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PhD Defense

E-IPER Dissertation Defense: Bianca Silva Santos

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Event Details:

Please join us for an E-IPER dissertation defense by Bianca Silva Santos: "Adaptive Management of Marine Biodiversity at the Science-Policy-Society Nexus"!

In-person: Y2E2 299

Virtual: Zoom webinar


Marine biodiversity serves as the building blocks of a functioning ocean ecosystem. While a healthy marine ecosystem affects all of us, multiple threats critically jeopardize the sustainability of these systems. Notably, stressors on marine life are expected to intensify under climate change, impacts that can irreversibly transform marine ecosystems and pose enormous challenges for coastal communities worldwide. Over a series of five chapters, my dissertation employs interdisciplinary research approaches at the intersections of science, policy, and society to inform the adaptive management of marine biodiversity in our rapidly changing world. My first three chapters highlight governance gaps and opportunities for biodiversity management in areas within and beyond national jurisdictions. I develop a methodology for classifying and comparing management policies across legal regimes, and use spatial analyses to highlight emerging governance challenges given projected climate-driven habitat redistributions of migratory marine species. My final two chapters focus on local-level implications of biodiversity management among coastal communities in Palau. Using survey data and species distribution models, I assess the social and ecological impacts of a changing climate on small-scale fishers. I also explore intersectional differences in fisher perceptions and potential adaptive behaviors to shape the development of inclusive and equitable management approaches. Collectively, my dissertation offers insights to inform the holistic management of marine biodiversity and drive sustainable outcomes that benefit both humans and nature alike.