Johanna Forster


Johanna is an environmental social scientist, with over 10 years’ expertise in interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research that cross-cuts contemporary environmental issues around marine and coastal resource management and governance, climate change, hazards and risk. She specialises in understanding multi-level perceptions, knowledge and incentives (from community level to policy level) and the associated implications for sustainability, environmental stewardship and governance.

She has made important contributions to international and UK-based research on governance of coastal and marine resources and food security. She has extensive experience in the Wider Caribbean Region (Anguilla, St Kitts and Nevis, Barbados, Belize, Honduras, Dominica), as well as the Pacific (Hawai’i and Galapagos). She has applied her focus to research on community vulnerability, adaptation and resilience to environmental change, marine-based tourism livelihoods, governance of small-scale fisheries and food security, and cultural and historical influences on contemporary hazards and risk. More recently, she has expanded her focus to the use of novel deliberative methods to explore key issues and gaps associated with emerging energy technologies working with the UEA-Tyndall led project FAB-GGR. Her work combines quantitative and qualitative methods and approaches, spanning ecological, social and economic perspectives.

She also has a long-term interest in science communication (winning Silver medal for the Tyndall Centre at the Chelsea Flower Show for her ‘2050 Garden’), with varied experience in public engagement of environmental change, as well as working at the science-policy interface, as evidenced by her work with CEFAS (Centre for Environmental fisheries and Aquaculture Science), CCSUS (Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas) at the UEA, and MKEN (the Marine Knowledge Exchange Network) Director of Social-Ecological Interactions.

She is also the Co-Lead for the Building Up Resilience Tyndall Research Theme, member of the Global Environmental Justice Research Group and Water Security Research Centre at UEA.