We seek motivated individuals interested to pursue a PhD linked to two projects, namely the Seeds of Good Anthropocenes initiative and the Social‐ecological regime shifts in the Anthropocene project. Applicants should have a keen interest in sustainability and sustainability transitions, an interest and ability to integrate across the social and natural sciences, and enjoy collaboration and working in teams. Interested individuals should have a strong academic track‐record, participate in the events and activities of the CST, and be interested in developing a career around topics such as social‐ecological systems, resilience and risk, complexity thinking, social innovation and sustainability transformations. For more information on the following PhD bursaries [...]
Masters fellowship on quantifying Africa’s Biodiversity Intactness: 2020-2021 Deadline for applications: 25 November 2019 A key challenge of the 21st century is identifying sustainable development pathways for humanity that do not erode the ecological foundation on which human well-being depends. It is increasingly recognized that humans and ecosystems are linked in complex and dynamic ways, as intertwined elements of ‘social-ecological’ systems. Africa is known for its iconic biodiversity on which people depend for essential services, such as food, water and clean air. The continent is also currently experiencing one the most rapid GDP growth rates of any region. The upcoming [...]
We are bombarded with negative visions of the future, which may inhibit our ability to move towards a positive future for the Earth and humanity. In this project we aim to solicit, explore, and develop a suite of alternative, plausible visions of “Good Anthropocenes” – positive visions of futures that are socially and ecologically desirable, just, and sustainable, specifically from a southern African perspective.
This project focuses on the risk of transgressing critical thresholds or tipping points in social‐ecological systems that could trigger catastrophic regime shifts– large, abrupt and potentially irreversible changes – with respect to critical ecosystem services such as crop production, fisheries, and climate regulation. Such shifts can have major implications for human economies, health and well‐being, especially for poorer, marginalized groups in society.
The “New Paradigm” project is a collaborative research programme of the above organisations which recognises and takes account of the inherent complexity of water related systems. This work is underpinned by the key concepts of complex socio-ecological systems (SES), trans-disciplinarity, resilience and strategic adaptive management. The project will be organised through research teams, case studies, specific eutrophication, microbial pollution, and resource protection focus areas, an integrated community-based response process, and a process of testing principles derived from project case studies in additional regions.
This research programme focuses on the concept of spatial resilience. This body of theory recognizes that spatial variation (e.g., context, gradients, connectivity, network membership, and spatial feedbacks) changes how complex systems adapt, maintain or return to a desired state, and ultimately persist. My students and I combine tools from complexity theory and other disciplines to explore the spatial resilience of social-ecological systems (SESs).
This is the prototype for an integrated monitoring system at regional scale, which combines observations of human well-being, ecosystem services and agriculture. Its long gestation, like PECS, traces back to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, where we wished we had high-resolution, co-located datasets for specific places in order to address issues of tradeoffs between various development activities, biodiversity and HWB.
Project for Ecosystem Services (ProEcoServ): Strengthening the science-policy interface of biodiversity and ecosystem services
ProEcoServ aims to enhance the integration of ecological infrastructure and ecosystem services into national development planning and policy with the involvement of national and local stakeholders. It is a global project with an umbrella approach, under which four pilot countries with existing skills and programs in ecosystem assessment are developing site and policy-specific activities and tools for decision making within a joint programmatic framework.