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Dr Sui Phang

Research Fellow



I am a Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouth and help lead the interdisciplinary Centre for Blue Governance. Our research and impact activities relate to blue economy and blue growth agendas at local, national and international scales. 

The aim of me fishery and aquatic social-ecological systems research is holistic and inclusive governance of our aquatic resources. Sustainable development must account for the links among human and non-human water users and stakeholders. 

The majority of my activities operate at the science-policy interface. I am particularly interested in understanding how systems and actors respond to change because it is crucial for evidence-based governance and policy decisions. 

To this end, I investigate the interaction between bottom-up processes (e.g. emergent sustainability) and top-down decisions (e.g. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals). My work encompasses vulnerability, complex-adaptive systems and social ecological systems research. 

I have worked on fish and fishery systems in Africa, Europe and soon in Asia. I have expertise in fish ecology and behaviour, predictive modelling, livelihood analysis and coupled human and natural systems research. 


I received my PhD from Bournemouth University in 2013 and my thesis developed a bioenergetically and behaviourally realistic chalk stream salmonid agent-based model. I received my Biology (BSc) and Environmental Technology (MSc) from Imperial College, London. 

In 2014, I joined The Ohio State University as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on the Modelling Regime Shifts in the Logone project and was mentored by Ian Hamilton and Mark Moritz. The interdisciplinary team comprised anthropologists, fish ecologists, fishery scientists, hydrologists and climate scientists. 

I joined the University of Portsmouth in my current role in April 2019.

I am also a member ‘InFish’ and I have contributed towards efforts to raise the profile of inland fisheries in freshwater and development agendas. 

Research Interests

My research centres on the need for a holistic approach to understanding the complex interactions driving dynamics at agent and system levels. Advancing our knowledge of the drivers of fish, fishers and non-fishers dynamics will allow for more inclusive, equitable and sustainable governance.


My current research interests include:

●          Fish and fisher vulnerability, especially their adaptive capacity to change

●          Inland fisheries valuation

●          Holistic aquatic governance

●          Integration across different scales of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

●          Agent-based models

Media Availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from the media on my research, and am aware of the needs to respond to journalists in a timely manner. Please contact me directly on

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