Researcher, Coastal resource systems

+46 734 604 896



Staff profile

Tim Daw studies the interaction between ecological and social aspects of
coastal systems and how these contribute to coastal people’s wellbeing

Profile summary

  • He has background training in marine biology, coastal management and political science
  • His PhD, How fishers' count: engaging with fishers' knowledge for fisheries science and management was done at Newcastle University in 2008
  • His current and recent work has focussed on coastal ecosystem services, including fisheries, and the linkages to coastal people’s wellbeing in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean

Tim draws on background training in marine biology, coastal management and political science as well as collaboration with colleagues from disciplines including ecology, economics, sociology and development studies.

Some of his specific research interests include:

- Links between coastal ecosystem services and poverty alleviation

- Governance of small-scale fisheries in the context of global change

- The spatial behaviour of fishers and implications for marine protected areas

- The role of knowledge and perceptions in fisheries management

- Participatory tools including computer models and games to explore the dynamics of social-ecological systems.

His current and recent work has focussed on coastal ecosystem services, including fisheries, and the linkages to coastal people’s wellbeing in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.

He currently lead the research project Sustainable Poverty Alleviation from Coastal Ecosystem Services (SPACES). In this exciting transdisciplinary project, a team of over 30 colleagues from Kenya, Mozambique and Europe are empirically investigating the linkages between coastal ecosystems and people’s wellbeing, and integrating disciplines from coral reef and mangrove ecology.

SPACES is funded by the UK government through the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Program and builds on a previous ESPA-funded project in Kenya, Participatory Modelling of Wellbeing Tradeoffs in Coastal Kenya (P-Mowtick).

Until he consolidated his time at SRC in 2013, Daw was senior lecturer in Natural Resources and International Development at the University of East Anglia's School of International Development, teaching and supervising students on environment and development.

His PhD, How fishers' count: engaging with fishers' knowledge for fisheries science and management was done at Newcastle University in 2008.

Recent projects and collaborations
Participatory Modelling Frameworks to Understand Wellbeing Trade-offs in Coastal Kenya (P-Mowtick)

Tim Daw led this project with Kate Brown, William Cheung (UEA School of Environment), Tim McClanahan (WCS), Garry Peterson (Stockholm Resilience Centre) and Sarah Coulthard (Univ Ulster) funded by NERC/ESRC/DfID ESPA programme. This was one of 23 'Framework' projects, funded to develop new methodologies to understand links between ecosystem services and poverty alleviation.

The aim was to understand trade-offs in the wellbeing of poor coastal stakeholders in Kenya under different development and governance scenarios. The project applied a novel combination of ecosystem modelling, wellbeing analysis, stakeholder analysis, scenario planning and participatory approaches.

Click here for more information about this project

'Fishers in Space' (2009-2011)
Tim led this Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) which involved participatory research with fishers in Seychelles and Kenya to better understand the impact of marine protected areas on fisheries and local livelihoods. Co-investigators included, Josh Cinner (ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia), Jan Robinson (Seychelles Fishing Authority) and Andrew Wamukota and Joseph Maina (Wildlife Conservation Society, Coral Reef Research Project, Mombasa, Kenya).

Click here to download reportPDF (pdf, 1.7 MB)


Publications by Daw, Tim

Elasticity in ecosystem services: exploring the variable relationship between ecosystems and human well-being

Daw, T. M., C. Hicks, K. Brown, T. Chaigneau, F. Januchowski-Hartley, W. Cheung, S. Rosendo, B. Crona, S. Coulthard, C. Sandbrook, C. Perry, S. Bandeira, N. A. Muthiga, B. Schulte-Herbrüggen, J. Bosire, and T. R. McClanahan

2016 - Journal / article

Although ecosystem services are increasingly recognized as benefits people obtain from nature, we still have a poor understanding of how they actually enhance multidimensional human well-being, and how well-being is affected by ecosystem change. We develop a concept of “ecosystem service elasticity” (ES elasticity) that describes the sensitivity of human well-being to changes in ecosystems. ES Elasticity is a result of complex social and ecological dynamics and is context dependent, individually variable, and likely to demonstrate nonlinear dynamics such as thresholds and hysteresis. We present a conceptual framework that unpacks the chain of causality from ecosystem stocks through flows, goods, value, and shares to contribute to the well-being of different people. This framework builds on previous conceptualizations, but places multidimensional well-being of different people as the final element. This ultimately disaggregated approach emphasizes how different people access benefits and how benefits match their needs or aspirations. Applying this framework to case studies of individual coastal ecosystem services in East Africa illustrates a wide range of social and ecological factors that can affect ES elasticity. For example, food web and habitat dynamics affect the sensitivity of different fisheries ecosystem services to ecological change. Meanwhile high cultural significance, or lack of alternatives enhance ES elasticity, while social mechanisms that prevent access can reduce elasticity. Mapping out how chains are interlinked illustrates how different types of value and the well-being of different people are linked to each other and to common ecological stocks. We suggest that examining chains for individual ecosystem services can suggest potential interventions aimed at poverty alleviation and sustainable ecosystems while mapping out of interlinkages between chains can help to identify possible ecosystem service trade-offs and winners and losers. We discuss conceptual and practical challenges of applying such a framework and conclude on its utility as a heuristic for structuring interdisciplinary analysis of ecosystem services and human well-being.

An ecosystem approach to small-scale fisheries through participatory diagnosis in four tropical countries

Eriksson, H., D.S. Adhuri, L. Adrianto, N.L. Andrew, T. Apriliani, T. Daw, L. Evans, L. Garces, E. Kamanyi, R. Mwaipopo, A.H. Purnomo, R.J. Sulu, D.J. Beare

2015 - Journal / article

Participatory diagnosis is an approach to identify, prioritize and mobilise around factors that constrain or enable effective governance and management in small-scale fisheries. Diagnostic frameworks are mostly designed and used for systematic scientific analysis or impact evaluation. Through participation they also have potential to guide contextually informed improvements to management in practice, including transitions to contemporary forms of governance like the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)—the focus of our study. We document and critically reflect on participatory diagnosis processes and outcomes at sites in Indonesia, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Tanzania. These sites were part of an international project on the implementation of the EAF and differed widely in institutional and operational contexts. The Participatory Diagnosis and Adaptive Management framework and the “issue radar” diagnosis map were used to identify, evaluate and address factors associated with navigating management transitions towards the EAF. We found that many challenges and priority actions identified by participants were similar across the four study countries. Participants emphasized habitat restoration, particularly mangrove rehabilitation, and livelihood enhancement. The importance of strengthening governance entities, networks and processes (e.g., harmonization of policies, education and awareness of policies) was also a prominent outcome of the diagnosis. Site-specific factors were also explored together with the differing views among stakeholders. We conclude that diagnosis frameworks are indeed useful tools for guiding management transitions in fisheries, particularly where they enable flexibility in approaches to diagnosing problems and applying solutions to local contexts.

Masked, diluted and drowned out: How global seafood trade weakens signals from marine ecosystems

Crona, B.I., T.M. Daw, W. Swartz, A.V. Norström, M. Nyström, M. Thyresson, C. Folke, J. Hentati-Sundberg, H. Österblom, L. Deutsch, M. Troell

2015 - Journal / article

Nearly 40% of seafood is traded internationally and an even bigger proportion is affected by international trade, yet scholarship on marine fisheries has focused on global trends in stocks and catches, or on dynamics of individual fisheries, with limited attention to the link between individual fisheries, global trade and distant consumers. This paper examines the usefulness of fish price as a feedback signal to consumers about the state of fisheries and marine ecosystems. We suggest that the current nature of fisheries systems and global markets prevent transmission of such price signals from source fisheries to consumers. We propose several mechanisms that combine to weaken price signals, and present one example – the North Sea cod – to show how these mechanisms can be tested. The lack of a reliable price feedback to consumers represents a challenge for sustainable fisheries governance. We therefore propose three complimentary approaches to address the missing feedback: (i) strengthening information flow through improved traceability and visibility of individual fishers to consumers, (ii) capitalizing on the changing seafood trade structures and (iii) bypassing and complementing market mechanisms by directly targeting citizens and political actors regarding marine environmental issues through publicity and information campaigns. These strategies each have limitations and thus need to be pursued together to address the challenge of sustainability in global marine fisheries.

Towards a typology of interactions between small-scale fisheries and global seafood trade

Crona, B.I., X. Basurto, D. Squires, S. Gelcich, T.M. Daw, A. Khan, E. Havice, V. Chomo, M. Troell, E.A. Buchary, E.H. Allison

2015 - Journal / article

Fish and fish-related products are among the most highly traded commodities globally and the proportion of globally harvested fish that is internationally traded has steadily risen over time. Views on the benefits of international seafood trade diverge, partly as a result from adopting either an aggregate national focus or a focus on local market actors. However, both views generally assume that the trade in question is characterized by export of fisheries resources to international markets. This is potentially misleading as empirical evidence suggests that import of seafood can also have impacts on local SSF dynamics. A systematic analysis of the different ways in which local production systems connect to international seafood markets can therefore help shed more light on why small-scale fisheries exhibit such differences in outcomes as they engage in an increasingly global seafood trade. This paper conducts a synthesis across 24 cases from around the world and develops a typology of small-scale fisheries and how they connect to and interact with international seafood trade. The analysis is based on key features drawn from trade theory regarding how trade interacts with local production. The implications of the findings for social and ecological sustainability of small-scale fisheries are discussed with the aim of identifying further research topics which deserve attention to better inform trade policy for more sustainable fisheries and more just wealth distribution from their trade.

Daw, Tim

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201