Her research interests looks at how resilience thinking can enable better management of natural resources. Her work ranges from the global to the local (mainly sub-Saharan Africa) scale.
She is currently involved in three main research areas:
1. Resilience of smallholder agriculture in dryland sub-Saharan Africa
Dryland sub-Saharan Africa is challenged by extreme inter- and intra-annual rainfall variability. Improving water management in rainfed agriculture seems to be a key feature of building resilience in these landscapes. This work involves fieldwork in southern Niger, Kwa-ZuluNatal (South Africa) and the Pangani River (Tanzania).
2. Assessments of bundles of ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes
Agriculture increases food production, but often at on the expense of other ecosystem services. In this research field, Gordon aims to increase the empirical and conceptual knowledge of how ecosystem services interact with each other, in order to improve management so as to that can take advantage of synergies among ecosystem services and minimize unfavorable trade-offs. She also analyzes the relationship between regulating ecosystem services and ecosystem resilience. Fieldwork is conducted in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.
3. Agriculture, climate change, hydrology and regime shifts
Agriculture and climate change alter terrestrial and aquatic hydrology and affect ecosystem resilience. Gordon is particularly interested in global-scale mapping of regions that are vulnerable to agriculture and water-driven ecosystem regime shifts.
Another project, on climate, hydrology and socio-ecological resilience in the Arctic, seeks understanding of the vulnerability of various regions in the Arcticare to hydrologically driven regime shifts.
Line Gordon did her PhD in Natural Resources Management at the Department of Systems Ecology at Stockholm University. She spent her post doc at the International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka within the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. She also served as a coordinating lead-author for the Ecosystem Chapter.
Truly interested in transdisciplinary research as well as in the interface of science and society, Gordon is an associate member of the Resilience Alliance, a subject editor of the journal Ecology and Society and on the editorial board of Water International.
She also serves on the Scientific Program Committee of the World Water Week and serves on the board of Albaeco, an institute devoted to the communication of sustainability science to the general public.
Aniek Hebinck, PhD candidate
Research news | 2017-03-01
Line Gordon wants to visualize the invisible part of the water cycle and find tasty pathways to more sustainable and healthy food systems
Research news | 2017-02-21
The impacts and benefits of agricultural landscapes are more visible through a resilience framework , new study argues
Research news | 2016-11-10
New method based on social-ecologically defined patches assess ecosystem services’ role for livelihoods in poor rural areas
Research news | 2016-08-29
Why global agriculture must become key contributor to sustainable development rather than largest driver of environmental change
2017 - Journal / article
There is an ongoing debate on what constitutes sustainable intensification of agriculture (SIA). In this paper, we propose that a paradigm for sustainable intensification can be defined and translated into an operational framework for agricultural development. We argue that this paradigm must now be defined—at all scales—in the context of rapidly rising global environmental changes in the Anthropocene, while focusing on eradic...
2017 - Journal / article
The spatial and temporal dynamics of water resources are a continuous challenge for effective and sustainable national and international governance. The watershed is the most common spatial unit in water resources governance, which typically includes only surface and groundwater. However, recent advances in hydrology have revealed ‘atmospheric watersheds’ – otherwise known as precipitationsheds. Water flowing within a precipit...
2017 - Journal / article
Sustainable Development Goals offer an opportunity to improve human well-being while conserving natural resources. Ecosystem services highlight human well-being benefits ecosystems, including agricultural ecosystems, provides. Whereas agricultural systems produce the majority of our food, they drive significant environmental degradation. This tension between development and environmental conservation objectives is not an immut...
2016 - Journal / article
An ecosystem service is a benefit derived by humanity that can be traced back to an ecological process. Although ecosystem services related to surface water have been thoroughly described, the relationship between atmospheric water and ecosystem services has been mostly neglected, and perhaps misunderstood. Recent advances in land-atmosphere modeling have revealed the importance of terrestrial ecosystems for moisture recycling...