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Johanna Forster

Johanna Forster_cropped

Theme Lead

University of East Anglia


Johanna is an environmental social scientist, with expertise in interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research that cross-cuts contemporary international development issues around marine and coastal resource management and governance, climate change, hazards and risk. She specialises in understanding multi-level perceptions, knowledge and incentives and the associated implications for environmental decision-making and governance.

Johanna has made important contributions to international and UK-based research on governance of coastal and marine resources and food security, and cultural and historical influences on contemporary hazards, risk and exposure. 

More recently, Johanna expanded her focus to emerging energy technologies and land use. Her work combines ecological, social and economic perspectives, quantitative and qualitative approaches, and she have undertaken extensive field-based research in the Caribbean and Pacific regions, and the UK.

Past research projects

  • Future proofing Caribbean fisheries from hurricane impacts: linking fisheries resilience and diaster risk management in Dominica (GCRF funded, 2019 – 2021)
  • Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme (Blue Ltd Consultancy) Maritime Economy Plans for 17 Commonwealth Countries (FCO funded, 2018 – 2020)
  • Feasibility of afforestation and biomass energy with carbon capture storage for greenhouse gas removal (NERC-EPSRC-ESRC funded, 2017 – 2021)
  • Historical trajectories of risk, exposure, governance and tenure to build resilience to multiple hazards in Small Island Developing States (GCRF funded, 2016 – 2018)
  • Innovations in Climate Governance (INOGOV) (EU/COST funded, 2014 – 2018)
  • Services and Opportunities from the marine environment (ESRC Impact Accelerator Award, 2015-2017)
  • Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment (FORCE) (EU FP7 funded, 2010-2014)
  • Understanding and addressing the impacts of threats to marine ecosystems in the UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean (DEFRA funded, 2013-2014)
  • Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Fellowship on UK coastal management (ESRC funded, 2009)
  • PhD research (Anguilla and University of East Anglia) on vulnerability of tourism dependent Caribbean islands to climate change (ESRC/NERC funded, 2006-2010)

Areas of expertise

Environmental Governance

Marine & costal management

Carbon reduction technologies

Climate & natural hazard risks