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Patricia Howard

Professor
Affiliation:
Wageningen University Dept. of Social Sciences and University of Kent School of Anthropology and Conservation
About
I am both Professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Honorary Professor at the University of Kent at Canterbury with related
extensive academic as well as practical experience in socio-ecological systems research and biodiversity, natural resource management,
agriculture, environment, and development. I have a multidisciplinary background in Sociology, Anthropology (with a specialisation in
Ethnobiology and Gender Studies) and Political Economy, and consider myself to be a Political Ecologist. My academic training and research in human-environment
relations began more than 35 years ago and extends to the present, and I am continually expending substantial energies in order to broaden my
understanding of global change processes and the conceptual frameworks and tools that are being developed to grasp these processes. My career has been devoted to two efforts: one is to understand and develop conceptual frameworks around the drivers of poverty and vulnerability, biodiversity management and degradation from local to global scales in both traditional and capitalist societies, and the second is to incorporate such understanding and frameworks into the efforts of development organisations to effectuate positive change. The trajectory of my work has spanned three world regions: North America, Mesoamerica and Europe, and I have also gained experience in research and supervision in several African contexts. I spent 15 years working in the United Nations system in development efforts, including development programming, evaluation, and policy development (mainly with the FAO, but as well with UNDP, IFAD, ILO, and UNFPA). For the past twelve years
I have been Professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and for the past ten years I have been Honorary Professor at the University of Kent
at Canterbury, where I am currently working as Honorary Professor in the Centre for Biocultural Diversity. For much of my career, I have concentrated on the following variables and their interrelationships, at one time focusing on one subset, and at another on another subset, with the goal of eventually integrating all: global
markets, biodiversity, climate change, livestock, energy, socio-ecological systems, and resource management and equity in traditional societies,
from both ethnobiological and political ecology perspectives. I have had the opportunity to develop, together with other colleagues, a scientific
conceptual framework for an innovative global programme spearheaded by FAO, called the Globally Ingenious Agricultural Heritage
Programme (GIAHS). For the past seven years I have led a research effort on Human Adaptation to Biodiversity Change (funded by ESPA). I am currently working on a global literature review dealing with Human Adaptation to Invasive Species, and Human Dimensions of Invasive Species for a Special Issue of Ambio that I am editing on Human Adaptation to Biodiversity Change.
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Invasive Alien Species assessment-Coordinating lead author