been a particular focus of his recent work. Garth has been invited to give presentations on these issues to the European Parliament, Canadian Senate, Oxford and Cambridge universities and many other prestigious institutions. His current travelling exhibit, “The True Cost of Oil” has recently been exhibited in New York and Los Angeles and his TED talk on the same subject has received 800,000 views. Garth is one of only sixty photographers in the world to be named a senior fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

John Pearson

John Pearson is a doctoral candidate at Lancaster University, where he also tutors in English Legal System and Methods, and is a tutor in Public International Law and Human Rights at Bangor University. He is also a case reporter of Oxford University Press’ ‘International Law in Domestic Courts’ publication, and member of Lancaster University’s Centre for International Law and Human Rights. His thesis focuses on the human rights implications of irreparable damage to environmental features of critical significance to minorities and indigenous peoples. The case study for the work is the tar sands extraction projects of Alberta, Canada. He also is involved with local groups opposing shale gas projects and gas storage proposals in Lancashire and hopes to expand his academic research into these areas. His contact details, research interests and a list of existing and forthcoming publications can be found here.

James Heydon

James Heydon is currently completing his PhD in the School of Law at the University of Sheffield. Trained as a criminologist, James’ work now expands beyond criminal law and focuses on aspects of environmental harm and social justice. In particular, he is looking at the ways in which these can intersect with international human rights law as a means of giving such concepts legal substance and support. James’ current work focuses on the efficacy of the regulatory mechanisms in the Canadian oil sands and the State-corporate complex which facilitates its operation and expansion. He has also worked on the regulation of private military and security contractors, aiming to encourage their compliance with international human rights law.

International Collaborators

Dr Jannette Barth (USA): Dr Barth is affiliated with the Pepacton Institute LLC and is the director of the Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy.  Jannette Bis also the president of J.M. Barth & Associates Inc., an economic research and consulting firm.

Jessica Ernst (Canada): Jessica Ernst is a landowner in Rosebud, Alberta, and she is currently suing EnCana and Alberta government regulators over water contamination.

Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith (Australia):  Dr Lloyd-Smith is a Senior Advisor at IPEN (International POPs Elimination Network) and for the National Toxics Network (NTN) Inc, a community based network working to ensure a toxic-free future for all.  NTN was formed in 1993 and has grown as a national network giving a voice to community and environmental organisations across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Michael T. Klare (USA): Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., and the author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Petroleum Dependency.

Paul Mobbs (UK):  Paul Mobbs is a specialist in pollution, countryside access and engineering/electronics in the UK.  After working in the engineering industry for a time, he left to work for environmental and community groups.  He founded Mobbs’ Environmental Investigations and Research in 1992.

James ‘Chip’ Northrup (USA):  Chip Northrup is a former oil and gas investor from Texas and an informed opponent of hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’).  He lives between Texas and upstate New York.

Aidan Ricketts (Australia):  Aidan Ricketts works as a lecturer at the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University in Australia and has postgraduate qualifications in law as well as in educational design. Aidan’s book The Activists Handbook: A Step By Step Guide to Participatory Democracy was published in London in March 2012 and has been distributed internationally.