Garry Peterson is Professor in Environmental Sciences with key focus on resilience in social-ecological systems.
While people depend upon the benefits they receive from nature, our actions are undercutting the ability of nature to produce these benefits.
Dr. Peterson's research addresses this problem by working to improve people's ability to ensure a reliable supply of the ecosystem services that support human well-being. He uses complex systems theory, spatial analysis, and the synthesis of social and ecological data, to develop theory and practical understanding that people can use to better manage the ecosystems they live within.
His specific research areas are:
1) understanding of how abrupt changes can occur in social- ecological systems
2) interactions among ecosystem services over time and across space
3) connecting quantitative models and narrative based scenario planning
Dr. Peterson has a degree in Systems Design Engineering for the University of Waterloo, Canada and received a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Florida in 1999. Following post-doctoral positions at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara and the Centre for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, he has been an assistant professor jointly appointed in the Department of Geography and the McGill School of the Environment at McGill University in Canada since 2003, where he held a Canada Research Chair.
He has taught adaptive management, environmental modelling, and environmental research courses. He has been at the Stockholm Resilience Centre since summer 2008. He also has a 20% position in Physical Geography at Stockholm University.
He is a board member of the Resilience Alliance, subject editor for Ecology and Society, and was a coordinating lead author for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. In 2008 he received the Ecological society of America's Sustainability Science. He has authored or co- authored over 30 scientific articles and 25 book chapters.