Abstract: Human actions and social structures profoundly influence ecological dynamics, and vice-versa. These linked dynamics have profound implications for sustaining ecosystems and the livelihoods of people that depend on them. Yet, social science and ecology are rarely brought together, particularly on the coast. In this talk, I highlight some of the interdisciplinary efforts my research group and I have taken to link social and ecological research on the sustainable use and governance of coral reefs. First, I examine how successful different types of governance arrangements are at sustaining key ecosystem functions. Second, I examine key drivers of overexploitation, highlighting how proximity to markets profoundly shapes the condition of reef fisheries. Third, I describe the socioeconomic and institutional conditions that can lead to more successful outcomes for both people and ecosystems. Finally, I highlight how end-users (including coastal communities, governments, and intergovernmental organizations) have applied this interdisciplinary research.
Biography: Prof. Cinner’s research explores how social, economic, and cultural factors influence the ways in which people use, perceive, and govern natural resources, with a particular emphasis on using applied social science to inform coral reef management. His background is in human geography and he often works closely with ecologists to uncover complex linkages between social and ecological systems. He has worked on human dimensions of resource management in Jamaica, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Mauritius, Seychelles, Indonesia, Mozambique, and the USA. Prof. Cinner holds a prestigious Australian Research Fellowship from the Australian Research Council.