M.Sc. in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Charlotte Teresa Weber will give her trial lecture and defend her thesis for her Philosophiae doctor (ph.d.) degree, in a public defense on Thursday 27th of June 2019. The trial lecture and the defense will be streamed on line (see links below).


Trial lecture at 10:15 – 11:00 CEST

Drawing on some real life examples, discuss some of the pros and cons associated with disciplinary, multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches in the study of marine social ecological systems


Defense at 12:15 – 15:00 CEST

Towards a framework to guide and facilitate interdisciplinary social-ecological system research in practice


A summary of her work is described below:

Social-ecological systems (SES) consist of a social and an ecological system that are linked through a complex interplay of social and ecological processes. SES can be studied through SES research, which has become increasingly important because it is thought that it can potentially address and solve many societal challenges, such as climate change, resource scarcity, and habitat degradation. SES research investigates the relationships between social and ecological conditions, interactions, and outcomes, and requires an integrative, i.e. interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary approach because one discipline alone cannot study the complex interactions within SES. This makes SES research particularly challenging and practical real-world barriers continue to hinder integration and progress in the field. Yet, the challenges and practical barriers for interdisciplinary SES research have hardly been explored, while practical guidance on how to conduct SES research is generally lacking. As a first step to explore interdisciplinary SES research practices, a preliminary study is conducted with the aim to develop a framework that can guide researchers on how to conduct interdisciplinary SES research in practice. A preliminary framework is developed through a review and synthesis of various strands of literature and empirical experiences. The framework provides ten design principles to guide the different phases of the interdisciplinary SES research process: the orientation phase – for problem identification, the preparation phase – for identifying relevant disciplines and team members, and the analysis and integration phase – for analysis, integration, and knowledge production. In addition, common practical challenges when implementing each of the design principles are outlined, while suggestions for practical coping strategies are provided to prevent or overcome these challenges. Three selected coping strategies proposed by the framework are demonstrated through practical examples, showing the application in practice of a particular methodology suitable to implement the respective coping strategy. The preliminary framework could be applied by different users for various purposes, but its main intent is to make the SES research process easier on a practical level. The framework serves as a first step towards guiding and facilitating interdisciplinary SES research, from where an adjustment of the framework through co-creation with potential users or an expansion of the framework to guide transdisciplinary SES research, can be potential avenues for future research.