Alicia May Donnellan Barraclough's picture

Alicia May Donnellan Barraclough

Researcher, Postdoctoral Researcher

Alicia Donnellan is a researcher associated to the University of Bergen UNESCO Chair. Her work focuses on the power of territorrial sustainability designations to catalyze collaboration for sustainability objectives. An example of these are UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, which she studies as social-ecological systems which are testing sites for sustainability and earth stewardship.

She is trained as a terrestrial ecologist, and now works as a sustainability scientisct 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, climate change resiliece, 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 an academic background 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.


Alicia led and taught the following courses during 2021-2022:

SDG215 - Life on Land

SDG110 - Perspectives on Sustainable Development


She is currently taking a break from teaching in Autumn 2022 and Spring 2023, but she occasionally guest lectures at SDG215, SDG110, SDG207 and CET201.

  • Show author(s) (2023). Socio-cultural values and biophysical supply: How do afforestation and land abandonment impact multiple ecosystem services? Land Use Policy.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Min Birrasat - ACTIONABLE presentation.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Kva er samanhengen mellom kulturarv og kulturlandskap, og korleis kan fortida bidra til ei berekraftig framtid? CULTIVATE-prosjektet .
  • Show author(s) (2023). Integration matters: Combining socio-cultural and biophysical methods for mapping ecosystem service bundles. Ambio. 1004-1021.
  • Show author(s) (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. 1430-1444.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Become Biosphere Reserves as Effective conservation measures website.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Workshop Promoting Research in BRs - Looking back at 50 years of MAB.
  • Show author(s) (2022). UNESCO MAB Anniversary with Doctor Jane Goodall .
  • Show author(s) (2022). The role of UNESCO biosphere reserves in the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework: policy brief.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Participatory mapping reveals biocultural and nature values in the shared landscape of a Nordic UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Mapping stakeholder networks for the co-production of multiple ecosystem services: A novel mixed-methods approach. Ecosystem Services. 13 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Developing positional awareness in sustainability science: four archetypes for early career scientists working in an SDG world. Sustainability Science. 1-6.
  • Show author(s) (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.
  • Show author(s) (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.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Stewards of the Future: Accompanying the rising tide of young voices by setting youth-inclusive research agendas. . Sustainable Earth.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Science for nature and people: celebrating the contributions of research to the Man and Biosphere Programme through 50 years .
  • Show author(s) (2021). Recognize 727 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves for biodiversity COP15. Nature.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Participatory mapping reveals biocultural and nature values in the shared landscape of a Nordic UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. People and Nature. 365-381.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Mapping the connections between people and Nature: participatory mapping of ecosystem services in a Nordic biosphere reserve. .
  • Show author(s) (2021). How will afforestation impact on ecosystem services values in non-forested landscapes? A participatory mapping study in western Norway.
  • Show author(s) (2020). If we work together, 2020 can be a true "super year" for biodiversity. ensia.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Forskning og diplomati i naturens superår. Khrono.no.
  • Show author(s) (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.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

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

Nature's Contributions to People in Nordhordland Biosfære 

Global Survey on Biosphere Reserves: participation, performance and land-use change in a longitudinal 10 year study of the MAB BR World Network 

Stewardship and youth - young peoples perspectives and roles within environmental governance and sustainable development initiatives.