September 5, 2019: IRES Faculty Seminar with Tahia Devisscher

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm (every Thursday)

Location: AERL Theatre (room 120), 2202 Main Mall



Anticipating and managing future wildfire risk in southern Amazonia: A social-ecological systems analysis


Wildfire risk in southern Amazonia is rapidly increasing as a result of deforestation, spreading use of fire, and climate change. Using a novel social-ecological systems analysis, I studied wildfire dynamics in this region and ways to anticipate future risk under different climatic and developmental conditions. The analysis adopts a multi-scalar approach, integrates different scientific disciplines, and builds on multiple forms of knowledge and understandings of fire. Insights are generated through ground-based studies in two specific sites looking at fine-grained social and ecological dynamics of wildfire, combined with remote sensing assessing coarse-grained spatial dynamics driving fire risk at the regional level. Methods include simulation modelling, geospatial analysis, ecological surveys, focus group discussions, observation and semi-structured interviews. Findings inform important ecological, social, and landscape governance recommendations needed for more resilient, adaptive and inclusive forest management strategies in the context of climate change.


Tahia Devisscher

Postdoctoral Fellow, Forest Resource Management 


Dr Tahia Devisscher has ten years of international experience working at the interface of environment and development. In her work, Tahia adopts systems thinking and interdisciplinarity to integrate traditional knowledge with scientific data, and assess possible climate adaptation strategies based on ecosystem management. Tahia has a PhD from the University of Oxford (UK), and is a Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow at the University of British Columbia (Canada). Currently, she is investigating the extent to which urban forests increase social-ecological resilience to climate change, and improve the way in which urban residents relate to, benefit from, and engage with nature.