My academic journey

My academic journey
Meeting the scholars who inspired my research

By Ruyel Miah

Presenting our research at conferences or at any gathering of scientific communities is always exciting. It brings ample opportunities to meet and interact with scholars, expanding our networks and leading to potential collaborative projects. This is why graduate students seek opportunities to participate in and present their research at conferences. Obviously, I feel a bit nervous about presenting my work at such gatherings, either in oral or poster format, as it receives lots of attention from researchers, scholars, and fellow students. Then there is also that dreaded ‘Q&A’ period. Still, I recognize this is a crucial part of the process of developing ourselves as members of the scientific community. I have presented my work in both oral and poster format at several national and international conferences. Presenting research at conferences is even more exciting when we have the privilege to present our work in front of the experts in the field from which we draw our research.

Dr. Anthony Charles (left) and Ruyel (right) in front of Ruyel's poster at the V2V Project Meeting in Puri, India.

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in the Vulnerability to Viability (V2V) Global Partnership project meeting in Puri, India (August 6-12, 2023), where I gave a poster presentation. It was an amazing and memorable presentation for a special reason. The theory that most fascinates me in my research is ‘Interactive Governance’ (Kooiman et al., 2005), and I have been learning about it and using it since my second Master’s program at Memorial University, Canada. I found this theory very fascinating and believe it can be applied to any field when it comes to governance. Initially, it took me some time to grasp it as it was not a simple theory like so many others. Then, I realized that the governance of a societal system is itself complex, diverse, dynamic, and wicked. Therefore, addressing complex societal issues requires a theory like Interactive Governance that can cover the multi-dimensional aspects of a societal system and can outline opportunities for solutions. In my PhD, I am currently drawing from this theory to develop a theoretical framework in the context of small-scale fisheries’ vulnerability to viability transition and apply the framework in my field research.

The poster presentation was special because I presented my work that draws on the Interactive Governance theory in front of the scholars who developed the theory. Indeed, I presented and received feedback from Dr. Svein Jentoft (Professor Emeritus, The Arctic University of Norway), Dr. Maarten Bavinck (Professor, University of Amsterdam) and Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee (Professor, Memorial University, Canada) who are the members of the team that developed and established the Interactive Governance theory. How exciting this is! I would like to express my sincere gratitude to them for developing this theory and inspiring me during the poster session to take my work further on.

Ruyel with Dr. Jentoft (left) and Dr. Chuenpagdee (right) during his poster presentation.
Ruyel with Dr. Bavinck (right) during his presentation.

I would also like to express my gratitude to Dr. Prateep Nayak (Professor, University of Waterloo) for guiding my work and suggesting the use of Interactive Governance for my doctoral study. I am thankful to Dr. Nayak and V2V Global Partnership for providing me the opportunity to present my work at the V2V project meeting in India. I am hoping to soon be able to share my work in a published format.


Ruyel M. Miah is a Ph.D. student at the University of Waterloo, Canada. His research aims to examine the governance of small-scale fisheries and their interconnection to vulnerability and viability. He completed his Master of Arts in Geography from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. His research interests include small-scale fisheries governance, market access and value chain in fisheries, vulnerability and viability of small-scale fisheries, and conservation and sustainability of marine fisheries resources.