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Profile summary

  • Resilience thinking
  • Socio-ecological systems
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Lake Victoria
  • Complex adaptive systems
  • Global sustainability science

Andrea Downing's research focuses on how sustainable development in diverse local contexts combines to shape global resilience and sustainability

Downing's main research theme is to relate global perspectives on resilience thinking and social ecological systems to sustainable development needs at sub-global scales. Building on her work on the planetary boundaries concept, her research focuses on the often undifferentiated and unspecified human dimensions of global sustainability and on understanding how heterogeneously overlapping sub-global processes combine to shape dynamics at a global scale.

Downing has a background in ecology. For her PhD research she investigated the different roles of fishing and eutrophication on Lake Victoria (Africa)’s ecosystem from a purely ecological perspective and from a social-ecological system’s view, using multiple different modeling approaches.

Downing holds a PhD in Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University (Netherlands), and carried out her Master’s studies at James Cook University in Australia. Her interests include socio-ecological systems, cross-scale dynamics, complex systems, theoretical ecology, time series analysis and ecological modelling.

Staff details


Publications by Downing, Andrea