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The Social-Ecological Systems (SES) Analysis Group investigates feedbacks between social and ecological dynamics in tropical coastal and marine areas, including mangroves, coral reefs, upwelling areas and river estuaries. We focus on the human-nature relations that surround major sustainability problems associated with tropical CM-SES including ecosystem and resource degradation and overuse, human well-being and poverty and coastal and marine governance and management issues.

Research in our group investigates the dynamics of marine and coastal resource use with a focus on (a) livelihood systems, (b) formal and informal institutions for coastal and marine area management and protection (c) linking social and ecological network characteristics on larger scales(d) historical dimensions and baseline information on human-nature interactions and (e) development of future scenarios for the management and sustainable use of coastal and marine resources.

To link the diverse knowledge systems around identified issues and problems in the tropical coastal and marine realm, we are developing methods for social-ecological systems analysis which enable interdisciplinary collaborations. We adopt a transdisciplinary research approach that includes social and natural scientists, fisherfolk and other ecosystem users as well as feedbacks with political decision-makers. To analyse the characteristics of integrated social-ecological systems, we work with various SES concepts and analytical approaches.



People by the sea

A film by Georg Burkart and Gesine Glaeser