Sea Change: How are coastal and riparian communities, environments and economies affected by and adapting to a changing world?

Coastal and maritime societies and ecologies are sites of great dynamism. Global environmental change, globalization of trade, migration, urbanization and changing utilization of ocean spaces pose challenges to people whose lives are linked to the sea and to the governance of coastal zones and oceans.  Our group is interested in multi-scale research to elucidate pathways of change and societal responses to them.  Some of the question we pursue include:

  1. How are climatic change and ocean acidification affecting coastal societies and people dependent on aquatic resources for their livelihoods?
  2. How is integration with global markets affecting resource governance and development in small-scale fisheries?
  3. How can societies and maritime economic sectors adapt to change? 



Harmful Algal Blooms


Current Student Projects

Myriam Khalfallah (PhD, University of British Columbia, Fisheries Centre)  - Artisanal Fisheries in North Africa and the Middle East (Committee Chair:  Professor Daniel Pauly)

Alison McNaughton (PhD, University of Victoria, Department of Geography) – Arapaima conservation and Amazonian Livelihoods


Former Student Projects

Merrill Rudd (PhD, SAFS) – Stock assessment in data-poor coral reef fisheries (Committee member; Advisors: Ray Hilborn and Trevor Branch)

Clare Shelton (PhD, UEA) – Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in fishing communities in the Western Pacific 

Two NSF-funded Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Training (IGERT) team projects – (1) climate change impacts and adaptation in US cities, and (2) adaptation of Quinalt Nation to climate change impacts on their razor clam fishery (Advisory panel)


Selected publications

Cinner, J. E., Huchery, C., MacNeil, M. A., Graham, N. A., McClanahan, T. R., Maina, J., ... & Allison, E. H. (2016). Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs. Nature, 535(7612), 416-419.

Allison, E.H. and H.R. Bassett (2015). Climate change in the oceans: Human impacts and responses. Science, 350(6262): 778-782.

Cinner, J.E., Huchery, C., Hicks, C.C., Daw, T.M., Marshall, N., Wamukota, A. and Allison, E.H.  (2015) Changes in adaptive capacity through time and among different segments of Kenyan fishing communities.  Nature Climate Change, 5(9), 872-876.

Barange, M., G. Merino, J. L. Blanchard, J. Scholtens, J. Harle, E. H. Allison, J. I. Allen, J. Holt & S. Jennings (2014). Impacts of climate change on marine ecosystem production in societies dependent on fisheries. Nature Climate Change, 4: 211–216

Merino, G., Barange, M., Blanchard, J., Harle, J., Holmes, R., Allen, I., Allison, E.H., Badjeck, M-C., Dulvy, N.K., Holt, J., Jennings, S., Mullon, C., and Rodwell, L.D (2012). Can marine fisheries and aquaculture meet fish demand from a growing human population in a changing climate?  Global Environmental Change, 22(4): 795-806.

Badjeck, M-C., E.H. Allison, A.S. Halls and N.K. Dulvy (2010). Impacts of climate variability and change on fishing-based livelihoods.  Marine Policy, 34(3): 375-383

Allison, E.H., A. Perry, M-C. Badjeck, W.N. Adger, N.L. Andrew, K. Brown, D. Conway, A. Halls, G.M Pilling, J.D. Reynolds, and N.K. Dulvy (2009) Vulnerability of national economies to potential impacts of climate change on fisheries. Fish and Fisheries, 10: 173-196.


Photo: A man by his boat at low tide in a village on stilts in Bangladesh by Nathan Bennett.