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Nature-society relations

This research area is investigating how to encourage governance that is equitable to humans and non-humans through understanding the relationships between humankind and environments, and the influence that these relationships have on actions.

People are both part of nature and shape nature. In this research group we explore relations between and within nature and society. This includes the effects nature-society relations have on ecosystems and human behaviour, and the adaptations or transformation required to secure equitable social-ecological resilience in the face of change.

it is recognised that insights from formal scientific methods can too easily crowd out  those arising from other knowledge systems. In response to this, the team adopt inter- and trans-disciplinary methods, working with stakeholders to produce a  shared understanding of problems and to challenge dominant narratives that reproduce inequitable and unsustainable development.

The work is informed by participatory approaches and we work through a variety of methods, including social learning, co-development of technologies and institutions, participatory modelling, and citizen science within many contexts such as of water governance, agricultural development, livestock management, disaster risk reduction, tree health management, human health, climate adaptation, urban planning, and pro-environmental behaviour.