Nathan J. Bennett

Research Associate
Institute for the Ocean and Fisheries (UBC)
OceanCanada Partnership
Fisheries Economics Research Unit


Research Interests

marine conservation, ocean governance, small-scale fisheries, sustainable livelihoods, coastal communities, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, conservation social science, political ecology


Nathan Bennett is currently cross-appointed as a Research Associate with the OceanCanada Partnership at the University of British Columbia (Canada) and the Université Côte d’Azur (France).

As a broadly trained social scientist, he chooses to primarily focus on research projects that interrogate various aspects of the complex relationship between the marine environment and human society. He conducts research and publishes on such topics as social equity and governance in marine protected areas, responses of small-scale fishing communities to combined environmental and social change, indigenous perspectives on and approaches to conservation, the political dimensions of marine planning and ocean governance, coastal community access to marine resources and fisheries, the human dimensions of large-scale marine protected areas and the role of the social sciences in conservation. His work focuses on Canada, Thailand, Mexico, Europe, and the global oceans.

Prior to coming to UBC, Nathan Bennett graduated from the University of Victoria with a PhD in Geography from the University of Victoria in 2013, a MS in Environmental Studies from Lakehead University in 2009 and a BEd from the University of Victoria in 2002. His work has been supported by a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship (2010-2013), a Trudeau Doctoral Scholarship (2010-2013), a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2013-2015), a Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award (2015), a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (2015-2017), and a Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellowship (2015-2017). He is also an active member of the Commission on Ecological, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) and the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is also affiliated with the Center for Ocean Solutions (Stanford), the Community Conservation Research Network, and the Too Big To Ignore project.

Contact Information

Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, The University of British Columbia
Rm. 440, 2202 Main Mall, V6T 1Z4
Vancouver, British Columbia
Phone: (236) 886-6572


Social Media
Twitter: @NathanJBennett

Selected Publications:

Bennett, N. J., Whitty, T. S., Finkbeiner, E., Pittman, J., Bassett, H., Gelcich, S., & Allison, E. H. (2018). Environmental Stewardship: A Conceptual Review and Analytical Framework. Environmental Management, 61(4), 597-614. (OPEN ACCESS)

Friedman, R.S., Law, E., Bennett, N.J., Ives, C.D., Thorn, J., Wilson, K., 2018. How just and just how? A systematic review of social equity in conservation research. Environ. Res. Lett. (OPEN ACCESS) (Open Access)

Bennett NJ et al. 2018. Coastal and Indigenous community access to marine resources and the ocean: A policy imperative for Canada. Marine Policy 87:186–193.

Gray, N.J., Bennett, N.J., Day, J., Gruby, R.L., Wilhelm, T.A. & Christie, P. (2017). Human Dimensions of Large-Scale Marine Protected Areas: Advancing Research and Practice. Coastal Management Journal. (Link)
Kaplan-Hallam, M. & Bennett, N.J. (2017). Adaptive social impact management for conservation and environmental management. Conservation Biology.

Bennett, N., Roth, R., Klain, S., Chan, K., Christie, P., Clark, D., Cullman, G., Curran, D., Durbin, T., Epstein, G., Greenberg, A., Nelson, P., Sandlos, J, Stedman, R., Teel, T., Thomas, R., Verissimo, D. & Wyborn, C. (2017). Conservation social science: Understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve conservation. Biological Conservation. 205: 93–108. [OPEN ACCESS]

Finkbeiner, E., N. Bennett, T. Frawley, C. Brooks, J. Mason, Ng, C., Ourens, R., Seto, K., Swanson, S., Urteaga, J., Wingfield, D. & Crowder, L.B. (2017). Reconstructing overfishing: Moving beyond Malthus for equitable and effective solutions. Fish & Fisheries. Online. DOI: 10.1111/faf.12245 (Link)

Bennett, N.J., Teh, L., Ota, Y., Christie, P., Ayers, A., Day, J.C., Franks, P., Gill, D., Gruby, R.L., Kittinger, J.N., Koehn, J.Z., Lewis, N., Parks, J., Vierros, M., Whitty, T.S., Wilhelm, A., Wright, K., Aburto, J.A., Finkbeiner, E.M., Gaymer, C.F., Govan, H., Gray, N., Jarvis, R.M., Kaplan-Hallam, M. & Satterfield, T. (2017). An appeal for a code of conduct for marine conservation. Marine Policy, 81, 411–418. [OPEN ACCESS]

Finkbeiner, E., Micheli, F., Bennett, N., Ayers, A., Le Cornu, E. & Doerr, A (2017). Examining trade-offs in climate change response in the context of Pacific Island fisheries. Marine Policy. Online – Open Access (Link)

Kittinger JN, Teh L, Allison E, Bennett NJ, Crowder LC, Finkbeiner EM, Hicks C, Scarton CG, Nakamura K, Ota Y, Young J, Alifano A, Apel A, Arbib A, Bishop L, Boyle M, Cisneros-Montemayor AM, Hunter P, Le Cornu E, Levine M, Jones RS, Koehn JZ, Marschke M, Mason JG, Micheli F, McClenachan M, Opal C, Peacey J, Peckham SH, Schemmel E, Solis-Rivera V, Swartz W, Wilhelm A (2017). Committing to socially responsible seafood. Science, 356 (6341), 912-913.

Christie, P. Bennett, N. J., Gray, N., Wilhelm, A., Lewis, N., Parks, J., Ban, N., Gruby, R., Gordon, L., Day, J., Taei, S. & Friedlander, A. (2017). Why people matter in ocean governance: Incorporating human dimensions into large-scale marine protected areas. Marine Policy, 84, 273-284. (link)

Bennett, N., Roth, R., Klain, S., Chan, K., Clark, D., Cullman, G., Epstein, G., Nelson, P., Stedman, R., Teel, T., Thomas, R., Wyborn, C., Currans, D., Greenberg, A., Sandlos, J & Verissimo, D. (2017). Mainstreaming the social sciences in conservation. Conservation Biology. Online [OPEN ACCESS]

Kaplan-Hallam, M., Bennett, N. J. & Satterfield, T. (2017). Catching sea cucumber fever in coastal communities: Conceptualizing the impacts of shocks versus trends for social-ecological systems. Global Environmental Change, 45, 89-98.

Whitney, C. K., N. J. Bennett, N. C. Ban, E. H. Allison, D. Armitage, J. L. Blythe, J. M. Burt, W. Cheung, E. M. Finkbeiner, M. Kaplan-Hallam, I. Perry, N. J. Turner and L. Yumagulova. 2017. Adaptive capacity: from assessment to action in coastal social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society 22 (2):22. [OPEN ACCESS]

Bennett, N. J. (2016). Using perceptions as evidence to improve conservation and environmental management. Conservation Biology. online.

Spalding, M., Meliane, I, Bennett, N, Dearden, P., Patil, P. & Brumbaugh, R. (2016). Building towards the marine conservation end-game: consolidating the role of MPAs in a future ocean. Aquatic Conservation: Marine & Freshwater Ecosystems 26 (Suppl. 2): 185–199. [OPEN ACCESS]

Bennett, N. Blythe, J., Tyler, S., Ban, N. (2016). Communities and Change in the Anthropocene: Understanding Social-Ecological Vulnerability and Planning Adaptations to Multiple Interacting Exposures. Regional Environmental Change. 16: 907–926. [OPEN ACCESS]

Bennett, N., Kadfak, A. & Dearden, P. (2016). Community-based scenario planning: A process for vulnerability analysis and adaptation planning to social-ecological change in coastal communities. Environment, Development and Sustainability. 18 (6): 1771-1799 (link).

Bennett, N. J., Govan, H., & Satterfield, T. (2015). Ocean grabbing. Marine Policy, 57, 61–68. [OPEN ACCESS]