Let me introduce myself. I am holding a PhD in Human Geography with a research focus on marine social science and stakeholder dialogue. I conducted my PhD research with the CliSAP Research Cluster at Universität Hamburg (Germany) focusing on the societal dynamics of climate change adaptation in Cornwall (UK). Currently I work in the PANDORA and FutureMARES research projects at University of Hamburg, Institute of Marine Ecosystem and Fisheries Sciences (IMF) together with Myron Peck (NIOZ, NL). Within these projects, I am responsible for Stakeholder Engagement, Outreach & Communication.

What drives me? Throughout my studies and my entire life, really, I have always been fascinated by the diversity of nature, cultures, and worldviews that exist. I think there are as many perspectives on the world as there are humans on it, and how we live in this world is fundamentally shaped by the experiences we made throughout our lives and the meanings we attach to certain places, landscapes, events and people around us.

What do I research? Just as the practical work I do, my current research marries my passion for different perspectives on the world with my interest in communication and stakeholder engagement. Whereas there is quite a bit of literature out there looking at the perceptions of stakeholders, I am on a mission to find out how scientist experience the engagement processes they initiate, what relationships they have with ‘their’ stakeholders, and how these perspectives influence the engagement they conduct.

My most recent publication focuses on the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on stakeholder engagement processes in (EU) marine science projects (paper). Another of my personal projects has the aim of developing a typology of so-called ‘engagers’, i.e. different categories of how scientists view stakeholder engagement.

Besides the research I do, one of my recent activities was the chairing of ICES WKSHOES, a workshop that laid the foundation for the development of an ICES Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. You can find the report here.

After work… My great love outside of work is Siah, the Romanian street dog I live with. She’s the best companion, friend and teacher one can have, and we much enjoy roaming the great outdoors together. When we’re not out hiking somewhere, I find outlets for my creativity in graphic and textile design, the design and crafting of dog harnesses and collars, as well as other crafts such as macrame and block printing.

Dr. Vera Köpsel

Institute for Marine Ecosystem and Fisheries Science (IMF)

University of Hamburg,

Do you have questions about my work or are you interested in cooperating with me?

Get in touch via the contact form.

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