PhD defence: Mónica Hernández-Morcillo – Københavns Universitet

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PhD defence: Mónica Hernández-Morcillo

Mónica Hernández-Morcillo defends her thesis,

European cultural landscapes: connecting science, policy and practice

Supervisor:
Professor Tobias Plieninger, IGN and University of Göttingen and University of Kassel

Assessment Committee:
Professor Marianne Penker, BOKU University, Vienna
Associate Professor Erik Andersson, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
Associate Professor Lone Søderkvist Kristensen  (chair), IGN

Summary:
European cultural landscapes are especially valued for the abundance of cultural ecosystem services and the richness of traditional ecological knowledge they provide to society. In recent decades, land use changes have dramatically altered cultural landscapes across Europe, reducing their biocultural diversity and affecting their ability to provide these benefits. Developing indicators to improve accountability of cultural ecosystem services and connecting the multiple stakeholders’ knowledge involved in land use decisions would help to delineate more sustainable pathways. The aims of this PhD thesis are to: 1) examine the measures and potential of cultural ecosystem services and traditional ecological knowledge in Europe, and; 2) explore transdisciplinary methods to develop joint research-action agendas for European cultural landscapes. The findings indicate that local knowledge improves the quality of cultural ecosystem service indicators. Traditional ecological knowledge research exists mainly in remote peripheral areas in Europe and it has the potential to increase society’s capacity to deal with environmental changes. Additionally, scientists, policy-makers and practitioners have similar priorities for guiding the future of cultural landscape research. There is consensus on the importance of adapting to climate change by managing specific landscape features such as hedgerows or windbreaks in agroforestry systems. These findings contribute to our understanding of how to better account for intangible landscape benefits and integrate knowledge to foster the sustainable management of cultural landscapes.

The thesis is available for inspection at the PhD administration office 04.1.413 at Øster Voldgade 10