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Nigel Sainsbury


Perceptions of cumulative effects on Salmon in British Columbia’s watersheds

I am an environmental social scientist interested in risks in social-ecological systems. My research focuses on natural and anthropogenic risks to ecosystems and communities. I seek to improve conservation and human wellbeing outcomes by generating policy-relevant knowledge using methods drawn from a range of social science disciplines. I work with qualitative and quantitative data to answer questions in the areas of:

  • Social dimensions of environmental and conservation risks;

  • Climate risks, vulnerability, adaptation, and wellbeing; and

  • Human behavioural responses to climate risks.


As such, I work closely with policymakers, stakeholders and rightsholders. I am currently studying expert perceptions of pathways of cumulative effects in BC salmon-bearing watersheds as part of the Watershed Futures Initiative in the Salmon Watersheds Lab at SFU.


During my NERC-funded PhD (University of Exeter, UK) I studied climate risks to fisheries with a focus on vulnerability to changing storminess in collaboration with Cefas, the UK Met Office, and Willis Towers Watson. My MSc research identified conservation risks from beaver reintroduction in Cornwall, UK.

Get in touch via email: nigel_sainsbury [at] or Twitter: @nigelsainsbury.

You can also view my work on Google Scholar or LinkedIn.

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