Silver, Jennifer

Dr. Jennifer Silver
Professor, Associate Chair and Undergraduate Program Coordinator
PhD, Simon Fraser University, 2010
519 824-4120 ext. 52176

Ocean governance; Fisheries management, coastal communities and settler colonialism; Digital technology and environmental change; Political ecology.

I am a geographer, political ecologist, and interdisciplinarian. Currently, my research program is funded through several grants. Specifically, it examines: a) commercial fisheries, fishing licenses, and Indigenous fishing rights in British Columbia; b) multilateral negotiations and agreements that have implications for coastal and small island states; and, c) opportunities and challenges at the intersection of rapid environmental and technological change.

If you are an excellent student, share one or more of these interests, and are seeking a graduate or postdoctoral supervisor, please feel free to contact me about research opportunities in the Nature.Culture.Politics research group. I am also an Associate Editor at the journal Conservation and Society. We are always looking for empirical and theoretically informed papers that explore linkages between society, environment and development, so please consider submitting your work!

GEOG 1220: Human Impact on the Environment
GEOG 2510: Canada A Regional Synthesis
GEOG 2230: Commodity Chains and Cultures of Consumption
GEOG 3020: Global Environmental Change
GEOG 3030: Media, Digital Technology and Environment
GEOG 4210: Environmental Governance
GEOG 4220: Local Environmental Management
GEOG 4690: Geography Field Research
GEOG 4880: Contemporary Geographic Thought
GEOG 4990: Independent Study in Geography
GEOG 6060: Special Topics in Geography
GEOG 6091: Introduction to Geographical Research Methods II 


Silver, J.J., Okamoto, D.K., Armitage, D., Alexander, S.M., Atleo, C., Burt, J.M., Jones, R., Lee, L.C., Muhl, E.K., Salomon, A.K. and Stoll, J.S. 2022. Fish, people, and systems of power: understanding and disrupting feedback between colonialism and fisheries science. The American Naturalist200(1), 168-180.

Silver, J. J., & Stoll, J. S. 2022. A framework for investigating commercial license and quota holdings in an era of fisheries consolidation, concentration and financialization. Marine Policy, 143, 105179.

Drakopulos, L., Silver, J.J., Nost, E., Gray, N., & Hawkins, R. 2022. Making global oceans governance in/visible with Smart Earth: The case of Global Fishing Watch. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 25148486221111786.

Blythe, J. L., Armitage, D., Bennett, N. J., Silver, J.J., & Song, A. M. 2021. The politics of ocean governance transformations. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2021.634718

Clark, K., Hawkins, R., and Silver, J.J. 2020. Nature, nation and gender: resource nationalism on reality television. Environment and Planning E, 3(4). doi: 10.1177/2514848619899785

Artelle, K., Chan, D. Brown, K., and Silver, J.J. 2020. Letter: Haíɫzaqv First Nation herring fishery closure a cautious community-led approach to COVID-19. Science Letters. doi: 10.1126/science.abd2107.

Kwok, Y.K.E., Krishna, K.C., Fraser, E., and Silver, J.J. 2020. Perceptions of gender dynamics in small-scale fisheries and conservation areas in the Pursat province of Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 61(1), 54-70. doi:10.1111/apv.12225

Bennett, N., Cisneros-Montemayor, A.M., Blythe, J., Silver, J.J., Singh, G., Andrews, N., Calò, A., Christie, P., Di Franco, A., Finkbeiner, E.M., Gelcich, S., Gray, N.J., Guidetti, P., Harper, S., Hotte, N., Kittinger, J.N., Le Billon, P., Lister, J., Lopez de la Lama, R., McKinley, E., Scholtens, J., Solas, A-M., Sowman, M., Talloni-Alvarez, N., Teh, L.C.L., Voyer, M., Sumaila, U.R. 2019. Charting a sustainable and equitable course for the blue economy. Nature Sustainability, 1–3.

Silver, J.J. and Stoll, J. 2019. How do commercial fishing licenses relate to access?  Fish and Fisheries 20: 993-1004.

Berdej, S., Armitage, D., and Silver, J.J. A political ecology perspective on bridging organizations influencing marine conservation in Indonesia. 2019. Society and Natural Resources (in press).

Kwok, Y.K.E., Krishna, K.C., Fraser, E., and Silver, J.J. 2019. Perceptions of gender dynamics in small-scale fisheries and conservation areas in the Pursat province of Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia. Asia Pacific Viewpoint (in press).

Armitage, D., Okamoto, D., Silver, J.J., Francis, T. Davies, I., Levin, P.S., Cleary, J., Dressel, S.C., Jones, R., Kitka, H., Lee, L., McIsaac, J., Poe, M., Punt, A.E., Reifenstuhl, S., Shelton, A.O., Schmidt, J., Siple, M.C., Thornton, T.F., Voss, R., Woodruff, J. 2019. Integrating governance and quantitative evaluation of resource management strategies to improve social and ecological outcomes. BioScience 69: 523-532.

MacCall, A.D., Francis, T.B., Armitage, D., Cleary, J., Dressel, S.C., Jones, R., Kitka, H., Lee, L., Levin, P.S., McIsaac, J., Okamoto, D., Poe, M., Punt, A.E., Reifenstuhl, S., Shelton, A.O., Schmidt, J., Silver, J.J., Siple, M.C., Thornton, T.F., Voss, R., Woodruff, J. 2019. A heuristic model of learned migration behavior exhibits distinctive spatial and reproductive dynamics. ICES Journal of Marine Science 76: 598-608.

Silver, J.J. and Campbell, L.M. 2018. Conservation, development and the blue frontier: The Republic of Seychelles’ Debt Restructuring for Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Program. International Social Science Journal 68: 241-256.

Blythe, J., Silver, J.J., Evans, L., Armitage, D., Bennett, N., Moore, M-L., Morrison, T., Brown, K. The dark side of transformation: latent risks in contemporary sustainability discourse. Antipode 50: 1206-1223.

Fraser-Celine, V-L., Hovorka, A., Silver, J.J. 2018. Human conflict over wildlife: exploring social constructions of African Wild Dogs (Lycaon Pictus) in Botswana. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 23: 341-358.

Punt, A.E., Okamoto, D.K., MacCall, A.D., Shelton, A.O., Armitage, D.R., Cleary, J.S., Davies, I.P., Dressel, S.C., Francist, T.B., Levin, P.S., Jones, R.R., Kitka, H., Lee, C.L., McIsaac, J.A., Poe, M.R., Reifenstuhl, S., Silver, J.J., Schmidt, J.O., Thornton, T.F., Voss, R., Woodruff, J. 2018. When are estimates of spawning tock biomass for small pelagic fishes improved by taking spatial structure into account? Fisheries Research 206: 65-78.

Silver, J. J., & Hawkins, R. 2017. “I’m not trying to save fish, I’m trying to save dinner”: Media, celebrity and sustainable seafood as a solution to environmental limits. Geoforum, 84, 218-227.

Hawkins, R., & Silver, J. J. 2017. From selfie to# selfie: Nature 2.0 and the digital cultural politics of an internationally contested resource. Geoforum, 79: 114-123.

VonderPorten, S., Silver, J.J., Lepofsky, D., McGregor, D. 2016. Recommendations for marine herring policy in Canada: Aligning with asserted Indigenous legal and inherent rights. Marine Policy 74: 68-76. 

Campbell, L.M., Gray, N.J., Fairbanks, L., Silver, J.J., Gruby, R. L., Dubik, B.A., & Basurto, X. 2016. Global oceans governance: New and emerging issues. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 41: 517-543.

Silver, J.J., Gray, N.J., Campbell, L.M., Fairbanks, L.W., Gruby, R.L. 2015. Blue Economy and Competing Discourses in International Oceans Governance. Journal of Environment and Development 24(2).

Silver, J.J. 2014. From fishing to farming: Shellfish aquaculture expansion and the complexities of ocean space on Canada's west coast. Applied Geography 54: 110-117.

Silver, J.J. 2014. Shellfish and coastal change: Pacific oysters and Manila clams in BC waters. BC Studies 181.

Campbell, L.M., N.J. Gray, L.W. Fairbanks, J.J. Silver, and R.L. Gruby. 2013. Oceans at Rio+20: Success or Failure? Conservation Letters 6(6): 439-447.

Silver, J.J. 2013. Neoliberalizing coastal space and subjects: On shellfish aquaculture projections, interventions and outcomes in British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Rural Studies 32: 430-438.

Pinkerton, E. and J.J. Silver. 2011. Cadastralizing or coordinating the clam commons? Can competing community and government visions of wild and farmed fisheries be reconciled? Marine Policy 35 (1):63-72.

Campbell, Lisa M., J.J. Silver, N.J. Gray, S. Ranger, A. Broderick, T. Fisher, M.H. Godfrey, S. Gore, K.V.D. Hodge, C. Martin, A. McGowan, P. Richardson, C. Sasso, L. Slade, B. Godley. 2009. Co-management of sea turtle fisheries: Biogeography versus geopolitics. Marine Policy 33: 137-145.

Silver, J.J. and L.M. Campbell. 2005. Perspectives on fisher participation in research: fisher reactions and dilemmas with the use of fisher knowledge. Ocean and Coastal Management 48: 721-741.

Dr. Jennifer Silver studies political ecology, ocean governance and fisheries management, and the ways in which digital technology and social media are proposed as solutions to environmental change. She currently has funding for graduate research in the following areas: 

  • Digital technology and environmental change (e.g., why and how are new types of satellite and surveillance equipment being taken up in monitoring and enforcement? what are the implications of social media for environmental politics and debate?)
  • Access and equity in commercial fisheries (e.g., how can we measure and evaluate access in commercial fisheries? how can commercial fisheries management frameworks and decision-making processes be transformed to meaningfully address reconciliation and achieve more equitable outcomes among all types of fish harvesters?)

Jennifer welcomes inquiries from individuals interested in a MA or PhD; background in social science and/or environmental governance will be considered an asset. If admitted, students will receive funding following Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics graduate financial support policy. Funds for fieldwork and conference attendance are also available and will be allocated at a level appropriate for the graduate student research project and other professional development objectives.

Interested individuals are encouraged to reach out over email. In this message, please indicate as clearly as possible how your background, training and research interests overlap with Jennifer's and which research area(s) listed above you would like to know more about.

Graduate Students Supervised

Name Research
M.A. Abishiktha, Charissa TBD
M.A. Bradley, Peter TBD
Ph.D. Govia, Leah Research interests: Digital technologies, environmental imaginaries, feminist STS.
M.A. 2014 Sulpizio, Isabella Tracing NGO and Retailer perceptions of consumers in the sustainable seafood movement.
M.A. 2015 Shallard, Maria Herring (Wanai) and Well-being: Accounting for Heiltsuk values to inform future resource management and economic development opportunities.
M.A. 2015 Stephany, Paul
M.A. 2016 Santos, Miguel Oceans Conservation and Development Financing through the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Oceans.
M.A. 2017 Clark, Kendal The (re)production of nature on natural resource based reality television.
M.A. 2017 Goshulak, Larissa Balancing Market Access with Local Practice: Understanding harvester group motivations and experiences with Marine Stewardship Council certification.
M.A. 2017 McGee, Samantha Examining the reintroduction of Indigenous cultivation and management practices in state-led parks and protected area in BC.
M.A. 2017 Zundel, Trudi Climate-smart agriculture as a development buzzword: framework for flexible development, or greenwashing the status quo? Insights from Northern Ghana.
Ph.D. 2018 Fraser-Celin, Valli Human-wild dog relations in Botswana.
M.A. 2019 Drope, Natalie Media representations and shellfish farmer perceptions of ocean acidification in the British Columbia Shellfish Aquaculture Sector in the British Columbia shellfish aquaculture sector.
M.A. 2020 Bhangu, Jasmeen MRP
M.Sc. 2023 Wildfong, Kelly Environmental Governance, Environmental Science, and Fisheries Management.