Maria is a research leader of the Biosphere Stewardship stream at SRC, and is currently leading research projects on co-production of knowledge for syntheses across scientific, local and indigenous knowledge systems; sense of place and cultural ecosystems services in Southern Africa; and emerging stewardship networks in Bangalore, India. She is part of the GRAID programme, focusing on linking a Multiple Evidence Base perspective into planning for development, including resilience assessments.
As an underlying theme, Maria’s research sets out to understand how positive connections between people and nature matter for moving towards trajectories of ecosystem-based management for human well-being. In particular, she is interested in the in-tangible, non-material aspects of human-nature interactions, such as local knowledge, sense of place, and biocultural connections, and the implications for building social-ecological resilience and transformative capacity. She has been working with aspects in social-ecological systems in Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, India, and Sweden.
Maria Tengö is and has been supervising PhD and master level projects on e.g. cultural ecosystem services, stewardship networks, sense of place and place making, and indigenous knowledge in South Africa, India (Bangalore), US (New York), Colombia (Bogota), and Ecuador.
On-going research projects:
Maria has an interdisciplinary PhD in Natural Resource Management from the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University. Her undergraduate education was primarily in biology and ecology at Uppsala and Stockholm University, but included courses in ecological economics, philosophy, history of science, and conservation management. During her PhD she was engaged in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Geography, McGill University, Canada. During 2005-2006 she was developing and coordinating the Master programme that was the precursor to the current master program at the SRC.
Maria has supervised one PhD-student (Vanessa Masterson, defended 2016), and more than 10 master students (6 at the SRC).
Since 2010, Maria has been collaborating closely with SwedBio, a science-policy interface based at the SRC, on building a community of practice across knowledge systems and cultures to address the challenge of mobilizing and synthesizing knowledge from diverse knowledge systems in equal, transparent, and useful ways. Together with SwedBio partners and academic colleagues, we are working in the context of synthesising knowledge across scales e.g. in the IPBES and the CBD, as well as local to regional contexts, based on a Multiple Evidence Base approach, which you can read more about here.
Research news | 2017-10-30
The benefits and challenges of making our cities sustainable
Research news | 2017-10-01
New paper explores links between conservation, development and sense of place on the Wild Coast of South Africa
Research news | 2017-05-30
Emerging research on people’s attachment to places can unlock capacity to better deal with change
Research news | 2017-02-27
New publication presents progress toward tools and approaches for working with diverse knowledge systems in ecosystem assessments
2018 - Journal / article
Current sustainability challenges – including biodiversity loss, pollution and land-use change – require new ways of understanding, acting in and caring for the landscapes we live in. The concept of stewardship is increasingly used in research, policy and practice to articulate and describe responses to these challenges. However, there are multiple meanings and framings of stewardship across this wide user base that reflect di...
2017 - Report
A workshop took place 11-18 September 2015 in Jafr and Tuggoz communities, Tajikistan, and resulted in a summary report entitled Climate Change and Biocultural Adaptation in Mountain Communities. It also included information acquired from the previous workshop hosted in Bhutan in May 2014, where the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples (INMIP) was formed. This network aims to promote interaction and a knowledge...
2017 - Journal / article
Concern for a diminished human experience of nature and subsequent decreased human well-being is addressed via a consideration of green infrastructure’s potential to facilitate unplanned or incidental nature experience. Incidental nature experience is conceptualized and illustrated in order to consider this seldom addressed aspect of human interaction with nature in green infrastructure planning. Special attention has been pai...
2017 - Book chapter
This is a chapter from the book "The Science and Practice of Landscape Stewardship". It provides insights into the challenges and the potential of landscape stewardship and identifies future paths for the science and practice of landscape-related sustainability efforts. Aligning analytical perspectives with practical applications, it brings together contributions from leading scholars and innovative models of landscape steward...