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Polina Baum-Talmor

Dr Polina Baum-Talmor

Postdoctoral Researcher

Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences

023 8201 6145 ext. 6145 Room no. RM121


Polina is a postdoctoral researcher in social sciences, with a particular focus on employment in the shipping industry, in Solent's Faculty of Sport, Health, and Social Sciences.

She completed a PhD project (2018) entitled: ‘Careers and Labour Market Flexibility in Global Industries: The case of seafarers’, which focuses on the flexibilisation of labour among seafarers. Part of the SIRC-Nippon fellowship (2012-2016), Polina was generously funded by the Nippon Foundation throughout her studies in Cardiff. Polina also holds an MA in Anthropology (2012) from the University of Haifa, obtained by completing a written dissertation entitled: 'From sea to shore: An ethnographic account of seafaring experience'. Additionally, she completed a BA in Sociology, Anthropology and Human Resources (2009) at the University of Haifa and a PGDip in SSRM (Social Sciences Research Methods 2013) from Cardiff University.

She developed a genuine interest in seafarers after finishing her BA, which almost led to her joining the maritime industry as a Merchant Navy officer. However, her eagerness to pursue an academic education as well as contribute to seafarers’ welfare resulted in Polina embarking on the study of seafarers as her main research subject.

Polina is an associate fellow at the Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC), Cardiff University; and a research associate at the Haifa Research Center for Maritime Policy and Strategy, University of Haifa, Israel.

Polina speaks Russian, Hebrew and English and has basic knowledge of Spanish and Arabic.

Polina is a guest lecturer on several courses in sociology and maritime studies, including 'Big Questions in Sociology' (2019/20, 2020/21), 'Contemporary Issues in Social Sciences' (2019/20, 2020/21), 'Sociological Imagination' (2019/20, 2020/21'), and 'Maritime Management and Operations' (2018/19, 2019/20).

Research interests

Polina's research interests include:

  • The shift from bureaucratic to flexible employment in the global labour market, focusing on recruitment, training, and retention of employees.
  • Skills transferability - intra-occupational, cross-sector and intra-sector transferability of skills.
  • Various aspects of employment in the global shipping industry, especially concerning the global labour force of seafarers, for example precarious employment among seafarers and multinational work environments.
  • Qualitative research methods, including ethnography, participant/non-participant observation and semi-structured interviews (individual and group interviews).
  • Qualitative data analysis, including the use of CAQDAS (Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software), eg, Nvivo, atlas.ti.
  • Food on board ships (excluding cruise ships).
  • The impact of globalisation on precarious employment.

View Polina's LinkedIn profile

Further information

  1. Recent publications

    Follow the link below to see a list of Polina's recent publications.
    • Baum-Talmor, P. (in press). Careers at sea: Exploring Seafarer Motivations and Aspirations. World of the Seafarer (Book), edited by Gekara, V. and Sampson, H. (Open Access)

    • Kitada, M. and Baum-Talmor, P. (2019) Maritime Digitisation and Its Impact on Seafarers’ Employment from a Career Perspective. Conference proceedings from the 20th Annual General Assembly (AGA) of the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU), October 2019, Tokyo, Japan. (Submitted on 1 July 2019) Published as conference proceedings for the IAMU conference, MK is the corresponding author, pp. 259-267.

    • Baum-Talmor, P. (2019). It’s okay even if you are a spy: Issues in researcher positioning on board a cargo ship, Journal of Organizational Ethnography. Manuscript accepted for publication on 1 November 2019, published online 25 November 2019, Type: Research Article, DOI:, ISSN: 2046-6749. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 9, issue 1.

    • Baum-Talmor, P. (2018). Careers and Labour Market Flexibility in Global Industries: The Case of Seafarers. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University. (Available online, as of 8/4/2019 the thesis was downloaded 307 times).

    • Baum-Talmor, P. (2014). From sea to shore: Ethnographic account of seafarers’ experience on-board merchant ships. Sage Cases in Methodology, 17. DOI:, P. (2012). From Sea to Shore: An Ethnographic Account of Seafaring Experience. (Masters of Arts Dissertation), University of Haifa, Haifa.

  2. Conference papers, guest lectures and invited talks

    Polina has contributed to a number of conference papers, guest lectures and has been invited to speak on a number of occasions. Follow the link below to find out more.
    • Adventures on the High Seas: Researching the Shipping Industry. Invited talk as a guest lecturer International Trade and Commercial Law for Dr Pengfei Zhang, Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering, Solent University, 6 November 2018.
    • Until Death Us Do Part: Seafaring as a Lifelong Occupation? Invited as a key speaker in a seminar for Nautical Institute Members, Nautical Institute – Plymouth Branch, Plymouth University, Plymouth, 16 January 2018.
    • Adventures and Misadventures on the High Seas: Researching the Shipping Industry. Invited as a key speaker in a seminar for students, Nautical Institute – Plymouth Branch, Plymouth University, Plymouth, 16 January 2018.
    • ‘Until Death Us Do Part’: Seafaring as a Lifelong Occupation? (Image Presented). In:  Images of Research Competition. Cardiff University, Cardiff, 12 December 2017.
    • Pulling the ship’s weight safely ashore. (Image Presented). In:  Images of Research Competition. Cardiff University, Cardiff, 6 December 2016.
    • For Better and for worse: Seafaring as a career for life? In:  Liverpool Management School Annual Ethnography Symposium. UWE (University of West England), Bristol, 26 August 2016.
    • (Mis)adventures in the field: Reflections on Risk management in Social Research (with Llangco, M.O.S.). In:  Breaking Boundaries conference. Cardiff University, Cardiff, 21 April 2016.
    • (Mis)adventures in the field: Reflections on Risk management in Social Research. In:  Postgraduate Café annual conference (with Llangco, M.O.S.). Cardiff University, Cardiff, 5 May 2016.
    • 'Even if you are a spy…’: Some challenges in researcher’s positioning aboard a cargo ship. In:  10th Annual Symposium on Current Developments in Ethnographic Research in the Social and Management Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, 25-26 August 2015.
    • A Storm is brewing: Life on board continues despite rough seas (Image Presented). In:  Images of Research Competition. Cardiff University, Cardiff, 3 December 2015.
    • ‘Sailing through life at sea: Physical and emotional aspects of seafarers’ welfare’. British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA), 3rd BUIRA PhD Symposium, Cardiff University, Cardiff, 5-6 November 2015.