A legal researcher in EU and international environmental law whose PhD addresses regulation of light pollution, interested in synergies between environmental law, creative practice and sciences.
I am a Dutch junior lecturer and legal researcher, with broad interests relating to the environment (and thus, the anthropocene). I specialize in EU and international environmental law. Therefore, my day-to-day focus lies primarily with questions on positive law. My Ph.D. research addresses the regulation of artificial lighting at night (better known as light pollution) within the context of the European Union.
Unlike many members on this platform, I am not an artist or a climate scientist. However, there are notable synergies between environmental law and various other disciplines. Take article 5 of the Wild Birds Directive, which (in principle) prohibits the deliberate disturbance of wild birds within the European Union. Compliance can be strengthened through creative practices that help facilitate awareness of the norm, whilst shaping public opinion.
Moreover, within my research, I often try to bring in other disciplines (such as ecology or climate sciences) as the law does not operate within a vacuum. To give one example; the Habitats Directive is the cornerstone of European nature conservation law, and its substantive norms have carried significant weight in courtrooms all across Europe, conserving natural sites and individual species. However, when you ask the critical question; "does this Directive contribute to the restoration of vulnerable ecosystems?" it is impossible to answer without ecological research underpinning the situation on the ground. The latter can, in turn, inform legal (doctrinal) analysis and guide subsequent reforms within the law.
With this in mind, I look forward to the creative and scientific contributions that this platform has to offer.
Niels's ClimateCultures posts
Our Shifting Baseline Syndrome Sustains the Anthropocene