justice in novel ecosystems

Finding Justice in Novel Ecosystems with Mel Pineda-Pinto

Despite rapid environmental change, the foremost approach to ecological restoration is to find the elusive, historically-appropriate reference ecosystem as the target of ecosystem recovery. But, the emergence of novel ecosystems beckons new ecological science and political ecology as surprising species’ relationships flourish out of dramatic anthropogenic change. There has been (maybe there still is) a debate within ecological restoration about both the existence of and how to restore ecosystems that some people think have crossed thresholds with no historical analog. Ecosystems that have ‘tipped’ or exhibit ‘new’ nature challenge our training and ecological theories while eliciting perspectives on what we value and respect, such as biodiversity and access.

Mel PIneda-Pinto explores  nature-based solutions, with a particular focus on issues of justice in ecosystems often overlooked and found in interstitial spaces, sometimes characterized as ruderal, wild, wastelands or unintentional. She is currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at Trinity College Dublin on the project NovelEco in which they are co-designing an online citizen science tool to better understand novel ecosystems in cities. Mel has experience in social research methods, inter-transdisciplinary collaboration, systems thinking and exploring human-nonhuman nature interactions. Previous architectural and planning experience in the industry and not-for-profit sectors gave her skills in design, project management, stakeholder engagement, and technical abilities. Her research interests include urban ecological sustainability, urban ecology, social-ecological-technical systems, environmental and ecological justice, transformative capacity, sustainability, climate and just transitions, environmental and multispecies planning/design. 

Connect with Novel Eco https://noveleco.eu and on Twitter @NovelEco 

Pineda-Pinto, Melissa, et al. "Finding justice in wild, novel ecosystems: A review through a multispecies lens." Urban Forestry & Urban Greening (2023): 127902.

Gandy, Matthew. "Unintentional landscapes." Landscape Research 41.4 (2016): 433-440.

Hobbs, Richard J., et al. "Novel ecosystems: theoretical and management aspects of the new ecological world order." Global ecology and biogeography 15.1 (2006): 1-7.

Kowarika, I. "Novel urban ecosystems, biodiversity, and conservation." Environmental Pollution 159.8/9 (2011): 1974-1983.

Music from the show Quincas Moreira, Slynk, and TrackTribe