Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Researchers' bio



Michelle Nel, BLC, LLB (Pret) and LLM, LLD (Unisa), is a lecturer in Criminal and Military law and the Law of Armed Conflict at the Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University.  She also serves as part-time researcher and fellow in SIGLA. Her areas of research include International Law, Military Law and Maritime Security.  Her work has been published in South Africa and internationally.

Listen to her radio interview on the ICC and an ​African regional court  here

Dr Nel can be contacted at email:​



Noëlle van der Waag-Cowling works for the South African Department of Defence. She initially worked as a researcher at the Military Archives before moving to SANDF Corporate Communications and then later the Military Academy. She has worked in the Faculty of Military Science at Stellenbosch University for over 20 years. Noëlle is the co-ordinator of the SIGLA Cyber Project. Her primary research interests are cyber warfare and cyber strategy. She teaches fifth dimension warfare and low intensity conflict in the Department of Strategic Studies, Stellenbosch University. She is an Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for Conflict, Rule of Law and Society, Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom.  Noëlle has served as assistant editor of the accredited journal Scientia Militaria and as a reviewer for academic journals. She has published in various national and international scientific publications and been a contributor in various international military education and technology projects.  

Ms van der Waag-Cowling can be contacted at email:​


Captain Mark Blaine joined the South African Navy in April 1983, specialising in mine warfare.  After postings as departmental officer onboard the mine warfare ships he attained command of the mine warfare vessel SAS UMZIMKULU from 1996 to 1999 and the hydrographic survey vessel SAS PROTEA from 2004 to 2006.  He was the Defence Advisor at the South African High Commission in Nairobi Kenya from April 2007 to September 2011 where he paid specific attention to the piracy problems on the coast of Somalia and the Horn of Africa.  He is currently a lecturer for nautical science at the Faculty of Military Science of the University of Stellenbosch, serves as a part-time researcher and fellow in Sigla and has completed his Master's Degree in Maritime Security through the University of Coventry in 2016.

Captain Blaine can be contacted at email:, or    

Mobile phone: +27 79 051 5941


Prof. Paul Musili Wambua [University of Nairobi]

Academic Qualifications

  • Doctor of  Laws (LL.D)
    Ghent University, Belgium 
    Specialization:   Maritime Law 
    Year of award:   2008

    Thesis title Governance of the forgotten province: a critical appraisal of the policy, legal and institutional frameworks for the control and management of marine resources within Kenya's maritime zones.

    (Undertaken under the VLIR fellowship program)  
  • Master of Laws (LLM)
              University of London 
              Specialization:    International Business Law
              Year of award:   1999
  • Masters in Business Administration (MBA)

          United States International University – Africa (USIU)
          Year of award: 2002


Dr Liselotte Odgaard is associate professor at the Institute for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College. She has published numerous articles, edited books and written three monographs on security in the Asia-Pacific, China’s growing influence on international relations, and strategic theory and practice. She has been a visiting professor at institutions such as Harvard University, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Norwegian Nobel Institute. Her latest monograph is China and Coexistence: Beijing’s National Security Strategy for the 21st Century (Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press/Johns Hopkins University Press 2012). Her latest edited books are Strategy in NATO: Preparing for an Imperfect World, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014, and with co-editors Cedric de Coning and Thomas Mandrup, The BRICS and Coexistence: An Alternative Vision of World Order, Abingdon: Routledge, 2014. Her latest peer-reviewed article is “Maritime Security in East Asia: Peaceful Coexistence and Active Defense in China’s Diaoyu/Senkaku Policy”, Journal of Contemporary China, 2016, forthcoming.