Researcher in Profile: Dr. Nathan J. Bennett

Nathan Bennett (website: is co-lead of OceanCanada’s Pacific Working Group as well as our Access cross-cutting theme. He is currently cross-appointed as a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Washington and a Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia.

As a broadly trained environmental social scientist, he chooses to primarily focus on research projects that interrogate various aspects of the complex relationship between the environment and human society with a solution-oriented lens. His research interests examine the human dimensions of marine conservation, fisheries, ocean governance, and global environmental change. Prior to his current position, he was a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at UBC with Dr. Terre Satterfield and Dr. Kai Chan. For his doctoral research, supported by a Trudeau Scholarship and a SSHRC Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholar Award, he worked with Dr. Phil Dearden as part of Project IMPAACT and the Marine Protected Areas Research Group at the University of Victoria.

His dissertation focused on various aspects of the relationship between marine protected areas, climate change, and local livelihoods on the Andaman coast of Thailand. His Master’s research with Dr. Harvey Lemelin at Lakehead University focused on the role of a Canadian national park in the social, cultural, political, and economic development of the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation in the Northwest Territories, Canada. He was given the Canadian Association of Geographers Robin P. Armstrong Award for his thesis.

His current research activities include projects focusing on such topics as marine protected area governance in Canada and the Mediterranean Sea, responses of small-scale fishing communities to environmental change in Thailand and Canada, integration of indigenous and local community needs and perspectives into conservation globally, marine conservation planning initiatives in Mexico, the consideration of equity and access in fisheries management in Canada, and the human dimensions of large-scale marine protected areas.