Fikret Berkes

Distinguished Professor, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba; Canada Research Chair in Community-based Resource Management (Winnipeg, MB)

Dr. Berkes holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Community-based Resource Management, and is one of the eight Canadian Chairs of the International Development Research Chairs program, supported by the International Development Research Centre. He is the former Director of the Natural Resources Institute, and the former President of the International Association for the Study of Commons. He completed his PhD at McGill University, and then taught at Brock University before joining the University of Manitoba in 1991.

Dr. Berkes is an influential scholar and international leader in the areas of linked social-ecological systems (interrelations between societies and their resources) and commons theory (sustainability conditions for collectively-owned resources such as fisheries.) His work has involved the study of community-based resource management systems in northern Canada and international contexts to illuminate the factors that may lead to sustainability. He has produced some 250 scholarly publications, including 10 books, which contribute to the literature of resilient social-ecological systems, co-management, and indigenous ecological knowledge. His most highly cited books are Linking Social and Ecological Systems (Cambridge University Press, 1998), Sacred Ecology (3rd edition, Routledge, 2012), Common Property Resources (Belhaven, 1989), and Navigating Social-Ecological Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

In the area of food security, Dr. Berkes’ earliest work goes back to fish and contaminants in the James Bay area in the mid-1970s. He has worked on northern subsistence fisheries, northern food harvest studies (including designing the Nunavut Harvesting Study), and indigenous land use systems. He has expertise on role of indigenous and traditional knowledge in food harvesting, and has studied climate change impacts on human ecology in the Canadian Western Arctic. His most recent IPY work is about environmental change and adaptive capacity of northern peoples.

Mailing List Signup

Receive our newsletter, notifications of new assessments topics, news releases, and more!
Preference English  Français
Additional Information