Abstract: Coastal communities in many parts of the developing world are in crisis. Social, political, economic and technological changes have interacted with changes in natural environments to adversely affect the people who live in coastal zones and the natural environments in which they are embedded. In this context, my primary research interest has been to understand the dynamics and consequences of human-environment interactions with a particular emphasis on the ability of coastal fishing communities to deal with complexity and change. Based on an understanding that today’s coastal communities are the product of centuries of interactive restructuring between people and natural environments and drawing on social science research methods, my doctoral research explores the ways in which three communities are experiencing and responding to multiple sources of change along the Mozambican coast. In this seminar, I will highlight the contributions of my research to date and will synthesize some lessons learned that I will carry forward into my postdoctoral program. In addition, I will present some initial research questions through which I propose to investigate the relationship between marine governance transformation and social and ecological sustainability in the Pacific small-scale fisheries.
Biography: Jessica Blythe grew up in Newfoundland, Canada. She completed a BSc (Hons) in marine ecology from Memorial University in 2004 and a Masters in geography from York University in 2009. Jessica is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria. She uses social science to explore how small-scale fishing communities in coastal Mozambique are responding to multiple sources of change.