Dr Kirsten Abernethy

Published on: 27 April 2015

This week is Cornwall Business Week and our Researcher in focus is looking at the work of Dr Kirsten Abernethy – whose research in coastal and fishing dependent communities looks at community wellbeing, and innovations in fishing communities in the face of environmental change. Her work is helping to support Cornwall’s vital fishing industry, a sector at the forefront of social-ecological change.

Dr Abernethy is an academic affiliate in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, and works with fishing communities in Cornwall and the Pacific to understand how communities respond and innovate to the multiple social, ecological and political changes they face, such as sudden regulation or market changes, rising costs of fishing, and climate changes.

Kirsten’s most recent work in Cornwall, with Dr Rachel Turner and Anna Woodhead, looks at the effect of these multiple changes on the wellbeing of communities, from a health perspective.

Health in fishing communities has been almost completely overlooked by researchers and policy makers, yet the effects of environmental change and socio-economic restructuring have potentially major implications for the health of fishing-dependent communities.

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