Areas of expertise:
- Coastal Restoration and Protection
- The Politics of Coastal Planning
- Environmental Social Movements
In my PhD project I examine coastal planning in southern Louisiana in the U.S, an area undergoing massive land loss due to multiple natural and social drivers. The aim of the project is to contribute to improvements or alternatives to the current practice of coastal restoration and protection planning, which have been found to be lacking in terms of both society and the environment. I understand coastal planning as an inherently political process, where different interests clash, struggle and are reconciled. Therefore, the alternatives proposed must equally deal with political processes and dynamics of social change that can bring about such alternatives. For the agency to drive such change through I find movements from civil society have the greatest potential to achiveve the necessary change, and so my work is geared towards understanding what pathway can be pursued by such movements to realise better alternatives to the current practice of coastal planning.
My teaching has been at both the Bachelor’s and Master’s level and mostly focused on environmental social science. I have acted as both supervisor and discussant for Master’s theses. In the current 2018/19 academic year I will co-coordinate and teach in Master's level courses in Social Theory and Sustainability and Knowedlge to Action, an applied course where students undertake self-designed action-oriented research projects.
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David O'Byrne is a PhD candidate in Sustainability Science who does research on the politics of coastal planning. He has a B.Sc. degree in Industrial Design from the University of Limerick and a M.Sc. degree in Sustainability Science from Lund University.