The Participatory Potential of Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping in the Context of Harmful Algal Blooms in Coastal Peru + Qualitative mathematical modelling within Humboldt Tipping II


Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are extreme environmental events that can undermine the livelihoods of coastal communities by causing the mortality of marine fauna, posing direct health risks to humans and provoking fishery closures. These events are expected to increase in frequency and intensity due to climate change and coastal pollution. Nevertheless, the social, economic, and political impacts of HABs on these communities are not well understood, which is especially the case for Latin America. This study aims to fill these gaps through a case study of HABs in two coastal communities in Peru that are dependent on fishing and aquaculture - the Sechura and Paracas Bay. Through the participatory modelling approach of fuzzy cognitive mapping, this study aims to better understand the drivers and socio-economic impacts related to the HABs. Moreover, it compares the perception of diverse stakeholder groups to explore their ability to adapt to these extreme events. Based on the case study, Jelto´s master thesis will reflect on the methodological, ethical, and theoretical strengths and weaknesses of participatory theory, methods & modelling in the field of sustainability studies more generally. During the meeting, Jelto plans to discuss the extent to which “participatory modelling” is participatory? Building upon Jelto’s presentation, Michael will provide a brief overview of the plans for their work package on “Participatory Modelling of Social-Ecological Futures in Coastal Peru” as part of the second phase of the Humboldt Tipping project.



Jelto Makris studied International Relations and Political Science at Leiden University, Sciences Po Paris, and Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin). During his studies he developed an interest in land & resource conflicts, extractivism, the role of the state in transformative social change and environmental governance with a focus on Latin America. Before joining the ZMT he worked as a research assistant at Leiden University and the Transnational Institute Amsterdam (TNI). At the TNI, he investigated the conflicts between European SSFs and multinational fishing companies. Currently, he writes his Master Thesis at FU Berlin and within the Humboldt Tipping Project reflecting on the strength and weaknesses of the paradigm of “stakeholder participation” in sustainability science by looking at the case of Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping. For his thesis, he conducted fieldwork in Peru last year. Michael Kriegl is an early career researcher fascinated by the interactions between ocean and society. As part of ZMTs Social Sciences and Integrated Modelling departments, Michael explores the dynamics of small-scale fisheries management in Latin America through a network lens. Within the Humboldt Tipping project, he is developing social-ecological network models of coastal systems in Peru with the aim to support decision-making in the face of advancing climate change. Beyond his research on marine resource management, Michael is passionate about science communication, promoting ocean literacy and sparking curiosity in young minds.


This meeting will be conducted online -  you may join us using the following Zoom link:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 816 1236 7432
Passcode: 326594

All participants are welcome to join from 10.30 am onwards; the presentation starts at 10.45am.