Aleks is from Georgia but currently works and lives in the Netherlands as an environmental social scientist at Leiden University in the Netherlands. After completion of his university studies in aquatic ecology, he worked at the Ministry of Environment of Georgia as a Returning Expert of the CIM Program of the German Federal Employment Agency (2013-2015) on biodiversity monitoring, environmental awareness raising and capacity building. In 2016 he enrolled on the EU Horizon 2020 ITN – Pontocaspian Biodiversity Rise and Demise (PRIDE) Project (pontocaspian.eu), working on science communication, scientific network coordination and database management. He has also completed a PhD at the Leiden University on effective conservation governance of the north-western Black Sea coastal ecosystems and associated biodiversity. Within EMSEA he is working on extending the network to promote ocean literacy and sustainability in the Black Sea region.