About Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff – Research Adventurer

Teale Vienna FlagsTeale is an experienced researcher and political campaigner. He has a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge (Clare College), as well as two BAs (political science (honours) and international relations) from the University of Calgary. His PhD thesis focused on non-governmental organization (NGO) and transnational advocacy group (TAG) strategy, specifically examining the international legal strategy of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He is a world expert on illegal fishing and transnational organized crime and presented a report on the subject at the 13th UN Crime Congress in Doha (2015) and recently participated in an Expert Meeting Group on Fisheries Crime hosted by the UNODC and WWF in Vienna.

Teale’s research employs a wide range of methodologies and he is particularly familiar with formal and informal interviews, participant observation, and archival research. Teale has consulted on curriculum development for the Masters in Sustainability Leadership Programme at the University of Cambridge, and has lectured extensively on NGO strategy and politics.

Teale has presented research papers at numerous international conferences and has several publications which explore various aspects of NGO strategy (see below). He has worked on several research projects while at the University of Calgary, including serving as a Student Research Team Leader, coordinating a research team for the Institute for Advanced Policy Research (IAPR). From 2009-2013,Teale served as an associate editor for the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, a quarterly academic journal. Teale also works as a Contributing Analyst for Wikistrat, an online Massively Multiplayer Online Consultancy (MMOC), which examines political and geopolitical trends.

During his time in Cambridge, Teale has put his knowledge of NGO strategy to use, helped new and established NGOs develop innovative strategies and solutions to political challenges. Prior to forming The Idea Tree he consulted for Transition Cambridge, Shark Fin Free Calgary, Ruby Animal Rescue (RAR), Fin Free Cambridge and Fin Fighters UK.

Teale also has extensive experience in politics, political campaigning and campaign strategy. He served as an elected official on the University of Calgary Students’ Union for three terms, and has stood as a candidate in two Canadian federal (2006, 2008), and one Alberta provincial (2008) elections. He is an accomplished and award winning debater and public speaker, and served as the Debate Coach at Glenlyon Norfolk School, in Victoria, BC, Canada for two years (2014-2016). He remains active in the speech and debate community and is an organizer of the annual BC Provincial High School Mock Trial competition.

Teale is also an avid volunteer, and has volunteered with a range of organizations and charities, including William Roper Hull Child and Family Services, Clare College outreach, and the London 2012 Olympics. He is a passionate hockey player and played defense for the Varsity winning Cambridge Blues Ice Hockey Club, as well coaching the University of Cambridge Women’s Ice Hockey Club to two back to back Varsity victories.


Phelps Bondaroff, Teale. “Throwing a Wrench Into Things: The Strategy of Radical Environmentalism.” Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, 10:4 (Summer, 2008), 1-23.

Phelps Bondaroff, Teale. “Sailing With the Sea Shepherds.” Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, 13:3 (Spring, 2011), 1-55 (non-peer reviewed).

Eilstrup-Sangiovanni, Mette, and Teale Phelps Bondaroff. “From Advocacy to Confrontation: Direct Enforcement by Environmental Transnational Advocacy Networks.” International Studies Quarterly (July, 2014).

Phelps Bondaroff, Teale, and Danita Catherine Burke. “Bridging Troubled Waters: History as Political Opportunity Structure.” Journal of Civil Society. (May 2014), 165-183.