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Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dr Maike Hamann

Dr Maike Hamann

Senior Lecturer in Development and Sustainability


 Peter Lanyon A086


Peter Lanyon Building, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Treliever Road, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


I am a sustainability scientist who uses a social-ecological systems lens to understand how nature contributes to and enhances human well-being. I have particular interests in 

  • the impact of socio-economic inequalities on people-nature relationships;
  • the role of informality in urban resilience; and 
  • the application of creative futuring methods to explore transformations towards more just and sustainable futures. 

Before joining the University of Exeter, I completed a PhD in Sustainability Science at the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden, and worked as a postdoctoral researcher with the Natural Capital Project at the University of Minnesota in the United States. Most recently, I worked as a researcher at the Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. At the CST, one of my key roles was to promote and coordinate interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge synthesis across the fields of resilience and development in the southern African region.  


2016 PhD in Sustainability Science (Stockholm University) 

2009 MSc in Conservation Biology (University of Cape Town) 

2006 BSc (Med) Honours in Cell Biology (University of Cape Town)

2005 BSc in Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences (University of Cape Town)

Research group links

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Research interests

  • Ecosystem services and nature-based solutions
  • Urban sustainability and resilience
  • Inequality and natural resource governance
  • Futures thinking and sustainability transformations 
  • Art-based approaches in sustainability science

Research projects

Active projects:

  • I am a core member of an interdisciplinary project titled "Inequality and the biosphere: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in an unequal world”. This project explores the patterns and processes that characterize interactions between inequalities and biosphere-based Sustainable Development Goals, with a special focus on the role of transnational corporations in the seafood and palm oil industries. The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (Formas). 
  • I am coordinating the Southern African Resilience Academy, which is a joint initiative between the Global Resilience Partnership and the Centre for Sustainability Transitions. The project is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). The goal of the academy is to strengthen collaboration among researchers and practitioners in southern Africa, to address key sustainability and development challenges in the region.
  • I am leading a seminar series and interdisciplinary synthesis paper on equity and nature-based solutions in cities, funded by the Urban Studies Foundation (Scotland). 
  • I am co-leading a project to map social-ecological dynamics of plastic pollution in the Durban Harbour, the largest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent flooding and social unrest have exacerbated pollution in the port, with significant environmental and human well-being impacts. This project aims to identify leverage points for improved governance of the port and its catchments. It is funded by the Water Research Commission of South Africa. 

Research networks

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Journal articles

Clements HS, Do Linh San E, Hempson G, Linden B, Maritz B, Monadjem A, Reynolds C, Siebert F, Stevens N, Biggs R, et al (2024). The bii4africa dataset of faunal and floral population intactness estimates across Africa's major land uses. Sci Data, 11(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Derickson K, Walker R, Hamann M, Anderson P, Adegun OB, Castillo-Castillo A, Guerry A, Keeler B, Llewellyn L, Matheney A, et al (2024). The intersection of justice and urban greening: Future directions and opportunities for research and practice. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 95
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.
Feagan M, Fork M, Gray G, Hamann M, Hawes JK, Hiroyasu EHT, Wilkerson B (2023). Critical pedagogical designs for SETS knowledge co-production: online peer- and problem-based learning by and for early career green infrastructure experts. Urban Transform, 5(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Biggs R, Reyers B, Blanchard R, Clements H, Cockburn J, Cumming GS, Cundill G, de Vos A, Dziba L, Esler KJ, et al (2023). The Southern African Program on Ecosystem Change and Society: an emergent community of practice. Ecosystems and People, 19(1). Abstract.
Meacham M, Norström AV, Peterson GD, Andersson E, Bennett EM, Biggs R, Crouzat E, Cord AF, Enfors E, Felipe-Lucia MR, et al (2022). Advancing research on ecosystem service bundles for comparative assessments and synthesis. Ecosystems and People, 18(1), 99-111. Abstract.
Hamann M, Hichert T, Sitas N (2022). Participatory scenario planning Participatory research methods for sustainability - toolkit #3. GAIA-ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES FOR SCIENCE AND SOCIETY, 31(3), 175-177.  Author URL.
Biggs R, Clements HS, Cumming GS, Cundill G, de Vos A, Hamann M, Luvuno L, Roux DJ, Selomane O, Blanchard R, et al (2022). Social-ecological change: insights from the Southern African Program on Ecosystem Change and Society. Ecosystems and People, 18(1), 447-468. Abstract.
Hamel P, Hamann M, Kuiper JJ, Andersson E, Arkema KK, Silver JM, Daily GC, Guerry AD (2021). Blending Ecosystem Service and Resilience Perspectives in Planning of Natural Infrastructure: Lessons from the San Francisco Bay Area. FRONTIERS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, 9  Author URL.
Preiser R, Biggs R, Hamann M, Sitas N, Selomane O, Waddell J, Clements H, Hichert T (2021). Co-exploring relational heuristics for sustainability transitions towards more resilient and just Anthropocene futures. SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE, 38(5), 625-634.  Author URL.
Hamel P, Guerry AD, Polasky S, Han B, Douglass JA, Hamann M, Janke B, Kuiper JJ, Levrel H, Liu H, et al (2021). Mapping the benefits of nature in cities with the InVEST software. npj Urban Sustainability, 1(1).
McDonald RI, Mansur AV, Ascensao F, Colbert M, Crossman K, Elmqvist T, Gonzalez A, Guneralp B, Haase D, Hamann M, et al (2020). Research gaps in knowledge of the impact of urban growth on biodiversity. NATURE SUSTAINABILITY, 3(1), 16-24.  Author URL.
Hamann M, Biggs R, Pereira L, Preiser R, Hichert T, Blanchard R, Warrington-Coetzee H, King N, Merrie A, Nilsson W, et al (2020). Scenarios of Good Anthropocenes in southern Africa. Futures, 118 Abstract.
Fazey I, Schäpke N, Caniglia G, Hodgson A, Kendrick I, Lyon C, Page G, Patterson J, Riedy C, Strasser T, et al (2020). Transforming knowledge systems for life on Earth: Visions of future systems and how to get there. Energy Research and Social Science, 70 Abstract.
Sitas N, Harmackova ZV, Anticamara JA, Arneth A, Badola R, Biggs R, Blanchard R, Brotons L, Cantele M, Coetzer K, et al (2019). Exploring the usefulness of scenario archetypes in science-policy processes: experience across IPBES assessments. ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY, 24(3).  Author URL.
Chaplin-Kramer R, Sharp RP, Weill C, Bennett EM, Pascual U, Arkema KK, Brauman KA, Bryant BP, Guerry AD, Haddad NM, et al (2019). Global modeling of nature's contributions to people. SCIENCE, 366(6462), 255-+.  Author URL.
Selomane O, Reyers B, Biggs R, Hamann M (2019). Harnessing Insights from Social-Ecological Systems Research for Monitoring Sustainable Development. SUSTAINABILITY, 11(4).  Author URL.
Selomane O, Reyers B, Biggs R, Hamann M (2019). Harnessing insights from social-ecological systems research for monitoring sustainable development. Sustainability (Switzerland), 11(4). 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.
Keeler BL, Hamel P, McPhearson T, Hamann MH, Donahue ML, Meza Prado KA, Arkema KK, Bratman GN, Brauman KA, Finlay JC, et al (2019). Social-ecological and technological factors moderate the value of urban nature. Nature Sustainability, 2(1), 29-38. 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.
Haider LJ, Hentati-Sundberg J, Giusti M, Goodness J, Hamann M, Masterson VA, Meacham M, Merrie A, Ospina D, Schill C, et al (2018). The undisciplinary journey: early-career perspectives in sustainability science. SUSTAINABILITY SCIENCE, 13(1), 191-204.  Author URL.
Pereira LM, Hichert T, Hamann M, Preiser R, Biggs R (2018). Using futures methods to create transformative spaces: visions of a good Anthropocene in southern Africa. ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY, 23(1).  Author URL.
Balvanera P, Daw TM, Gardner TA, Martin-Lopez B, Norstrom AV, Speranza CI, Spierenburg M, Bennett EM, Farfan M, Hamann M, et al (2017). Key features for more successful place-based sustainability research on social-ecological systems: a Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) perspective. ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY, 22(1).  Author URL.
Hamann M, Biggs R, Reyers B (2016). An Exploration of Human Well-Being Bundles as Identifiers of Ecosystem Service Use Patterns. PLOS ONE, 11(10).  Author URL.
Hamann M, Biggs R, Reyers B (2015). Mapping social-ecological systems: Identifying 'green-loop' and 'red-loop' dynamics based on characteristic bundles of ecosystem service use. GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS, 34, 218-226.  Author URL.
Oteros-Rozas E, Martin-Lopez B, Daw TM, Bohensky EL, Butler JRA, Hill R, Martin-Ortega J, Quinlan A, Ravera F, Ruiz-Mallen I, et al (2015). Participatory scenario planning in place-based social-ecological research: insights and experiences from 23 case studies. ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY, 20(4).  Author URL.
Hamann MH, Gremillet D, Ryan PG, Bonadonna F, van der Lingen CD, Pichegru L (2012). A hard-knock life: the foraging ecology of Cape cormorants amidst shifting prey resources and industrial fishing pressure. AFRICAN JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE, 34(2), 233-240.  Author URL.
Cook TR, Hamann M, Pichegru L, Bonadonna F, Gremillet D, Ryan PG (2012). GPS and time-depth loggers reveal underwater foraging plasticity in a flying diver, the Cape Cormorant. MARINE BIOLOGY, 159(2), 373-387.  Author URL.


Clements HS, Biggs R, Hamann M, Selomane O, Sitas N (2024). Social-Ecological Systems Thinking and Biodiversity. In  (Ed) Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, Elsevier, 50-63.
Clements HS, Biggs R, Hamann M, Selomane O, Sitas N (2024). Social-Ecological Systems Thinking and Biodiversity. In  (Ed) Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, Third Edition: Volume 1-7. 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.
Sitas N, Selomane O, Hamann M, Gajjar SP (2021). Towards Equitable Urban Resilience in the Global South Within a Context of Planning and Management. In  (Ed) Cities and Nature, 325-345. Abstract.

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External Engagement and Impact

Editorial responsibilities

I currently act as editor for the following journals: 

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I lead the following modules:

  • Sustainable Cities (3rd year) 
  • Sustainable Development (Masters) 

I co-teach on the following modules: 

  • Research Design in the Field (Masters)



Information not currently available

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Office Hours:

Mondays 10:00 - 12:00

Wednesdays 09:30 - 10:30 

Students: To book a time to meet with me, please use my Bookings page

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