Department of Geography

Ragnhild Overå as supervisor

Professor Ragnhild Overå supervises master projects in human geography.

Ragnhild Overå
Ragnhild Overå

Main content

Research interests

My research focuses on gender, entrepreneurship, informal economies, food and nutrition security, food systems, value chain analysis, small-scale fisheries, land conflicts, petroleum industry, natural resource governance, political ecology, migration, and sustainable rural and urban development.

My own master thesis project many years ago explored the crucial role of women in the fisheries of Ghana, mainly as fish traders but also as creditors and canoe owners. The master study was the starting point for researching a variety of social, economic, and environmental issues in Ghana and in Southern and Eastern Africa (Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa). Here you can have a closer look at the research projects I am working on these days.

I enjoy discussing and developing students’ own research ideas and I have supervised master thesis projects on many topics: Overview of master theses supervised by Ragnhild Overå

Suggested themes for new master projects

As you can see, the questions are quite open and could be relevant in different geographical contexts and countries:

  • How does promotion of the ‘blue economy’ (resource extraction and development in the ocean and coastal zone) influence coastal communities? Typical cases would be petroleum industry, tourism, aquaculture, windmills, marine parks, industrial fisheries, harbour construction, etc.
  • How do gender roles and power relations shape natural resource governance? Usually this would involve studying women’s limited influence within a male dominated area (e.g. fisheries), but it could also be a case where women have managed to gain influence.
  • What are the roles of women in fisheries, what are the gender barriers for women’s entry and career development, and how can inclusion of women contribute to sustainable fisheries and coastal community development? New policies are being developed on this issue in Norway, which would be very interesting to study. In fact, this research question is relevant for any fishery in the world.
  • What are the causes of food loss and waste (in agricultural or fisheries value chains) and how can food systems become more sustainable?
  • What is the role of local producers in food supply for school feeding programmes? How can school feeding programmes contribute to livelihoods and food security?
  • How can the urban poor, often working in the informal economy and living in informal settlements, be included in city planning and contribute to sustainable urban development?


To contact me for discussion of your master project idea(s), please write an e-mail (ragnhild.overa@uib.no) so we can make an appointment.