Prof. Tsai is a Professor at the Graduate Institute of Environmental Education (GIEE) within the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. Her research interests mainly focus on human-environment interactions and sustainability issues in various types of environments, particularly in small islands, Indigenous communities, and coastal sea areas.
Prof. Huei-Min Tsai and Prof. Godfrey Baldacchino first met at the 7th edition of the Islands of the World Conference in Prince Edward Island, Canada back in 2002. Since then, they’ve attended many international conferences, where they’ve had the opportunity to debate with like-minded academics.
They are connected through their common passion for the study of islands.
In October 2019, Prof. Tsai flew from Germany to Malta to get a document signed by Prof. Godfrey Baldacchino, to attest co-authorship of a jointly-written paper, penned back in 2014.
The paper, titled “Contested enclave metageographies: The offshore islands of Taiwan”, explores the offshore islands of Taiwan as dynamic examples of contested metageographies, or islands caught in between opposing interpretations of their identities, relativities, notions of sustainability and futures.
It argues that a number of factors, namely population growth, land use conflict, a tourism economy, the rejection of a casino economy and protests against the storage of spent nuclear waste – are indicative of changing topographies, in turn offering a fresh re-pivoting of political geography for these islands.
Reminiscing back on the brief trip to Malta and her quick glance at Malta, Prof. Tsai commented that she admires “the passion, persistence and outstanding leadership of Prof. Baldacchino in promoting island studies around the world”.