The Falkland Islands, which is a British Overseas Territory east of Patagonia. In January, 2015, I was invited to participate in the first Falkland Islands Science Symposium, along with a dozen biophysical scholars from across the Americas. During our week we had scholarly sessions, public lectures, and site visits to see island biodiversity and farming landscapes (see the trailer of the in progress documentary here). I blogged about my first visit to the Falklands on the SAERI blog, as well as the Partners in Science blog of the British Embassy in the US, and more extensively about the Falklands as a Sustainability Lab on Joern Fischer’s Ideas for Sustainability blog.

I became fascinated by the context and its challenges as well as its charms. I developed research on the farming, biodiversity, and tourism interactions with our Symposium hosts, the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI), as well as collaborating on the cultural aspects of their Marine Spatial Planning (Blake, Auge and Sherren 2017). In 2016, I won OECD Cooperative Research Programme funding to add a Falklands case study to my work on holistic grazing management for farm resilience and ecosystem restoration (particularly native vegetation), which saw me back in the Falklands for four weeks in Nov-Dec 2016. A literary piece about the trip submitted to Canadian Notes and Queries came out in 2018, and the two academic papers more recently (Tourangeau and Sherren, 2019; Tourangeau, Sherren and Delignieres, in press). One explores the land management history of the Falklands through its iconic tussac grass, and the other uses Meadows’ leverage points to analyze the grazing systems in a context of climate change.

Research output

Tourangeau, W. and Sherren, K. 2019. Leverage points for sustainable wool production in the Falkland Islands. Journal of Rural Studies, 74, 22-23. 

Tourangeau, W., Sherren, K. and Delignieres, M. In press. ‘We secured the tussac’: Accounts of ecological discovery, exploitation and renewal in the Falkland IslandsPeople and Nature.

Sherren, K. 2018. The new battle for the Falklands. Canadian Notes and Queries, 101, pp. 15-19.

Blake, D., Auge, A. A. and Sherren, K. 2017. Participatory mapping to elicit cultural coastal values for Marine Spatial Planning in a remote archipelago. Ocean and Coastal Management, 148, 195-203.

Research trainees

Wes Tourangeau, postdoc on my SSHRC-funded HM project from 2017-2019, also led the two papers that resulted from my 2016 field work in the Falklands.

Denise Blake, recently a Scientific Fisheries Observer with the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department, undertook a pilot project mapping the cultural values of residents in fall 2015 to feed into the Marine Spatial Plan. I advised her from here, as she worked directly with Amelie Auge at SAERI. Our paper on that work was published in Ocean and Coastal Management.

Marilou Delignieres, exchange student at Dalhousie winter 2015, is from Dunbar farm, West Falkland, and served as my research assistant and collaborator for my 2016 fieldwork for the OECD.