dr.ir. AP (Annet) Pauwelussen

dr.ir. AP (Annet) Pauwelussen

Assistant Professor

I am an interdisciplinary-oriented marine anthropologist with over a decade of experience working with communities and stakeholders in marine conservation and restoration research and practice, both in the tropics and in the temperate zone. I'm an assistant professor with the ENP group, visiting professor at the University of Rhode Island (US) in 2024-2025 and collaborating professor with Ocean Nexus.

In 2017, I graduated for my PhD degree cum laude with the SDC group of Wageningen University with my project ‘Amphibious Anthropology’. I have a MSc degree (cum laude) in Development Sociology (Wageningen) and a MA in Cultural Anthropology (Leiden University).

In my research I investigate the diverging ways people know and value marine nature across  different communities, regions and sectors, and how this affects the way marine conservation and restoration take shape in practice. I am particulalry interested in the politics involved in what ways of knowing and relating to the sea takes precedence, give structural power relations in which marine governance is entrenched, to make room for plural voices and alternative (de-colonial, non-extractive, multi-species) ways of caring for ocean ecologies. To do this, I combine ethnography with mobile and audiovisual methods. Theoretically, I am inspired by environmental anthropology, science and technology studies, political ecology, multispecies ethnography and feminist theory.

NWO Veni: The Future of Past Reefs: Politics of Care in Oyster Restoration Across the Northern Alantic
This project explores how different values, knowledge and histories of human-oyster relations are in- or excluded in current endeavors to restore oyster reefs, and/or in what ways such diversity can be enhanced or made more visible – as a condition for inclusive and equitable networks of marine restoration across sectors and (epistemic) communities.

Other projects: Knowledge politics in nature-inclusive offshore wind development in the Northsea in the ECOAMARE consortium, and Data technologies in marine biodiversity monitoring in the BeWild project

More broadly, I am interested in inclusive approaches and methodologies that are responsive to pluralism; making room for relational thinking, indigenous ecologies and dialogue across epistemological and ontological difference. It assumes a practice and ethics of translating in-between worlds that partly overlap, without reducing one to the logics of the other, which formed the core of my PhD project. For this I lived and travelled with sea-based communities in Indonesia to explore their different ways of relating to the sea, and how this affects the outcomes of marine conservation programs. Over the years I have developed a deep appreciation for Southeast Asian societies, and Indonesia in particular. I have learned and written about topics ranging from the role of spirits in human-sea relations, women in wildlife trade networks, patron-client networks of cyanide and blast fishing, mobile methods, and inclusion/exclusion of small-scale shrimp farmers in in sustainable aquaculture protocols.