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Dr Tomas Chaigneau

Dr Tomas Chaigneau

Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences for our Environment

 01326 255211

 Environment and Sustainability Institute 0.13


Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


I am an environmental social scientist who studies the relationship between the natural environment and peoples’ wellbeing.   This involves understanding how individuals derive wellbeing from the coast but also how their actions can impact their adjacent environment.

Through an interdisciplinary approach focusing on socio-ecological systems, pro-environmental behaviour and wellbeing literature I explore how best to ensure that conservation and natural resource management measures are contributing to wellbeing and poverty alleviation sustainably over time.

My research has primarily focused along the coast and has recently explored the links between coastal ecosystem services and wellbeing in East Africa. It has also investigated the social impact of Marine Protected Areas on communities and community support towards these interventions..


2009-2013 Phd in International Development (University of East Anglia)
2007-2008 MRes in Ecology and Environmental Management (University of York)
2003-2007 BSc in Biology (University of York)

Research group links

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Research interests

  • Coastal natural resource management
  • Pro-environmental behaviour
  • Ecosystem services and poverty alleviation
  • Inequality and sustainability
  • Relationship between resilience and wellbeing

Research projects

  • Blue Communities: Building capacity for sustainable interactions with marine ecosystems for the benefit of the health, well-being, food security and livelihoods of coastal communities in East and Southeast Asia. (2017-2021)
  • Enhancing IIED capacities to learn from and implement the Decentralised Climate Finance Mechanism in Tanzania (2018)

  • ESPA Insights into Resilience and Wellbeing: Research Frontiers for Sustainable Development (2017-2018)

  • Resilience and vulnerability to El Nino amongst communities in coastal Kenya (2016-2017)

  • Global Learning Opportunities for Regional Indian Ocean Adaptation (2016)

  • SPACES: Sustainable Poverty Alleviation from Coastal Ecosystem Services: an EPSA funded project (2013-2017)

Research networks

Beijer Young Scholars at the Beiher Institute of Ecological Economics (2016-2018)

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Journal articles

Ugbekile PC, Chaigneau T (2024). Does spending time with nature affect people’s desire to protect it? a case study of Nigerian beachgoers. Geography, 109(2), 79-88.
Wu T, Rocha JC, Berry K, Chaigneau T, Hamann M, Lindkvist E, Qiu J, Schill C, Shepon A, Crépin AS, et al (2024). Triple Bottom Line or Trilemma? Global Tradeoffs Between Prosperity, Inequality, and the Environment. World Development, 178 Abstract.
Daw TM, Reid NJ, Coulthard S, Chaigneau T, Machava António V, Cheupe C, Wells G, Bueno E (2023). Life satisfaction in coastal Kenya and Mozambique reflects culture, gendered relationships and security of basic needs: Implications for ecosystem services. Ecosystem Services, 62 Abstract.
Fortnam M, Chaigneau T, Evans L, Bastian L (2023). Practitioner approaches to trade‐off decision‐making in marine conservation development. People and Nature, 5(5), 1636-1648. Abstract.
Fonseca C, Wood LE, Andriamahefazafy M, Casal G, Chaigneau T, Cornet CC, Degia AK, Failler P, Ferraro G, Furlan E, et al (2023). Survey data of public awareness on climate change and the value of marine and coastal ecosystems. Data in Brief, 47
Madarcos K, Fortnam M, Gajardo L, Chaigneau T, Manucan RJ, Cadigal G, Matulac J, Creencia L, Gonzales B, Evans L, et al (2022). Doing marine spatial zoning in coastal marine tropics: Palawan's Environmental Critical Areas Network (ECAN). Marine Policy, 145 Abstract.
Chaigneau T, Schill C (2022). Environmental behaviours within ecological and social limits: integrating well-being with behavioural research for sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 57
Fortnam M, Evans L, Amira Mas Ayu AM, Bastian L, Chaigneau T, Creencia L, Goh HC, Gonzales B, Madarcos K, Maharja C, et al (2022). Polycentricity in practice: Marine governance transitions in Southeast Asia. Environmental Science and Policy, 137, 87-98. Abstract.
Chaigneau T, Coulthard S, Daw TM, Szaboova L, Camfield L, Chapin FS, Gasper D, Gurney GG, Hicks CC, Ibrahim M, et al (2022). Reconciling well-being and resilience for sustainable development. Nature Sustainability, 5(4), 287-293. Abstract.
Beauchamp E, Sainsbury NC, Greene S, Chaigneau T (2021). Aligning Resilience and Wellbeing Outcomes for Locally-Led Adaptation in Tanzania. Sustainability, 13(16), 8976-8976. Abstract.
Fortnam M, Atkins M, Brown K, Chaigneau T, Frouws A, Gwaro K, Huxham M, Kairo J, Kimeli A, Kirui B, et al (2021). Multiple impact pathways of the 2015-2016 El Niño in coastal Kenya. Ambio, 50(1), 174-189. Abstract.  Author URL.
Praptiwi RA, Maharja C, Fortnam M, Chaigneau T, Evans L, Garniati L, Sugardjito J (2021). Tourism-Based Alternative Livelihoods for Small Island Communities Transitioning towards a Blue Economy. SUSTAINABILITY, 13(12).  Author URL.
Chaigneau T, Coulthard S, Brown K, Daw TM, Schulte-Herbrüggen B (2019). Incorporating basic needs to reconcile poverty and ecosystem services. Conserv Biol, 33(3), 655-664. Abstract.  Author URL.
Chaigneau T, Brown K, Coulthard S, Daw TM, Szaboova L (2019). Money, use and experience: Identifying the mechanisms through which ecosystem services contribute to wellbeing in coastal Kenya and Mozambique. Ecosystem Services, 38 Abstract.
Masterson VA, Vetter S, Chaigneau T, Daw TM, Selomane O, Hamann M, Wong GY, Mellegard V, Cocks M, Tengö M, et al (2019). Revisiting the relationships between human well-being and ecosystems in dynamic social-ecological systems: Implications for stewardship and development. Global Sustainability, 2 Abstract.
Morrison TH, Hughes TP, Adger WN, Brown K, Barnett J, Lemos MC, Huitema D, Huchery C, Chaigneau T, Turner R, et al (2019). Save reefs to rescue all ecosystems. NATURE, 573(7774), 333-336.  Author URL.
Fortnam M, Brown K, Chaigneau T, Crona B, Daw TM, Gonçalves D, Hicks C, Revmatas M, Sandbrook C, Schulte-Herbruggen B, et al (2019). The Gendered Nature of Ecosystem Services. Ecological Economics, 159, 312-325. Abstract.
Cochrane KL, Rakotondrazafy H, Aswani S, Chaigneau T, Downey-Breedt N, Lemahieu A, Paytan A, Pecl G, Plagányi E, Popova E, et al (2019). Tools to enrich vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning for coastal communities in data-poor regions: Application to a case study in madagascar. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5(JAN). Abstract.
Hamann M, Berry K, Chaigneau T, Curry T, Heilmayr R, Henriksson PJG, Hentati-Sundberg J, Jina A, Lindkvist E, Lopez-Maldonado Y, et al (2018). Inequality and the biosphere. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 43, 61-83. Abstract.
Galafassi D, Daw TM, Thyresson M, Rosendo S, Chaigneau T, Bandeira S, Munyi L, Gabrielsson I, Brown K (2018). Stories in social-ecological knowledge cocreation. Ecology and Society, 23(1). Abstract.
Chaigneau T, Brown K (2016). Challenging the win-win discourse on conservation and development: Analyzing support for marine protected areas. Ecology and Society, 21(1). Abstract.
Daw TM, Hicks CC, Brown K, Chaigneau T, Januchowski-Hartley FA, Cheung WWL, Rosendo S, Crona B, Coulthard S, Sandbrook C, et al (2016). Elasticity in ecosystem services: Exploring the variable relationship between ecosystems and human well-being. Ecology and Society, 21(2). Abstract.
Chaigneau T, Daw TM (2015). Individual and village-level effects on community support for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Philippines. Marine Policy, 51, 499-506. Abstract.
Chaigneau T, Ahrends A, Argent J, Riddhiraska N, Marchant R (2010). Moist lower montane rainforest classification: a case study from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. African Journal of Ecology, 48(3), 807-815. Abstract.


Hamann M, Johnson JA, Chaigneau T, Chaplin-Kramer R, Mandle L, Rieb JT (2021). Ecosystem service modelling. In  (Ed) The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods for Social-Ecological Systems, 426-439.
Szaboova L, Brown K, Chaigneau T, Coulthard S, Daw TM, James T (2018). Resilience and wellbeing for sustainability. In  (Ed) Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation: Trade-Offs and Governance, 273-287. Abstract.
Chaigneau TWB (2017). Natural resource management and Marine Protected Areas: the importance of balancing environmental sustainability and community support. In Pereira LM, McElroy CA, Littaye A, Girard AM (Eds.) Food, Energy and Water Sustainability Governance Strategies for Public and Private Sectors, Routledge. Abstract.

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Office Hours:

Wednesday 14-15

Thursday 14-15

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Book time with Chaigneau, Tomas: Office hours

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