Alicia Donnellan is a postdoctoral researcher associated to the University of Bergen UNESCO Chair. Her work focuses on UNESCO Biosphere Reserves as social-ecological systems which are testing sites for sustainability and earth stewardship.
She is trained as a terrestrial ecologist, and now works at the intersection between the natural and social sciences, interested in progressing inter- and transdisciplinary research which is fair and equitable for people and land. Her work is informed by resilience and complex adaptive system thinking, which provide the backdrop for investigating examples of biosphere stewardship across the globe. Her research areas include ecosystem services and social-ecological networks, land-use change, biodiversity conservation, adaptive co-management implementation, and sustainable development goal (SDG) implementation. She also has a strong interest in group process work, young stakeholder concerns and political ecology. She was named spokesperson for UNESCO's Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme's 50th anniversary by Dr. Jane Goodall in 2021.
She holds a PhD in Applied Environmental Science from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand (2014-2018). Additional to a background in academic plant ecology, she has worked across the globe in the non-profit sector and in grassroots organizations. These experiences have given her rich understanding of the importance of connecting diverse fields if we are to rise to the challenges and opportunities presented by the Anthropocene.
Opinion: If we work together, 2020 can be a true “super year” for biodiversity - 7 ways researchers and policymakers can make the start of this new decade a turning point for protecting the future of life on Earth.
- (2023). Kva er samanhengen mellom kulturarv og kulturlandskap, og korleis kan fortida bidra til ei berekraftig framtid? CULTIVATE-prosjektet .
- (2023). Integration matters: Combining socio-cultural and biophysical methods for mapping ecosystem service bundles. Ambio. 1004-1021.
- (2023). Global knowledge–action networks at the frontlines of sustainability: Insights from five decades of science for action in UNESCO's World Network of biosphere reserves. People and Nature.
- (2022). Workshop Promoting Research in BRs - Looking back at 50 years of MAB.
- (2022). UNESCO MAB Anniversary with Doctor Jane Goodall .
- (2022). The role of UNESCO biosphere reserves in the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework: policy brief.
- (2022). Participatory mapping reveals biocultural and nature values in the shared landscape of a Nordic UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
- (2022). Mapping stakeholder networks for the co-production of multiple ecosystem services: A novel mixed-methods approach. Ecosystem Services. 13 pages.
- (2022). Developing positional awareness in sustainability science: four archetypes for early career scientists working in an SDG world. Sustainability Science. 1-6.
- (2021). Voices of young biosphere stewards on the strengths, weaknesses, and ways forward for 74 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves across 83 countries. Global Environmental Change. 10 pages.
- (2021). The Spotlight on Youth: Young People as Key Stakeholders in Biosphere Reserves and the Man and the Biosphere Programme . International Journal of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.
- (2021). Stewards of the Future: Accompanying the rising tide of young voices by setting youth-inclusive research agendas. . Sustainable Earth.
- (2021). Science for nature and people: celebrating the contributions of research to the Man and Biosphere Programme through 50 years .
- (2021). Recognize 727 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves for biodiversity COP15. Nature.
- (2021). Participatory mapping reveals biocultural and nature values in the shared landscape of a Nordic UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. People and Nature. 365-381.
- (2021). Mapping the connections between people and Nature: participatory mapping of ecosystem services in a Nordic biosphere reserve. .
- (2021). How will afforestation impact on ecosystem services values in non-forested landscapes? A participatory mapping study in western Norway.
- (2020). If we work together, 2020 can be a true "super year" for biodiversity. ensia.
- (2020). Forskning og diplomati i naturens superår. Khrono.no.
- (2019). Environmental drivers of stem radius change measurements and heterogeneity of stem radial water storage in the mangrove Avicennia marina (Forssk.) Vierh. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology.
Alicia is currently leading the following projects:
BECOME - a Biodiversa+ Consortia invertigating the effectiveness of Biosphere Reserves as measures for inclusive conservation.
ACTIONABLE - and NFR-Samarbeidsprosjekt in arealer under press. A collaboration to understand the role of sustainability designations in helping collaboration and management of coastal areas and conflicts.
Other projects I have also been a key researcher in are
Stewardship and youth - young peoples perspectives and roles within environmental governance and sustainable development initiatives.