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Anke Fischer

Staff picture: Anke Fischer
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Honorary Associate
+44 (0)1224 395299

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


I am a honorary associate at the James Hutton Institute and my work combines psychological and sociological perspectives in human-nature interactions with a perspective that addresses governance arrangements for natural resource management and sustainability transformations. Over the years, my research has examined mental constructs of climate change, nature and biological diversity as built and used by different social groups, particularly also the value judgements implied, and the implications for public support for related policies. Other work has also addressed the cultural and economic role of hunting in Tanzania and Ethiopia, and the institutional arrangements that foster (or hamper) sustainable resource management, with a focus on co-management and institutional change. My current research combines these different approaches by looking at the management and governance of 'ecosystem services', systems such as woodlands, and climate change from the perspectives of individuals as well as social groups.


Current research interests

PDF file: Anke Fischer's publications since 2007 by thematic areas

  • Social representations and discourses of nature, biodiversity, plant and animal species, hunting and wildlife management.
  • Folk social science and social representations of climate change and societal change towards sustainability.
  • Co-production and governance of ecosystem services.
  • Social-psychological views on environmental economic valuation techniques.
  • Institutional analysis of governance mechanisms in natural resource management.
  • Community 'capacities' for sustainability.

Ongoing and recent projects

  • Ecosystem services supply (Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services - RESAS) (2016-2021) - Improving our understanding of the impact of management interventions on flows of benefits from ecosystems
  • IPORE - Improving organic resource use in rural Ethiopia (ESRC NEXUS) (2016-2017) - My research focus: Governance of common pool resources implied in alternatives for organic resource use
  • GLAMURS - Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Resional Sustainability (EU FP7) (2013-2016) - My research focus: to explore the diversity and implications of social representations of sustainability governance
  • TESS - Towards European Societal Sustainability (EU FP7) (2013-2016) - My research focus: to investigate the diversity of aspirations and rationalities in community sustainability initiatives, and to examine the tensions arising from these

PhD supervision

  • Irma Arts: Digital technologies and human-nature interactions: the users' perspective. University of Aberdeen, 2017-.
  • Jennifer Wardle: Resolving the conflict between demands on organic wastes in rural Ethiopia –  solutions for food, energy and water security. University of Aberdeen, 2016-.
  • Isla Hodgson: Predators, tolerance and conflict: Understanding the drivers of raptor conflict in Scotland. University of Aberdeen. 2015-.
  • Marie Pagès: The role of volunteers in invasive non-native species management initiatives. University of Aberdeen, 2012-2016.
  • Audrey Verma: The role of digital technology in the development of human-nature relationships. University of Aberdeen, 2012-2016.
  • Asanterabi Lowassa: The influence of social structure and social change on illegal bushmeat hunting in western Serengeti, Tanzania. University of Dar es Salaam, 2011-2017.
  • Dereje Tadesse Wakjira: Governance, institutional change and forest use in Harenna, Ethiopia. University of Aberdeen, 2009-2013.
  • Koen Arts: Wilderness restoration and animal reintroduction: Ideas, discourses and policies. University of Aberdeen, 2008-2012.
  • Sebastian Selge: Public and scientific discourses on biological invasions: social representations of invasive non-native species in Scotland. University of Aberdeen, 2007-2011.
  • Kerry A. Waylen: The implications of local views and institutions for the outcomes of community-based conservation. Imperial College London, 2007-2010.

Past research

  • Building natural resource monitoring capacity in Ethiopia’s key Afro-montane ecosystems (Darwin Initiative/DEFRA) (2010-2013) – My research focus: to examine co-management arrangements for common-pool resource governance and their changes over time.
  • Assessment of Scotland’s Ecosystem Services (Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) - Scottish Government) (2011-2016) – My research focus: to investigate the co-production of ecosystem services related to woodlands and their governance.
  • Governance and decision-making for community empowerment in rural communities (Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) – Scottish Government) (2011-2016) – my research focus: to explore the impact of small-scale community activities on community resilience and vibrancy.
  • HUNTing for Sustainability (EU FP7) (2008-2012) – my research focus: cultural and institutional aspects of hunting in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Scotland.
  • Governance, Infrastructure, Lifestyle Dynamics and Energy Demand: European Post-Carbon Communities (EU FP7) (2008-2012) – my research focus: Social representations and folk psychologies related to climate change, energy use and resource governance.
  • ALTER-Net EU FP6 Network of Excellence (2005-2009) – Work package leader for “Public attitudes towards biodiversity and its management”.


Printed from /staff/anke-fischer on 08/02/23 07:16:29 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.