Professor Shankar Aswani

Biography

Professor Aswani (Ph.D. 1997, U of Hawaii) comes to Rhodes University from the Department of Anthropology and the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Sciences at the University of California in Santa Barbara, USA. Aswani has conducted research in the Western Solomons Islands since 1992 particularly in the Roviana and Vonavona region, and more recently in the Vella Lavella, Rendova, and Marovo areas. His projects have focused on a diversity of subjects including property rights and common property resources, marine indigenous environmental knowledge, cultural ecology and human behavioural ecology of fishing, demography, ethnohistory, political ecology, economic anthropology, and applied anthropology. He also has developed a network of locally managed Marine Protected Areas (30 MPAs) and small-scale rural development projects in the Roviana, Vonavona, and Marovo Lagoons with funds provided by the MacArthur and Packard Foundations, CI, NSF, and Pew, among others.

He heads a program named the Western Solomons Conservation Program (WSCP), which is still growing and expanding across the region. As a result of this effort, a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation was awarded to Aswani in 2005, the first time that the world’s premier award in marine conservation has been given to an anthropologist. He is also involved in archaeological/historical ecology projects in the Solomon Islands and more recently in a project sponsored by the National Geographic Society in the Marquesas, French Polynesia. Also, he developed a field school program on ecological anthropology and marine science in the Western Solomons. His publications include articles in the journals Ambio, American Anthropologist, Aquatic Conservation, Asian Perspectives, Biological Conservation, Conservation Biology, Current Anthropology, Coastal Management, Coral Reefs, Environmental Conservation, Human Ecology, Human Organization, Global Environmental Change, Ocean and Coastal Management, and Science among others. In recent years Aswani and his research team have studied the effects of the 2007 Western Solomons Tsunami on coastal communities as well as ongoing ecological and social changes caused by global climate change.  Professor Aswani is developing similar projects in South Africa as well as in other coastal communities in East and West Africa.

Professor Aswani was recently rated as a B (2) scientist by the South Africa National Research Foundation (NRF) (2015-2020)

See: http://www.nrf.ac.za/rating

Contact Details:

Email: s.aswani@ru.ac.za

Qualifications

BA Anthropology and Marine Affairs/Science - University of Miami (Florida, USA)

MA Anthropology –University of Hawaii

PhD Anthropology –University of Hawaii

Research Projects (selected)

Sandisa Imbewu (Rhodes)-A Comparative Analysis of Coastal Communities Responses to Climate and Environmental Changes in Africa and Oceania (2015-2018)

NRF Grant-Human and Social Dynamics in Development (HSGR) for a project entitled: “The human dimension of compliance in South Africa’s marine recreational fisheries (with Warren Potts) (2015-2017)  

Building Socio-Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in the Western Solomon Islands (2011-2013)

Understanding Socio-ecological Impacts and Responses to Large Scale Environmental Disturbance in the Western Solomon Islands (2008-2011)

Rural Development and Community-Based Resource Management in the Solomon Islands (1999-present)

Integrating Social and Natural Science for Designing and Implementing a Marine Protected Area Network in the Western Solomon Islands (2003-present)

Publications

Aswani, S (publications for the last five years)

Aswani, S. 2019. New directions in maritime and fisheries anthropology American Anthropologist.

Aswani, S. 2019. Perspectives in coastal human ecology (CHE) for marine conservation. Biological Conservation 236: 223–235.

Aswani, S. 2019. Indigenous polycentric and nested customary sea tenure (CST) institutions: A Solomon Islands case study. In Governing Renewable Natural Resources: Theories and Frameworks, ed. Nunan, F. Routledge Press.

Dutra, L X.C., I. Sporne, M. Haward, S. Jennings, S. Aswani, A. Hobday, S. Frusher, W. Sauer, I. E. van Putten, S. S. Salim, E. Plaganyi-Lloyd, G. Pecl, M. Gasalla, S. Gianesella, T. Grant , M. B. Taboada, and K. Cochrane. 2019. Governance mapping: a tool for assessing the adaptive capacity of marine resource governance to environmental change. Marine Policy 106: 103392, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2018.12.011

Cochrane, K.L., W.H.H. Sauer and S. Aswani. 2019. Reply to ‘Society’s needs cannot be met by applied science alone: A response to Cochrane et al. (2019)’ South African Journal of Science DOI: 10.17159/sajs.2019/6415

Cochrane, K.L., W.H.H. Sauer and S. Aswani. 2019. Science in the service of society: is marine science addressing South Africa’s needs? South African Journal of Science 115. https://doi.org/10.17159/sajs.2019/4418

Cochrane, K.L. H. Rakotondrazafy, S. Aswani, T. Chaigneau, N. Downey-Breedt, A. Lemahieu, A. Paytan, G. Pecl, É. Plagányi, E. Popova, E. I. van Putten, W. H.H. Sauer, V. Byfield,  M. Gasalla, S.J. van Gennip, W. Malherbe, A. Rabary, A. Rabearisoa, N. Ramaroson, V. Randrianarimanana, L. Scott and P.M. Tsimanaoraty. 2019. Tools to enrich vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning for coastal communities in data-poor regions: application to a case study in Madagascar. Frontiers in Marine Science doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00505

Bova, C, S. Aswani, M. W Farthing, and W. M. Potts. 2018. Limitations of the random response technique and a call to implement the ballot box method for estimating recreational angler compliance using surveys. Fisheries Research 208: 34–41.

Lemahieu, A., Scott, L., Malherbe W.S., Mahatante, P.T.,Randrianarimanana, J.V., and Aswani, S. 2018. Local perceptions of environmental changes in fishing communities of Southwest Madagascar. Ocean & Coastal Management 163: 209–221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2018.06.012

Aswani S, Lemahieu A, and Sauer W.H.H. 2018. Global trends of local ecological knowledge and future implications. PLoS ONE 13(4): e0195440. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0195440

Aswani, S. J. A. E. Howard, M. A. Gasalla, S. Jennings, W. Malherbe, I. M.Martins, S. S. Salim, I. E. Van Putten, P. S. Swathilekshmi, R. Narayanakumar and G. R. Watmough 2018. An integrated framework for assessing coastal community vulnerability across cultures, oceans and scales, Climate and Development, DOI: 10.1080/17565529.2018.1442795

Ensor, J.E., Abernethy, K.E., Hoddy, E.T., Aswani, S., Albert, S., Vaccaro, I., Benedict, J.J. and Beare, D.J., 2018. Variation in perception of environmental change in nine Solomon Islands communities: implications for securing fairness in community-based adaptation. Regional Environmental Change 18(4), pp.1131-1143.

Aswani, S. X. Basurto, I. Vaccaro, L. Campbell1, P. Christie, I. Vaccaro, J. Cinner, T. Dalton, K. Jenkins, M. Miller, S. Ferse, R. Pollnac. 2018. Marine resource management and conservation in the Anthropocene. Environmental Conservation, doi: 10.1017/S0376892917000431

Aswani, S., S. Albert, and M. Love. 2017. One size does not fit all: Critical insights for effective community-based resource management in Melanesia. Marine Policy 81:381-391. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2017.03.041

Rohe, J. R., S. Aswani, A. Schlüter, S. C. A. Ferse. 2017. Multiple drivers of local (non-) compliance in community-based marine resource management: case studies from the South Pacific. Frontiers in Marine Science 4:172. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00172

Bova, C., S. Aswani, W. Potts. 2017. Assessing the social norms approach for improving recreational fisheries compliance. Fisheries Management and Ecology 24:117-125. DOI: 10.1111/fme.12218

Aswani, S. 2017. Customary management as TURFs: social challenges and opportunities. Mote Symposium invited paper in Bulletin of Marine Science 93(1): 3–12. http://dx.doi.org/10.5343/bms.2015.1084

Aswani, S., van Putten, I., and Miñarro, S. 2017. Ecological and social recovery asymmetries to large-scale environmental disturbances in small island communities. Natural Hazards 86 (1), 241-262. DOI: 10.1007/s11069-016-2685-2

Aswani, S. 2017. Linking customary and modern marine management systems in Melanesia. In Mar Adentro: Tenencia Marina y Debates Cosmopoliticos, edited by H Artaud and A. Suralles, Muséum. Grupo Internacional de trabajos sobre asuntos indígenas.

Diedrich, A, and Aswani, S. 2016. The potential of ecotourism for increasing social and ecological resilience to environmental change in Roviana, Solomon Islands. Ambio.  DOI 10.1007/s13280-016-0781 x

Aswani, S. 2016. Geospatial technologies and indigenous knowledge systems. In Geoinformatics for Marine and Coastal Management, edited by Darius Bartlett and Louis Celliers, CRC Press / Taylor and Francis, 2016.

Hobday, A. J., K. Cochrane, N. Downey-Breedt, J. Howard, S. Aswani, V. Byfield, G. Duggan, E. Duna, L. X. C. Dutra, S. D. Frusher, E. A. Fulton, L. Gammage, M. A. Gasalla, C. Griffiths, A. Guissamulo, M. Haward, A. Jarre, S. M. Jennings, T. Jordan, J. Joyner, N. K. Ramani, S. L. P. Shanmugasundaram, W. Malherbe, K. O. Cisneros, A. Paytan, G. T. Pecl, É. E. Plagányi, E. E. Popova, H. Razafindrainibe, M. Roberts, P. Rohit, S. S. Sainulabdeen, W. Sauer, S. T. Valappil, P. U. Zacharia and E. I. v. Putten. 2016. Planning adaptation to climate change in fast-warming marine regions with seafood-dependent coastal communities. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries: DOI: 10.1007/s11160-016-9419-0.

Albert, S., Aswani, S., Fisher, P. L., Albert, J. 2015. Keeping food on the table: Human responses and changing coastal fisheries in Solomon Islands. PLoSONE. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0130800

Aswani, S., I. Vaccaro, K. Abernethy, S. Albert and J. Fernandez. 2015. Can local perceptions of environmental and climate change in island communities assist in adaptation planning. Environmental Management.  DOI 10.1007/s00267-015-0572-3

Aswani, S, Mumby, P. J., Baker, A. C., Christie, P., McCook, L. J., Steneck, R. S., and Richmond, R. H. 2015. Scientific frontiers for the management of coral reefs. Frontiers in Marine Science 2:50. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2015.00050 

Aswani, S., Diedrich, A. and Currier, K., 2015. Planning for the future: Mapping anticipated environmental and social impacts in a nascent tourism destination. Society & Natural Resources, 28(7), pp.703-719. DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2015.1020582

Aswani, S, C. Flores, and B. Broitman. 2015. Human harvesting impacts on managed areas: Ecological effects of socially-compatible shellfish reserves. Review of Fish Biology and Fisheries 25: 217–230. DOI: 10.1007/s11160-014-9376-4

Aswani, S and Albert, S. 2015. Change in Roviana Lagoon coral reef ethnobiology. In Ethnobiology of Coral Reefs. N. M. Narchi and L.L. Price (eds). Springer Ethnobiology Series

Aswani, S and Lauer, M. 2014. Indigenous people’s detection of rapid ecological change. Conservation Biology 28: 820–828.

Aswani, S. 2014. Investigating coral reef ethnobiology in the western Solomon Islands for enhancing livelihood resilience. Journal of the Polynesian Society 123(3): 237–276. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15286/jps.123.3.237-276

Olds, A., Connolly, R.M. Pitti, K. A, Maxwell, P.S., Aswani, S. and Albert, S. 2014 Incorporating seascape species and connectivity to improve marine conservation outcomes. Conservation Biology 28: 982–991. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12242

Kittinger, J. N., J. E. Cinner, S. Aswani, and A. T. White. 2014. Back to the past? Integrating customary practices and institutions into co-management of small-scale fisheries. In Applying Marine Historical Ecology to Conservation and Management. J. N. Kittinger, L. E. McClenachan, K. B. Gedan, and L. K. Blight (eds). Berkeley: UC Press.

Books and Edited Volumes

Vaccaro, I, E. A. Smith, and S. Aswani (Eds.). 2010. Society and Environment: Methods and Research Design. Cambridge University Press.

Aswani, S. 2000. Headhunting in the Western Solomon Islands. Guest editor, Shankar Aswani. Journal of the Polynesian Society 109 (1).

Peer Reviewed Articles and Chapters (selected)

Aswani, S., I. Vaccaro, K. Abernethy, S. Albert and J. Fernandez. 2015. Can local perceptions of environmental and climate change in island communities assist in adaptation planning. Environmental Management. DOI 10.1007/s00267-015-0572-3

Albert, S., Aswani, S., Fisher, P. L., Albert, J. 2015. Keeping food on the table: Human responses and changing coastal fisheries in Solomon Islands. PLoSONE DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0130800

Aswani, S, Mumby, P. J., Baker, A. C., Christie, P., McCook, L. J., Steneck, R. S., and Richmond, R. H. 2015. Scientific Frontiers for the Management of Coral Reefs. Frontiers in Marine Science 2:50. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2015.00050 

Aswani, S, Diedrich, A. and Currier, K. 2015. Planning for the future: Mapping anticipated environmental and social impacts in a nascent tourism destination. Society and Natural Resources. DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2015.1020582

Aswani, S, C. Flores, and B. Broitman. 2015. Human harvesting impacts on managed areas: Ecological effects of socially-compatible shellfish reserves. Review of Fish Biology and Fisheries 25: 217–230 (DOI: 10.1007/s11160-014-9376-4)

Articles/Book Chapters/Other (non-peer or editor reviewed)

Aswani, S and Albert, S. In press. Change in Roviana Lagoon Coral Reef Ethnobiology. In Ethnobiology of Coral Reefs. N. M. Narchi and L.L. Price (eds). Springer Ethnobiology Series

Kittinger, J. N., J. E. Cinner, S. Aswani, and A. T. White. 2015. Back to the past? Integrating Traditional Practices and Institutions into Co-Management of Small-Scale Fisheries. In Applying Marine Historical Ecology to Conservation and Management. J. N. Kittinger, L. E. McClenachan, K. B. Gedan, and L. K. Blight (eds). Berkeley: UC Press

Last Modified: Wed, 11 Dec 2019 12:31:35 SAST