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Profile summary

  • Cross-scale interactions, telecouplings
  • Social-ecological system dynamics
  • Causal-Loop Diagrams
  • Value chain analyses
  • Transformations
  • Sustainable Development Goals

Andrea Downing co-leads the Stewardship and Transformative Futures theme and studies sustainable development dynamics across-scales

As a Stewardship and Transformative Futures theme co-lead, Downing focuses on agents, processes and aims of sustainability transformations. Downing’s research projects address social-ecological dynamics across scales and sectors, investigating how local initiatives contribute to global sustainable development, and how global processes shape local opportunities for sustainability. Her research aims to identify novel ways of understanding, and thus potentially resolving unsustainability lock-ins.

Downing has a background in ecology, she holds a PhD in Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University (Netherlands), and carried out her Master’s studies at James Cook University in Australia. 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.

Current projects

Key publications

Downing A.S., Kumar M., Andersson A., Causevic A., Gustafsson Ö., Joshi N.U., Krishnamurty C. K. B., Scholtens B., Crona B. (In press) Unlocking the unsustainable rice-wheat system of Indian Punjab: Assessing alternatives to crop residue burning from a systems perspective. Ecological Economics.

Downing, A. S., G. Y. Wong, M. Dyer, A. P. Aguiar, O. Selomane, and A. Jimenez Aceituno. 2021. When the whole is less than the sum of all parts – Tracking global-level impacts of national sustainability initiatives. Global Environmental Change 69(June).

Downing, A. S., M. Chang, J. J. Kuiper, M. Campenni, T. Haÿhä, S. E. Cornell, U. Svedin, and W. M. Mooij. 2020. Learning from generations of sustainability concepts. Environmental Research Letters 15(8).

Downing, A. S., A. Bhowmik, D. Collste, S. Cornell, J. F. Donges, I. Fetzer, T. Häyhä, J. Hinton, S. J. Lade, and W. M. Mooij. 2019. Matching scope, purpose and uses of planetary boundaries science. Environmental Research Letters 14:073005.

Downing, A. S., E. H. Van Nes, J. S. Balirwa, J. Beuving, P. Bwathondi, L. J. Chapman, I. J. M. Cornelissen, I. G. Cowx, K. P. C. Goudswaard, R. E. Hecky, J. H. Janse, A. B. G. Janssen, L. Kaufman, M. A. Kishe-Machumu, J. Kolding, W. Ligtvoet, D. Mbabazi, M. Medard, O. C. Mkumbo, E. Mlaponi, A. T. Munyaho, L. A. J. Nagelkerke, R. Ogutu-Ohwayo, W. O. Ojwang, H. K. Peter, D. E. Schindler, O. Seehausen, D. Sharpe, G. M. Silsbe, L. Sitoki, R. Tumwebaze, D. Tweddle, K. E. Van De Wolfshaar, H. Van Dijk, E. Van Donk, J. C. Van Rijssel, P. A. M. Van Zwieten, J. Wanink, F. Witte, and W. M. Mooij. 2014. Coupled human and natural system dynamics as key to the sustainability of Lake Victoria’s Ecosystem services. Ecology and Society 19(4):31.

Publications by Downing, Andrea