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PhD Students Biographies

Ketty Akello

Ketty is a PhD candidate at Durham Law School. A recipient of Commonwealth scholarship, Ketty’s PhD thesis focuses on the nexus between the legal regime for foreign investment and land rights in Uganda. The thesis situates itself within the rapidly expanding genre of literature known as Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). Her main research area are International Investment Law, Land Law,  International Human Rights Law, International Environmental Law and Transitional Justice.

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Ben Hall

Ben is a PhD student at Durham Law School developing legal participatory action research (PAR) as a methodology to identify and tackle weak climate governance, initially by challenging the legitimacy of environmental claims made of ‘tradable green certificates’ by domestic energy suppliers.

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Kalila Mackenzie

Kalila is conducting her doctoral research in energy economics at the Durham University Business School. She is a recipient of the Centre for Environmental and Energy Economics PhD Scholarship and a member of the Durham Energy Institute. Her research will look to analyse the impact of government policy on the choice to invest in micro-generation renewable energy systems. Prior to joining Durham University, she obtained her Master of Science in Economics with Distinction from the University of Exeter, where her research focus was on environmental economics. Before resuming her studies, she had a diverse career in strategy and management consulting in Southern Africa, leading projects within the financial, energy and public sectors. She completed her undergraduate in Economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. 

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Yuxiao Wang

Woman smiling, holding flowersYuxiao is a PhD candidate at Durham Law School specialising in international water law and sustainable water governance. Her doctoral research, sponsored by Durham Law School Studentship, focuses on if and how law-based inter-state water cooperation could build up between unequal powers. Taking examples from the Mekong, the Orange-Senqu, and the Brahmaputra basins, Yuxiao hopes her work would make substantial contribution to the advancement of SDG 6 in the three regions. Apart from her research, Yuxiao takes part in the Matariki Global Citizenship Programme to promote water-related sustainable development goals and agendas.


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Yaoqi Zheng

Yaoqi is a Ph.D. candidate at Durham Law School. Her research is about addressing the underrepresentation of women in the financial world, where she has developed her own theory about women’s role in finance. This study examines how to address social costs within the sustainable finance context. 





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Ekanem Bassey

Ekanem Bassey is a Phd candidate in Law and Energy at the Durham Law School. She holds an LLM in International Trade and Commercial Law from the Durham University and an LLB (Honours) degree from the University of Calabar as well as being a qualified Barrister and Solicitor in Nigeria. 

Ekanem is a holder of the prestigious Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) Scholarship and works in the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC)(formerly called Department of Petroleum Resources), the NUPRC is the regulatory body of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and it has the statutory responsibility of ensuring compliance to petroleum laws, regulations and guidelines in the Upstream Oil and Gas Sector in the country.