On 24 July 2023, the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, presented the Fourth Edition of the Award for Excellence in Deep-Sea Research to Ms. Rima Browne from the Cook Islands during the 28th session of the ISA Assembly.

Ms. Browne is a geographer at the Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority. She was recommended for the Award by the advisory committee appointed by the ISA Secretary-General for her contribution to mapping the seabed of the Cook Islands.

The geomorphology and inset maps produced as part of Ms. Browne’s research provide essential information for marine habitat management, mineral resource assessment, marine spatial planning, submarine communications infrastructure and natural hazard risk assessments, among other possible applications.

While accepting her award, Ms. Browne thanked the Secretary-General and the advisory committee for the opportunity. “The final map has come together quite well. We are pleased with what we have achieved via its application. I am so thankful to receive this prestigious Award, as it is a win not only for my country but for the Pacific region as well,” she said.

The Secretary of External Relations at the Department of External Relations and Cooperation of the Principality of Monaco, Mr. Tidiani Couma, congratulated Ms. Browne on her selection and reiterated Monaco’s commitment to advancing marine scientific research to inform the sustainable management of the oceans.

“The Principality of Monaco has been particularly attentive to the creation of the Award of the Secretary-General of ISA, which should promote and encourage the work of scientists, without which we could neither understand our seas and oceans nor act properly to preserve them,” Mr. Couma said.

“The Principality of Monaco will intensify its efforts to support ISA for the development of knowledge and the safeguard of the seas and oceans because of their indispensable role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.

The Secretary-General’s Award for Excellence in Deep Sea Research is one of eight voluntary commitments registered by ISA at the United Nations Ocean Conferences in 2017 and 2022 (#OceanAction40845). This annual award is given to young researchers under 45 from developing countries and is supported by the Principality of Monaco. It recognizes the excellence of their contribution to advancing scientific knowledge of the deep-sea environment and developing sound and efficient regulatory frameworks. Previous editions of the Award were presented to Dr. Diva Amon from Trinidad and Tobago (2018), Dr. Mauricio Shimabukuro from Brazil (2019) and Dr. Kirsty McQuaid from South Africa (2021).


For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Shanique Gregory, Senior Communications Assistant, ISA, sgregory@isa.org.jm