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 navigate 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 | 2016-11-25
Amid rapid change, new Arctic Resilience Report identifies 19 tipping points and need to prepare for surprises
Research news | 2016-10-05
Global examples of a thriving sustainable social-ecological future published
Research news | 2016-02-29
Centre’s approach to social-ecological systems helps support UN biodiversity assessment
Research news | 2016-02-20
How scenarios can help IPBES envision the future of the world's ecosystems
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
2017 - Journal / article
The emerging discipline of sustainability science is focused explicitly on the dynamic interactions between nature and society and is committed to research that spans multiple scales and can support transitions toward greater sustainability. Because a growing body of place-based social-ecological sustainability research (PBSESR) has emerged in recent decades, there is a growing need to understand better how to maximize the ef...
2016 - Journal / article
The scale, rate, and intensity of humans’ environmental impact has engendered broad discussion about how to find plausible pathways of development that hold the most promise for fostering a better future in the Anthropocene. However, the dominance of dystopian visions of irreversible environmental degradation and societal collapse, along with overly optimistic utopias and business-as-usual scenarios that lack insight and innov...
2016 - Journal / article
What does the future hold for the world’s ecosystems and benefits that people obtain from them? While the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has identified the development of scenarios as a key to helping decision makers identify potential impacts of different policy options, it currently lacks a long-term scenario strategy. IPBES will decide how it will approach scenarios at its plena...
2015 - Book chapter
As both the societies and the world in which we live face increasingly rapid and turbulent changes, the concept of resilience has become an active and important research area. Reflecting the very latest research, this book provides a critical review of the ways in which resilience of social-ecological systems, and the ecosystem services they provide, can be enhanced. With contributions from leaders in the field, the chapter...