Maria is a research leader of the Biosphere Stewardship stream at SRC, and is currently leading research projects on co-production of knowledge for syntheses across scientific, local and indigenous knowledge systems; sense of place and cultural ecosystems services in Southern Africa; and emerging stewardship networks in Bangalore, India. She is part of the GRAID programme, focusing on linking a Multiple Evidence Base perspective into planning for development, including resilience assessments.
As an underlying theme, Maria’s research sets out to understand how positive connections between people and nature matter for moving towards trajectories of ecosystem-based management for human well-being. In particular, she is interested in the in-tangible, non-material aspects of human-nature interactions, such as local knowledge, sense of place, and biocultural connections, and the implications for building social-ecological resilience and transformative capacity. She has been working with aspects in social-ecological systems in Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, India, and Sweden.
Maria Tengö is and has been supervising PhD and master level projects on e.g. cultural ecosystem services, stewardship networks, sense of place and place making, and indigenous knowledge in South Africa, India (Bangalore), US (New York), Colombia (Bogota), and Ecuador.
On-going research projects:
Maria has an interdisciplinary PhD in Natural Resource Management from the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University. Her undergraduate education was primarily in biology and ecology at Uppsala and Stockholm University, but included courses in ecological economics, philosophy, history of science, and conservation management. During her PhD she was engaged in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Geography, McGill University, Canada. During 2005-2006 she was developing and coordinating the Master programme that was the precursor to the current master program at the SRC.
Maria has supervised one PhD-student (Vanessa Masterson, defended 2016), and more than 10 master students (6 at the SRC).
Since 2010, Maria has been collaborating closely with SwedBio, a science-policy interface based at the SRC, on building a community of practice across knowledge systems and cultures to address the challenge of mobilizing and synthesizing knowledge from diverse knowledge systems in equal, transparent, and useful ways. Together with SwedBio partners and academic colleagues, we are working in the context of synthesising knowledge across scales e.g. in the IPBES and the CBD, as well as local to regional contexts, based on a Multiple Evidence Base approach, which you can read more about here.
Research news | 2018-10-07
Robert Bosch Stiftung launches "Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership" with four leading academic centers in Europe
Research news | 2018-09-18
Why the concept of stewardship offers a platform for collaboration and dialogue between actors, even with differing perspectives
Research news | 2018-08-30
Scientific method using photographs helps capture local expressions of human wellbeing among vulnerable communities in Kenya and South Africa
Research news | 2017-10-30
The benefits and challenges of making our cities sustainable
2019 - Journal / article
Stewardship is a popular term for describing action in pursuit of sustainability. There is growing interest in how relational values, such as care, animate stewardship action. In this paper we develop relational understandings of care in stewardship, in so doing infusing the relational values literature with modes of ‘relational thinking’ increasingly adopted in sustainability science. We use three theoretical perspectives — d...
2018 - Journal / article
The value of diverse perspectives in social-ecological systems research and transdisciplinarity is well recognized. Human well-being and how it is derived from dynamic ecosystems is one area where local knowledge and perspectives are critical for designing interventions for sustainable pathways out of poverty. However, to realize the potential to enrich the understanding of complex dynamics for sustainability, there is a need...
2018 - Journal / article
Current sustainability challenges – including biodiversity loss, pollution and land-use change – require new ways of understanding, acting in and caring for the landscapes we live in. The concept of stewardship is increasingly used in research, policy and practice to articulate and describe responses to these challenges. However, there are multiple meanings and framings of stewardship across this wide user base that reflect di...
2017 - Report
A workshop took place 11-18 September 2015 in Jafr and Tuggoz communities, Tajikistan, and resulted in a summary report entitled Climate Change and Biocultural Adaptation in Mountain Communities. It also included information acquired from the previous workshop hosted in Bhutan in May 2014, where the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples (INMIP) was formed. This network aims to promote interaction and a knowledge...