Exit easy mode

Bibliographic research performance and CRIS

Research areas:

  • Environmental and Sustainability Governance
  • Transnational Environmental Law
  • Biodiversity Governance
  • Interdisciplinary Marine Sciences and Sustainable Blue Economy
  • Science-Policy Interface


Jerneja Penca researches governance aspects of socio-ecological systems at the global, regional (EU, Mediterranean) and national levels. Her research spanns over various regimes, including biodiversity, climate change, energy, fisheries and plastics pollution. Her research interests lie particularly in how social paradigms (themselves a product of norms, values, scientific and other knowledge) influence laws and institutions for sustainability, but also why and how dominant framings and approaches are contested. She contributes knowledge to interdisciplinary and legal; academic and policy communities.

Jerneja is strongly committed to the communication and exchange between the scientific community and policy makers in order to inform policy decisions and shape research questions. She is a member of established science-policy mechanisms in domains of sustainability. She is a lead author on the oning IPBES Transformative change assessment and a lead author on the MedECC Climate – water – energy – food – ecosystems nexus Assessment. She was an invited expert to the EU’s Scientific Advice Mechanism’s opinion regarding Environmental and health risks of microplastic pollution, contributed to the Bluemed Initiative and to the preparation and implementation of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Also beyond sustainability questions, she has been involved in the science-policy dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region through the Union for the Mediterranean, particularly in the areas of science, higher education and innovation, employability and training.

Jerneja joined the Mediterranean Institute for Environmental Studies (MIOS) ZRS Koper in 2023. Prior to that she held the role of Head of Academic Affairs at the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) for over 6 years. At EMUNI she founded and led the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Blue Economy, coordinated annual trainings on sustainable blue economy, acted as the Managing Editor for the International Journal of Euro-Mediterranean Studies, co-developed various postgraduate study programmes, took part in capacity building projects with Southern Mediterranean countries and shaped the scientific content of annual science-policy conferences and ad hoc events.

She has ongoing mentoring engagements with various universities at both master and PhD levels, and is open to proposals in her area of expertise.

Jerneja holds a PhD in law from the European University Institute (EUI), LLM degrees from the EUI and the University of Nottingham. She was a postodoctoral fellow at PluriCourts, University of Oslo. She had further educational and working experience from Italy, Slovenia, Canada and Portugal.