My research concerns environmental change and how individuals and societies respond to change. I am interested in issues of resilience, vulnerability and adaptation, and the different policy options for dealing with environmental change. I use interdisciplinary approaches, including political ecology.
Currently much of my research in these areas is focused on climate change and on management of coastal resources. I have worked in other contexts, particularly on terrestrial conservation and forest ecosystems. I am also engaged in ideas around ecosystem services, especially how they relate to poverty and broader understandings of well-being.
My research centres around three inter-connected themes:
1. Resilience, Vulnerability and Development
This strand of my research explores how resilience ideas – which provide insights into the dynamics of change and responses to multiple stresses and shocks in both ecological and social dimensions – can be applied to understanding environmental change and international development. More…
2. Dynamics of Change in Coastal Social Ecological-Systems
My work on coastal social ecological systems – the interactions between people, institutions, landscapes and seascapes – started with research undertaken with Emma Tompkins, Neil Adger and colleagues at University of the West Indies on ‘Trade-off Analysis’. We created innovative methods to engage diverse-stakeholders and to understand the trade-offs between ecosystem health, social benefits and economics. More…
3. People, Poverty and Carbon
I have been involved in research on forests for some years, examining the social dynamics of forest-cover change. My more recent research in this area has involved interrogating the assumptions made about opportunities for development benefits of climate change mitigation through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). This work involved analysing carbon forestry projects in developing countries. More…