Liz works on challenges around Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF) Governance. Currently there is an urgent need for improved governance as a means to sustainably improve fisherfolks’ food and livelihood security. Her PhD project takes a systems perspective to look at governance, the associated market influences and the consequent benefit flows from marine ecosystem services. The research uses mixed-methods and is case-orientated with sites in Zanzibar and the Philippines.
The PhD project incorporates a broader social-ecological lens as fishing communities are deeply ingrained in the coupled marine ecosystem and social sphere. Part of Liz’ project involves unpacking the relevant dynamics or mechanisms in the social realm that determine benefit flows stemming from seafood trade, i.e. who benefits from being involved in this fisheries? This is done ultimately to understand how benefit distribution may influence fishing decisions, which can contribute to feedbacks from the marine ecosystem, thus affecting the future of the fishery. If improved governance is to benefit those who most need it then identifying how exactly social and market mechanisms influence benefits and ecosystem dynamics is necessary.
Liz recieved her honours degree in Marine Science from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Here through her thesis project she worked with ArcGIS to analyse seabird distributions across the North Sea. Following that she moved to Portugal and worked towards a Masters in Marine Biology at the University of the Algarve in Faro. During her Masters thesis she used a Value Chain framework to study the Ghanaian tuna industry.
In Portugal she worked professionally as a Dive Master and a Scientific Diver with Mar ilimitado Dive Centre, and with the research project Maré Formosa. Liz worked in the National Aquarium of Ireland for five years as a guide and environmental educator, which helped fuel her interest into the social dynamics of environmental protection. She also spent six months working with public realtions for a marine conservation NGO in Cabo Verde. Liz also has many other work experiences in this area across Latin America.
Liz began her PhD studies in the Stockholm Resilience Centre in 2014.
Liz collaborates with a geographically vast network of institutions and groups, largely linked to fieldwork. These include the University of the Philippines Visayas, the Institute of Marine Sciences Zanzibar (part of the University of Dar es Salaam) and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Moçambique. Liz also engages closely with the ESPA (Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation) project SPACES (Sustainable Poverty Alleviation from Coastal Ecosystem Services).
Awards and achievements:
2018 - Journal / article
This study investigated how an industrial tuna fishery functions in terms of procedures, practices, governance and finance in the context of Ghana, West Africa. Tuna is Ghana’s biggest seafood export, contributing significantly to the domestic fisheries sector. A case-study approach was used to analyse relevant social and economic factors at the local scale to better understand how the global seafood industry operates in a low...
2018 - Journal / article
We examine the benefits flowing from a coastal seascape through seafood trade to various social groups in two distinct small-scale fishery case studies. A knowledge gap currently exists in relation to how benefits from a fishery, and the associated trade, are ultimately distributed, specifically, how market structures and relations, and the combined dynamics of the local fishing society, can mediate these flows. Previous resea...
2017 - Journal / article
This article addresses the connections between value chain actors in the tropical-marine small-scale fisheries of Zanzibar, Tanzania, to contribute to a better understanding of the fisher-trader link and how connections in general might feed into livelihood security. A sample of 168 fishers and 130 traders was taken across 8 sites through questionnaires and observations. The small-scale fishery system is mapped using a value c...