Professor Christina Hicks

Lancaster University


Christina is an Environmental Social Scientist interested in the relationships individuals and societies form with nature; how these relationships shape people’s social, environmental, and health outcomes; and how they create sustainable livelihood choices. Christina is a Professor in Lancaster University’s Environment Centre. She gained her PhD from James Cook University Australia, and held a Fellowship at Stanford University USA, before moving back to the UK. Christina has worked on the east coast of Africa, in the Pacific, Australia, and the US.

Research Interests

Christina’s current research examines small scale fisheries, how they contribute nutritional, cultural, and wellbeing benefits, and their vulnerability to climate change. This research addresses three broad themes: 1) Ensuring socially and ecologically sustainable access to fisheries nutrition; 2) Integrating social theories into ecosystem services research and, 3) Building fisheries governance capacity.

The Food Thinkers webinar, ‘Fishery Contributions to Food and Nutrition Security under a Changing Climate’

Bevan Series Seminar ‘Towards Nutrition Sensitive Fisheries’

‘Some Coral Reefs are Actually Thriving’

Reuters video on Nature Bright spots paper

Climate Curious: What’s going on with fish in West Africa?

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Seminar on ‘Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Serivces’

‘Why Human Wellness is Critical to Combatting Climate Change’

Huffington post article on Science Paper

Selected Publications

  • Hicks CC, Graham NAJ, Maire E, Robinson JPW (2021) Secure local aquatic food systems in the face of declining coral reefs. One Earth 9: 1214-1216.
  • Lau JD, Hicks CC, Gurney GG and Cinner JE (2019) What matters to whom and why? Understanding the importance of coastal ecosystem services in developing coastal communities. Ecosystem Services 35: 219-230.
  • Barlow J, França F, Gardner TA, Hicks CC, Lennox GD, Berenguer E, Castello L, Economo EP, Ferreira J, Guénard B, Leal CG (2018) The future of hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems. Nature 559(7715): 517.
  • Stoeckl N, Hicks CC, Farr M, Grainger D, Esparon M, Thomas J, Larson S (2018) The crowding out of complex social goods. Ecological Economics 144: 65-72.
  • Kittinger JN, Teh LC, Allison EH, Bennett NJ, Crowder LB, Finkbeiner EM, Hicks CC, Scarton CG, Nakamura K, Ota Y, Young J (2017) Committing to socially responsible seafood. Science 356(6341): 912-913.
  • Cinner JE, Adger WN, Allison EH, Barnes ML, Brown K, Cohen PJ, Gelcich S, Hicks CC, Hughes TP, Lau J, Marshall NA (2018) Building adaptive capacity to climate change in tropical coastal communities. Nature Climate Change 8(2): 117-123.
  • Hicks CC, Levine A, Agrawal A, et al., (2016) Engage Key Social Concepts for Sustainability. Science 352: 38-40.
  • Hicks CC, Crowder L, Kittinger J, Graham, NAJ, LeCornu E (2016) Social Drivers Forewarn Marine Regime Shifts. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14: 252-260.
  • Cinner JE,… Hicks CC, et al. (2016) Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs. Nature 535: 416-419.
  • Hicks CC, Cinner JE (2014) Social, institutional, and knowledge mechanisms mediate diverse ecosystem service benefits from coral reefs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 111: 17791-17796.
  • Hicks CC, Graham NAJ, Cinner J. (2013) Synergies and tradeoffs in how managers, scientists, and fishers value coral reef ecosystem services. Global Environmental Change 32: 1444-1453.