Research Goals
Changes in social organizations, economic interactions, and human security are often contingent on dynamic effects facilitated by environmental forces and shifts in governance. However, there is limited knowledge on how well communities (particularly those that play an important interactive role in marine ecosystems and resources) can adapt to global environmental and social challenges while limited transnational governance is already affecting human security in these communities.

My research aims to advance the theoretical and empirical understanding of the changes in coastal communities’ vulnerability resulting from the transformations in the global and regional environmental and socio-economic conditions. Ultimately, I aspire to provide scientific and culturally relevant policy solutions for the communities facing environmental and social challenges, including climate change and poverty to ensure equity and security for all members of society.

Research achievements on indigenous fisheries
My research over the past ten years in the areas of anthropology and policy covered field studies in Europe (UK and France), Asia (Japan and Indonesia), Oceania (Australia and Palau), and the Pacific Northwest (Canada). These studies collectively contribute to the understanding of how ecological, social, and economic changes transform the relationship between the ocean and people under differing cultural contexts.

Recently, I, along with Dr. Cisneros, designed and developed a global database of coastal indigenous peoples engaged in subsistence fishing. This is the first such quantitative dataset. Coastal indigenous peoples are arguably most vulnerable to marine environmental changes, but are still marginalized in global ocean governance. The database will provide a baseline for future discussions on the adaptability of coastal indigenous communities and the risks that ocean changes pose to their security, including poverty and displacement.

In parallel to this global focus, I worked on the scientific projection of the impact of climate change on indigenous fisheries in the Pacific Northwest. This resulted in the first quantitative analysis projecting the climate change impact on the specific fishing sector that made culturally significant use of marine living resources. I will continue conducting case studies of other indigenous groups in the region and acquire information on the different socio-cultural characteristics required for the study on diverse civil response to climate change adaptation of coastal indigenous fisheries.