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Dr Madeleine Gustavsson

Graduate Research Assistant

Knowledge Spa 

Madeleine is a Graduate Research Assistant in the European Centre for Environment and Human Health whose research focuses on understanding marine space and maritime activities from a social science perspective.


Within the current role at the University of Exeter Medical School, Madeleine is working on a project with Dr Karyn Morrissey which aims to explore the varying economic impacts of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) at different scales – particularly exploring potential rural-urban differences.


Prior to arriving at the University of Exeter, Madeleine completed her PhD in Environmental Science at the University of Liverpool. The doctoral thesis was titles “Examining the socio-cultural contexts of fishing lives on the Llyn peninsula, UK”. The thesis drew on Bourdieu’s notion of capital in developing the concept of the ‘good fisher’, which sought to move beyond a myopic and economic framing of the fishing subject. The thesis further deployed a lifecourse approach in understanding the fishing lifecourse, as well as a gender identity lens in exploring gender dynamics in the fishing family and community.


Whilst undertaking her master’s dissertation Madeleine studied the diverse opportunities and constraints offered to different local groups following the implementation of marine conservation zones in Zanzibar, Tanzania. 


  • PhD Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool
  • MSc Tropical Marine Biology, Stockholm University
  • BSc Biology, Stockholm University 


Research interests

Whilst I am a marine ecologist by background I am exploring issues of marine sustainability from a social science perspective. Specifically I am interested in social issues in coastal and marine spaces and places, coastal and marine policy, gender issues and everyday lives related to maritime activities. 

Research projects

  • “The varying economic impacts of Marine Spatial Planning across different geographical scales”, Unviversity of Exeter Medical School. Working with Dr. Karyn Morrissey


  • MARE/Dough Wilson Best Student Paper Award: Centre of Maritime Research (MARE) Academic Conference: People and the Sea VIII. ”Exploring non-economic aspects of fisheries’ sustainability through the ’good fisher’”. 2015, Amsterdam 

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