Dr Louisa Evans
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography


Louisa is an interdisciplinary social scientist with interests in environmental governance and international development, primarily but not exclusively in coastal and marine systems.

Louisa joined Exeter in 2014 as an Advanced Research Fellow in Environment and Sustainability. This followed four years as a Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and two years as a Post-doctoral Fellow and consultant at WorldFish (Malaysia), part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.

Louisa’s research falls into three overlapping areas:

Governance and its outcomes: Under this theme Louisa examines institutions of governance, processes of participation and knowledge exchange, and outcomes including legitimacy, human wellbeing and environmental sustainability. Her research has investigated established and emerging governance frameworks, including co-management, adaptive management, integrated management and ecosystem-based management, and she is particularly interested in understanding social difference and trade-offs in social and environmental outcomes.

Drivers of social, institutional and policy change: Louisa is also interested in how governance systems transition to new approaches, what drives such transitions, and what the implications are for different people and different governance outcomes. In particular she is interested in critically analyzing concepts of leadership and entrepreneurship, risk perceptions, participation, innovation and learning.

Resilience and transformation: Underpinning Louisa’s research into governance and change is an interest is the concepts of resilience and transformation. Here, she explores the meanings, drivers, decision-making processes, and winners and losers associated with how these discourses are taken up into policy and practice.

Louisa’s research contributes theoretically, conceptually and methodologically in these areas, in particular through applied research, and participatory and action approaches. She has worked in Australia, Kenya, Tanzania, Solomon Islands and the UK. Please get in touch if you are interested in collaborating on these and related research topics.

Broad research specialisms:

  • Governance and institutions
  • Resilience, social-ecological systems and complex adaptive systems
  • Ecological knowledge systems
  • Participation and rights
  • Conservation and development
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Fisheries-based food security


PhD International Development (University of East Anglia)
MRes Environment and Development (Kings College London)
BSc(Hons) Biological Science (University of Nottingham)

Contact details

Internal tel4407
Tel+44 (0) 1392 724407
AddressAmory Building
University of Exeter
Rennes Drive

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