Garry Peterson is professor in environmental sciences with emphasis on resilience and social-ecological systems at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. His research combines three themes: abrupt systemic change, how ecological changes impacts people, and using futures thinking to improve navigating surprising social-ecological change. He is head of subject for the centre’s Sustainability Science PhD programme.
He has a Bachelors degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Florida. He was also a postdoc at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at University of California, Santa Barbara and the Center for Limnology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to coming to the Stockholm Resilience Centre he was an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair jointly appointed in the department of Geography and the McGill School of the Environment, at McGill University.
He was co-editor of the Artic Council’s Arctic Resilience Report. He was a coordinating lead author for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment’s Scenarios Assessment. He was coordinating lead author for IPBES’s scenarios and models assessment, and is currently a review editor for an IPBES regional assessment. He has been a member of the Resilience Alliance, since its founding. He has conducted and contributed to participatory ecosystem management processes in Canada, the USA, and Sweden.
Awards and achievements:
Research news | 2018-06-12
Questions around the popular ecosystem services framework and nature’s contribution to people has hit a nerve
Research news | 2018-05-28
First study of resilience practice across multiple cases: lessons learned from nine organizations in Australia
Research news | 2018-05-17
Applying Elinor Ostrom’s principles on common pool resources management demonstrates how forest management in the Pamir Mountains may not be so tragic after all. But Soviet era legacy lingers, new research shows
Research news | 2018-02-20
Fear of collapse lurks behind many discussions about the future, but much research on it is scattered and incoherent
First in-depth analysis of a resilience assessment put into practice
Centre researcher Garry Peterson explains
Key note presentation during the 2015 PECS conference
Centre researcher Sara Borgström explains the research project Ekoklim, featured as 14 scientific articles in Ambio
2018 - Journal / article
In the Pamir Mountains of Eastern Tajikistan, the clearance of mountain forests to provide fuelwood for an increasing population is a major source of environmental degradation. International development organisations have implemented joint forestry management institutions to help restore once-forested mountainous regions, but the success of these institutions has been highly variable. This study uses a multi-method approach, d...
2018 - Journal / article
A recent paper by Díaz et al. (2018 a ) presented “nature’s contributions to people,” a conceptual framework developed within the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The authors wrote that it could nurture a paradigm shift from the concept of ecosystem services. The paper has sparked quick reactions including a critical editorial response in the journal Ecosystem Services...
2017 - Book chapter
Ecosystems are shaped by natural processes such as predator–prey interactions and climate, as well as by human activities such as harvesting and pollution. Resilient ecosystems are able to absorb disturbances, but chronic stressors may reduce the capacity of an ecosystem to cope with change (Trends Ecol Evol 15:413–417, 2000). The ability of ecosystems to absorb disturbance and at the same time maintain their structure, proces...
2017 - Journal / article
Multiple ecosystem services (ES) can respond similarly to social and ecological factors to form bundles. Identifying key social-ecological variables and understanding how they co-vary to produce these consistent sets of ES may ultimately allow the prediction and modelling of ES bundles, and thus, help us understand critical synergies and trade-offs across landscapes. Such an understanding is essential for informing bett...