Each month, the Office of Sponsored Programs will spotlight a different PI and their research. If you are interested in being featured in our next spotlight, please email Please be sure to provide us with an abstract (3-5 paragraphs) about your research, explanation of your recent project, the amount your project (s) were funded for, special events that you are hosting or coordinating, obstacles or challenges you faced during the application process, if applicable, and a photo of yourself.   

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Gohar Petrossian, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice 
John Jay College of  Criminal Justice

Gohar Petrossian is an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Dr. Petrossian joined the John Jay faculty in 2013. In addition to being a faculty member in the undergraduate Department of Criminal Justice, Dr. Petrossian also teaches in the MA Program and Program of Doctoral Studies in Criminal Justice.

Dr. Petrossian’s research interests include crimes again wildlife, with a particular interest in illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing; spatial and temporal analysis of crime and GIS mapping; environmental crimi-nology and opportunity theories; and crime prevention. In that vein, she is the author of the book Last Fish Swimming: The Global Crime of Illegal Fishing, on which she presented an Office for the Advancement of Re-search Book Talk in 2019.

Currently, Dr. Petrossian is involved in a grant project sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts that looks at the international networks of high-risk transshipment events that involve refrigerated cargo vessels and fish-ing vessels and take place both in the high seas and in coastal countries’ territorial waters. Her research, which was funded in the amount of $53,000, will shed light on the network structures of these activities and highlight likely illegal transshipment activities that occur globally.

In the past, she has been the recipient of two PSC-CUNY Research Award Grants and a grant from the Office of the Provost at John Jay for the study of wildlife crimes, including illegal fishing and retaliatory killings of clouded leopards. Dr. Petrossian is also the author of a number of scholarly articles published in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice and Marine Policy, and has con-tributed several chapters to edited volumes.

In addition to her teaching and research duties, Dr. Petrossian is also the Director of the International Crime and Justice Masters Program at John Jay, where, through her program and in collaboration with the Center for International Human Rights, they co-sponsor various guest speaker events. Last month, there was a guest visit by a renowned Canadian international human rights scholar and trial lawyer for the Office of the Prose-cutor at the International Criminal Court, prosecutor Alexis Demirdjian. Mr. Demirdjian spoke about the role of international justice in the context of modern day conflicts, featuring the current Armenia-Azerbaijan war as a case study.