Dr. Brittany Gilmer

Associate Professor
Undergraduate Program Director


  • PhD University of Toronto, Geography
  • MS University of Wisconsin-Madison, Urban and Regional Planning
  • BA University of Wisconsin-Madison, Political Science

Research Areas

  • Maritime crime and transnational crime
  • Criminal justice reform in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Political geographies of crime and justice
  • Criminologies of the Global South
  • Qualitative methods, ethnography


Dr. Gilmer's expertise is in maritime crime and justice with a specialization in Somali piracy and IUU fishing in East Africa. Broadly, she is interested in the intersections of crime, criminal justice reform, and international development in sub-Saharan Africa. She has published a book titled Political Geographies of Piracy (Palgrave, 2014), academic articles, and technical reports on transnational crime in Somalia and the East African region. Dr. Gilmer is a former consultant with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Counter Piracy Programme (since renamed the Global Maritime Crime Programme) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Somalia Fisheries Sector. She has spent extensive time on the ground conducting research and implementing criminal justice-related programming in Somalia, Kenya, and the Seychelles.

Selected Publications

Gilmer, Brittany and Britanee Kane. (2019) Counter Piracy Programming and Potential Barriers to Reintegrating Pirates: An African Restorative Justice Critique. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice.

Gilmer, Brittany and Caroline Comerford. (2018) Promoting pirate prisons: exploring the intersections of narratives, media, and criminal justice reform in East AfricaCrime, Law and Social Change.

Gilmer, Brittany. (2017) Invisible Pirates: Women and the Gendered Roles of Somali PiracyFeminist Criminology.

Gilmer, Brittany. (2017) Somali Piracy Prisoners and Biopolitical Penal Aid in East AfricaPunishment & Society. 19(1): 115-131.

Gilmer, Brittany. (2016) Fishermen, Pirates, and the Politics of Aid: An Analysis of the Somali Fishermen Registration ProgrammeGeoforum. 77: 106-113.