Accepted Paper:

Greatness and vicissitude of interdisciplinary research: a love story between ecology, economics and anthropology for coastal marine socio-ecosystems  


Jocelyne Ferraris (Institut de Recherche pour le DĂ©veloppement)
Christian Chaboud (IRD)

Paper short abstract:

Through the story of our common experience, we will discuss how interdisciplinary practises have impacted our research. Sharing concepts and methodologies is a way to comprehensive understanding of society-nature relationships, but not easy in a context dominated by disciplinary standards.

Paper long abstract:

One upon a time two researchers from the Institute of Research for the Development (IRD), an ecologist and an economist, began their careers on the same object: small scale fisheries. This communication presents their common story since 25 years:

- In the nineties, in Africa, when fishery research tried to developed a holistic approach of fisheries dynamics.

- In 2000, in Polynesia, with the development of ecosystem based management and the necessity to reconciliate fisheries and biodiversity conservation.

- And now, in Indian Ocean, around the concept of "coral reef heritage" and regional fisheries management.

This narrative underlines the difficulties and the happiness to work with other disciplines through different experiences. Both researchers in the story are in fact hybrid researchers…. The first is a numerical ecologist that depended of field specialists collecting data and having an expert knowledge on components of the studied system. She now discovers anthropology, working on social representations of marine ecosystems. The second is a development economist with strong background in anthropology. They share a common interest for alterity and society-nature interactions. This story on interdisciplinary research is an experience on human relationships and opening to others, with a focus on methodological stakes; but also a critical view on research context using this buzzword but, in fact, not facilitating its real practise. Interdisciplinary research still is a challenge, because of the necessity of a comprehensive and socially useful understanding of the marine socio-ecosystem, to contribute to environment management and well-being of people depending of resources.

Panel P112
Interdisciplinary research and nature-society interactions