Elena Finkbeiner

Ph.D., Biology

2016-2018 Center for Oceans, Conservation International

Fisheries Science Program Manager, Conservation International Centre for Oceans

Elena Finkbeiner’s research is on how we can increase both social well-being and ecological sustainability in the face of increasing uncertainties and threats that global fisheries face. She uses small-scale fisheries as her study system, given their importance for global livelihood and food security, culture, and ecological sustainability. Elena draws from ecology, political science, anthropology, and economics, and uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, including ethnographic techniques, analysis of fisheries catch data, and behavioral economic experiments.


Whitney, C. K., Bennett, N. J., Ban, N. C., Allison, E. H., Armitage, D., Blythe, J. L., Burt, J. M., Cheung, W., Finkbeiner, E. M., Kaplan-Hallam, M., Perry, I., Turner, N. J., Yumagulova, L., 2017, Adaptive capacity: from assessment to action in coastal social-ecological systems, Ecology and Society, 22(2), 22, link

Kittinger, J. N., Teh, L. C. L., Allison, E. H., Bennett, N. J., Crowder, L. B., Finkbeiner, E. M., Hicks. C., Scarton, C. G., Nakamura, K., Ota, Y., Young, J., Alifano, A., Apel, A., Arbib, A. Bishop, L., Boyle, M., Cisneros-Montemayor, A. M., Hunter, P., Le Cornu, E., Levine, M., Jones, R. S., Koehn, Z., Marschke, M., Mason, J. G., Micheli, F., McClenachan, L., Opal, C., Peacey, J., Peckham, S. H., Schemmel, E., Solis-Rivera, V., Swartz, W., Wilhelm, T. A., 2017, Committing to socially responsible seafood, Science, 356(6341), 912-913, link

Finkbeiner, E. M., Bennett, N. J., Frawley, T. H., Mason, J. G., Briscoe, D. K., Brooks, C. M., Ng, C. A., Ourens, R., Seto, K., Switzer Swanson, S., Urteaga, J., Crowder, L. B., 2017, Reconstructing overfishing: Moving beyond Malthus for effective and equitable solutions, Fish and Fisheries, 10.1111/faf.12245, link

Teh, L.C.L., Caddell, R., Allison, E.H., Finkbeiner, E.M., Kittinger, J.N., Nakamura, K., et al. (2019). The role of human rights in implementing socially responsible seafood. PLoS ONE 14(1): e0210241 link

Nathan J. Bennett, Elena M. Finkbeiner, Natalie C. Ban, Dyhia Belhabib, Stacy
D. Jupiter, John N. Kittinger, Sangeeta Mangubhai, Joeri Scholtens, David Gill & Patrick Christie (2020): The COVID-19 Pandemic, Small-Scale Fisheries and Coastal Fishing Communities. Coastal Management, DOI: 10.1080/08920753.2020.1766937. link.

Several Nereus Program participants are co-authors on a new paper just published in Nature Sustainability – “Towards a sustainable and equitable blue economy”. The authors recommend five priority areas to address to ensure a safe and just future global ocean economy.

Principal Investigator Jack Kittinger and alumnus Elena Finkbeiner are co-authors on a new publication in Coastal Management that investigates how the current COVID-19 pandemic is impacting small-scale and coastal fishing. They call on governments, development organizations, NGOS, researchers, donors and the private sector to rapidly mobilize to help these vulnerable communities that are being severely impacted right now.

May 26, 2020 | FisheriesCoastal