Research Interests and Areas of Expertise
I have long been curious about the ways that humans and environments are, and have historically been, shaped by each other. This curiosity, paired with having spent long periods living on both Canada’s east and west coasts, has led to a research program topically focused on oceans governance, marine resource management, and changing seascapes. Currently, there are three active areas in my research program:
1) International oceans governance
Oceans are the focus of significant international attention for their ‘untapped’ conservation and development potential. Along with colleagues/collaborators, my research here involves: tracking how large ocean initiatives and funding programs are imagined, framed, and communicated by various actors; and, documenting how resulting projects are implemented and play out in coastal places and communities.
2) Sustainable seafood
Seafood is one of the most-traded commodities in the world and fishers/fisheries are increasingly subject to demands from the retail end of the supply chain regarding sustainability assurances and/or certifications. I have two research interests here: a) tracing the cultural narratives and consumption expectations that have evolved around ‘sustainable seafood’; and, (b) learning more about the implications of certification demands for coastal places and communities.
3) Contested ocean space and marine resource management in British Columbia, Canada
British Columbia (BC) is renowned for environmental controversy and Indigenous leadership towards territorial self-governance. General and scholarly understanding of the politics, contestations, and advances in land-based law, treaties, and resource management has grown over the last two decades. Public awareness of and scholarly attention to similar processes at sea arguably lags behind. Therefore, projects and collaborations underway in BC are centrally focused on addressing ocean space as social and political space that is equally subject to claims and contestations by coastal First Nations. Understanding marine activities, resources, and cases from this perspective offers new insight on possibilities for more just and sustainable governance arrangements and resource outcomes.
I am also an Associate Editor at the interdisciplinary journal Conservation and Society. We are always looking for empirical and theoretically informed papers that explore linkages between society, environment and development, so please consider submitting your work!