PhD Research - Sebastian Tapia

Marine Biology, Universidad Austral de Chile

Through his Ph.D. work at Bren, Sebastián aims to generate a better understanding of human responses to climate change in coastal systems. While documentation and predictions of marine species’ responses to climate change have greatly increased in recent years, we still know little about the human dimensions of adaptation to climate change. To date, the study of these human dimensions has focused on the idea of adaptive capacity, which addresses the ability of individuals and societies to cope with and respond to change. However, these studies have been mainly theoretical or descriptive and mostly based in case studies. For his PhD dissertation, Sebastián is exploring the human dimensions of climate change adaptation using a national-wide interview campaign coupled with agent-based modelling. First, Sebastián is assessing potential relationships between Adaptive Capacity indicators and actual adaptations of small-scale fishers to climate change effects in fisheries catch. He will then address the overall effect that these human responses have on the ecosystems that these fishers depend on. Sebastián hopes his research will inform and shape the evolution of existing institutions so they can integrate resilience-based management for small-scale fisheries in the light of a changing environment.

Year Admitted: 2015
Research Areas: Small-scale fisheries management; adaptive capacity; resilience
Faculty Advisors:
Steve Gaines, Ben Halpern
Office: Bren Hall 4322
Curriculum Vitae