EESS Fall Seminar Series, co-sponsored with Stanford Woods Environmental Forum, Heather Leslie, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology, Center for Environmental Studies & Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University
EESS Fall Seminar Series, co-sponsored with Stanford Woods Environmental Forum, Heather Leslie, Sharpe Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology, Center for Environmental Studies & Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, "Bridging the Gulf: Generating and Translating Knowledge of Coupled Human-Ocean Systems", Abstract: Heather Leslie’s research is focused on generating and synthesizing science to inform coastal marine policy and management. As a marine conservation scientist, she is motivated by two key questions: 1) What are the causes and consequences of ecological and social change in coastal marine systems? and 2) How do we effectively integrate this knowledge into policy and management?
To illustrate how she answers these questions, Prof. Leslie will describe the international, interdisciplinary research program she leads on the coupled coastal human-environment systems associated with small-scale fisheries in Mexico’s Gulf of California. This coupled systems approach brings together data and approaches from diverse disciplines, including oceanography, ecology, economics, and anthropology. For example, using a coupled bio economic modeling approach, Professor Leslie and colleagues have illustrated how a size selective fishery, driven by market demand, can benefit both people and targeted fish populations in the La Paz region. Complementing this work are analyses at the gulf-wide scale, incorporating the region’s substantial spatial variation in oceanography, biogeography, and human institutions.
Ultimately fisheries are one of many benefits provided to people by functioning marine systems. By combining field observations and experiments with modeling and synthetic analyses, Prof. Leslie provides decision makers at multiple scales – in Mexico and the US – knowledge that can be used to monitor, assess, and ultimately improve the health of oceans and the coastal human communities that are part of them.