Research

Image by Ben Stern

Ocean acidification and environmental change along the U.S. West Coast

West Coast rights and stakeholders, including those reliant on economically and culturally important species, have already experienced the adverse consequences of OA and other stressors. However, the human dimension of vulnerability and people’s capacity to adapt, particularly in highly resource dependent economies, remains understudied. Through this work we aim to fill knowledge gaps about the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of coastal communities to OA and other environmental stressors in order to support thriving and resilient coastal communities and OA policy and decision-making along the U.S. West Coast.

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Equity in ocean governance:

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the Blue Economy

My research on the future of ocean governance is inspired by growing calls for equity; particularly regarding how, for whom, and by whom conservation goals are to be achieved. Narratives informing ocean governance have been dominated by the interests of powerful nations and industries, and by narrow definitions of benefits to people. This often results in the uneven distribution of costs and benefits among stakeholders and the exclusion of Indigenous and other vulnerable communities. Specific projects include the study of social outcomes of and enabling conditions for MPAs and equitable outcomes of the Blue Economy in small-scale fisheries in Panama.

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Plastic pollution in Panama


A plastic cleanup project in Panama City, Panama working to decrease plastic pollution in the oceans by addressing plastic in the rivers. The project incorporates biophysical and socio-economic research to understand the impacts of plastics in the rivers as well as the social and economic drivers for river waste disposal.