B.Sc. McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1968
Ph.D. Marine Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1973
Dr. Berkes is an applied ecologist by background and works at the interface of natural and social sciences. He joined the University of Manitoba in 1991 as Director of NRI, a position he occupied until 1996. He has served as the President of the International Association for the Study of Common Property (1996-98) and as the leader of a number of research groups. He has devoted most of his professional life to investigating the relations between societies and their resources, and to examining the conditions under which the “tragedy of the commons” may be avoided. He works on theoretical and practical aspects of community-based management, co-management, and traditional knowledge. His publications include the books Coasts for People (Routledge, 2015), Sacred Ecology (Routledge, 2012), Breaking Ice (U Calgary Press, 2005), Navigating Social-Ecological Systems (Cambridge U Press, 2003), and Managing Small-Scale Fisheries (IDRC, 2001). See his list of publications and downloadable PDFs elsewhere on this web site. Dr. Berkes holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (2002) and the title of Distinguished Professor (2003). For more detail, click on Canada Research Chair at the NRI site.
Dr. Berkes' main area of research is the commons, with current emphasis on adaptive co-management, complex systems/resilience, and indigenous knowledge. He works with Masters and PhD students who have an interdisciplinary orientation and an interest in combining social and ecological perspectives. Several of his national and international team projects involve NRI students.