Dr Louise Gammage

Junior Research Fellow

Louise is an environmental geographer specialising in marine sustainability. She enjoys working in inter-and transdisciplinary contexts and is interested in developing transformative methodologies and tools to promote system-based governance. She works closely with the Marine Ecology and Fisheries research group at UCT. Her current research focusses on marine social-ecological systems (SESs) and fisheries in South Africa.

Her research interests include exploring innovative methodologies to address challenges related to scale and decision-making in complex adaptive systems; understanding drivers of change in SESs to improve present and future decision-making; and exploring ways for local stakeholders (such as fishers) to build capacity to enhance well-being, while informing governance and policy at the larger decision-making scales. 

Louise shares that "Coastal communities and other decision-makers throughout the governance systems are so ill-prepared to deal with a fishery (marine) system that is already in flux. What hope do they have of dealing with unexpected extreme events (or the consequences of tipping points/regime shifts)? We really need to start focussing on building capacity for better decision-making in the hope to 'future-proof' the marine SES. We need to recognise that to conserve the oceans, we need to consider the people who depend on the oceans in various ways.  This means engaging with the world beyond your discipline and building an awareness of how your research contributes to the 'big picture'. Even if you are not interested in engaging with inter-and transdisciplinary work yourself, you must have an awareness of the science-society interface. This also means no thinking your discipline is better than anyone else's - we need to be humble in our approaches."