Elizabeth Clark

Whiting Boat front on

I am interested in the political and economic institutions governing human-environment interactions. Drawing on approaches from political economy, common-pool resource studies and political ecology, I use quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate policy processes and outcomes in natural resource management.

Recently, my research has focused on social and ecological drivers of institutional change. My dissertation research integrates global value chain and institutional analyses to explore the role of seafood markets and local collective action in fishery policy reforms in California. I also collaborate with an interdisciplinary team of spatial ecologists and social scientists to examine social responses to species range shifts in the northeastern U.S.

Although my current research program is focused on marine fisheries, it contributes to broader questions of how people cooperate to confront challenges in resource use and conservation. As my career develops, I hope to do work aimed at understanding and informing governance approaches across a range of systems, from rangelands and forests to water and the global climate.

Before starting the PhD program at Duke, I worked in global marine conservation policy, fishery management research and sustainable seafood assessments. Outside of work, I enjoy backpacking, trail running, soccer, and getting to know my local farmers and fishers.