Land-use planning in the Eastern Cape during the Apartheid era marginalized poor rural communities into "homelands" which today still have limited capacity to cope with changing conditions, including climate change.
The project will assess the role of stewardship and social-ecological feedbacks in building resilience of the social-ecological system and identify potential trade-offs between resilience and transformation in this context.
Masterson's PhD project was part of a larger SIDA funded project, Governance of Ecosystem Services under scenarios of change in Southern and Eastern Africa, that brings together collaborators from the CSIR (South Africa) and the Stockholm Resilience Centre (Sweden), amongst others.
During her BSc Honours in Ecology and Geography at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, Vanessa investigated resource use patterns in the former homeland areas of the Mpumalanga Province.
She has gained experience in strategic environmental assessment in the environmental consulting industry in South Africa and has also enjoyed teaching undergraduate courses in Conservation Biogeography.
Research news | 2019-05-17
Special feature in Sustainability Science illustrates how ‘sense of place’ as a concept can contribute more effectively to understanding environmental change
Research news | 2018-09-18
Why the concept of stewardship offers a platform for collaboration and dialogue between actors, even with differing perspectives
Research news | 2018-08-30
Scientific method using photographs helps capture local expressions of human wellbeing among vulnerable communities in Kenya and South Africa
Research news | 2018-01-24
Former and current PhD students from SRC propose a new framework to help early-career sustainability scholars to become “undisciplinary”
2019 - Journal / article
Stewardship is a popular term for describing action in pursuit of sustainability. There is growing interest in how relational values, such as care, animate stewardship action. In this paper we develop relational understandings of care in stewardship, in so doing infusing the relational values literature with modes of ‘relational thinking’ increasingly adopted in sustainability science. We use three theoretical perspectives — d...
2018 - Journal / article
The value of diverse perspectives in social-ecological systems research and transdisciplinarity is well recognized. Human well-being and how it is derived from dynamic ecosystems is one area where local knowledge and perspectives are critical for designing interventions for sustainable pathways out of poverty. However, to realize the potential to enrich the understanding of complex dynamics for sustainability, there is a need...
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 - Journal / article
The establishment of interdisciplinary Master’s and PhD programmes in sustainability science is opening up an exciting arena filled with opportunities for early-career scholars to address pressing sustainability challenges. However, embarking upon an interdisciplinary endeavor as an early-career scholar poses a unique set of challenges: to develop an individual scientific identity and a strong and specific methodological skill...