Fiona Nunan

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Professor Nunan's research interests lie in the arrangements for and practice of governance of renewable natural resources in low- and middle-income countries. She particularly uses institutional analysis, but also has interests in how power and gender relations, and the wider political economy, affect the practice and outcomes of natural resource governance.

See Professor Nunan's ORCID for a full list of outputs:


Prof Nunan first joined IDD in 1994, working in the areas of urban waste management, peri-urban natural resource management and poverty-environment linkages. She rejoined IDD in September 2008, after spending five years in East Africa, working on two fisheries co-management projects, funded by the UK Department for International Development and the EU. Her research now centres on the arrangements for and practice of governing renewable natural resources in low- and middle-income countries.

Prof Nunan served as Head of Department between 2014 and 2020, and as School Head of Research between Jan 2020 and May 2021. Since January 2020, she has served as the Programme Lead of the University-led Forum for Global Challenges.

Her first book was published in 2015 by Routledge, Understanding Poverty and the Environment: Analytical Frameworks and Approaches. The book makes an innovative contribution to literature on environment and development by bringing together a diverse range of analytical approaches and frameworks that can be used to study human-nature interactions.

Two edited books followed: Making Climate Compatible Development Happen and Governing Renewable Natural Resources: Theories and frameworks.

She was made a Professor in 2018 and gave her inaugural lecture in January 2020.

Prof Nunan served on the Council of the UK Development Studies Association 2010-2016 and convenes the DSA Study Group on Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Prof Nunan welcomes PhD applications in the following areas:

Governance and livelihoods of renewable natural resources in low- and middle-income countries, particularly fisheries co-management.