• Room A-630, W&N-building

  • Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), De Boelelaan 1087

    1081 HV Amsterdam

20152018
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Personal profile

Personal information

Dr Jeanne Nel is a senior scientist at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and a Research Associate of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa. Her research focusses on managing ecosystems: their condition, services, links to social development and governance, and the implications of global change for these relationships. She embeds this research in practical application by working with scientists, policy makers and practitioners to co-produce knowledge that informs conservation and development planning, water resource management, disaster risk reduction, ecosystem-based management and natural capital accounting. Her work has received substantial uptake in local and national policy and practice, and she has published over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, as well as many technical reports.

 

WORK EXPERIENCE

Identifying and protecting strategic water source areas for water security (2013-2016)

Funder: WWF, Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Water Research Commission (WRC)

Role: Lead scientist

Description: Maps of strategic water source areas and guidelines for their protection were co-produced with stakeholders. The project has achieved uptake in national water policy, integrated development planning and conservation planning, and has initiated several programmes for local action. She secured the research funding, coordinated a team of scientists, undertook some of the analyses, facilitated iterative co-production of the maps, and worked with bridging agents and national government officials to incorporate the maps into their policies.

 

Advancing experimental ecosystem accounting/natural capital accounting 7-country pilot (2014-2016)

Funder: United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)

Role: Lead scientist

Description: A national river ecosystem account, a land cover account, and a national programme of work were developed with key government agencies. Recommendations informed the UNSD guidelines for ecosystem accounting, and are being used in the initiation of a national and regional programme on natural capital accounting (the latter under the Gabarone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa). She undertook the spatial assessment, developed the ecosystem accounts, co-developed the recommendations with the bridging agent and national government officials, and contributed to liaison with UNSD.

 

Enhancing the work of IPBES in the Africa Region through improved knowledge, data and capacity for uptake in ecosystem assessment and sustainable development (2016)

Funder: Swedish International Development Agency

Role: Lead Scientist

Description: This work aims to enhance the role of the IPBES Technical Support Unit for Africa through data collation, capacity building, and inputs into the IPBES regional and thematic assessments. She secured the research funding, and coordinated a large team of natural and social scientists in delivering on the aims.

 

Co-developing knowledge and action for the management of social-ecological systems and ecosystem services in the southern African region (2014-2015)

Funder: Swedish International Development Agency

Role: Lead Scientist

Description: This work developed indicators for ecosystem services and a framework for mainstreaming ecosystem services into policy and practice. It also helped establish a community of practice for ecosystem assessment in Africa (over 20 countries). She secured the funding, coordinated the team of scientists, developed an Index of River Ecological Condition for use in natural capital accounting, and co-developed the mainstreaming framework.

 

Project for Ecosystem Services, ProEcoServ (2010-2015)

Funder: The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and UNEP

Role: Contributing scientist

Description: This work was a collaborative effort between Chile, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam, which aimed to advance the potential of ecosystem service assessments and their influence on decision making, and distil lessons across the countries for global-scale use and replication. She helped secure the funding and lead the sub-components on disaster resilience, water resource sustainability and national water security.

 

Understanding the implications of global change for the insurance industry (2010-2012)

Funder: Santam National Insurer, CSIR and WWF

Role: Contributing scientist

Description: This work aimed to develop an understanding of how global change is likely to affect the insurance industry, and the role the industry can play to reduce risk and improve social-ecological resilience. The work has received both national and global awards, and is frequently used as a global case study. She coordinated the interdisciplinary team of scientists, assessed the insurance industry data, and integrated the science to co-develop the response strategies.

 

Development of a response strategy for reducing water risk and improving the resilience of brewery hops operations (2010-2011)

Funder: SAB Miller, WWF

Role: Contributing scientist

Description: This work assessed the social-ecological risks to hops farming operations in the southern Cape in the face of global change, and co-developed response strategies with stakeholders to improve resilience of its operations. She was responsible for facilitating stakeholder interaction, coordinating the contributing scientists, and assessing water use by invasive alien trees.

 

National Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Area project, NFEPA (2009-2011)

Funder: Water Research Commission, WWF, CSIR, South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), SA Department of Water and Sanitation, SA Department of Environment, SA national parks

Role: Lead scientist

Description: This work identified priority freshwater ecosystems for conserving in South Africa. Maps of priority areas and guidelines for their protection were co-produced with national and local stakeholders. The work has had substantial uptake in water and environmental policy and regulation. She secured the funding, lead a large team of interdisciplinary scientists, facilitated the iterative co-production between over 400 stakeholders, and integrated the science to co-develop the management guidelines.

 

National Biodiversity Assessment 2011: freshwater component (2010-2012)

Funder: South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)

Role: Lead scientist

Description: This work assessed river and wetland ecosystems of South Africa in terms of their key pressures, levels of threat and levels of protection. She secured the funding and lead the team of freshwater scientists, developed indicators for ecosystem threat status and ecosystem protection levels, and helped to shape integration across terrestrial, marine, estuary and freshwater realms.

 

Development of criteria for listing threatened river ecosystems (2008-2010)

Funder: South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)

Role: Lead scientist

Description: This work piloted approaches for listing river ecosystems in terms of South Africa’s national Biodiversity Act. She undertook the spatial assessment, developed results for different approaches, and liaised with bridging agents and national government officials to co-develop recommendations for the listing of threatened river ecosystems.

 

South Africa’s national Protected Area Expansion Strategy: freshwater component (2007)

Funder: South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)

Role: Lead scientist

Description: This work involved developing criteria, methods and data for identifying sub-catchments important for conserving South Africa’s river biodiversity. The results informed the national strategy for protected area expansion. She secured funding, undertook the analyses, and liaised with government officials to review results.

 

Conservation planner for numerous water and land use development planning projects (2000-2008)

These were all funded by the implementing agent that would ultimately use the maps and guidelines, and most included an advisory role once the maps had been developed.

 

Project leader for several invasive alien plant management programmes (2000-1998)

All were funded by Working for Water (a poverty-alleviation programme in South Africa) and involved spatial mapping, assessment of water use, and scheduling of control programmes.

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

biodiversity Social Sciences
Ecosystem Medicine & Life Sciences
ecosystem service Earth & Environmental Sciences
Wetlands Medicine & Life Sciences
aquatic ecosystem Earth & Environmental Sciences
well-being Social Sciences
sustainability Social Sciences
wetland Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2015 2018

Review of available data for a South African Inventory of Inland Aquatic Ecosystems (SAIIAE)

Deventer, H. V., Smith-Adao, L., Petersen, C., Mbona, N., Skowno, A. & Nel, J. L., 1 Apr 2018, In : Water SA. 44, 2, p. 184-199 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Wetlands
aquatic ecosystem
Ecosystem
wetland
Equipment and Supplies

Monitoring biodiversity change through effective global coordination

Navarro, L. , Fernandez, N. , Guerra, C. , Guralnick, R. , Kissling, D. , Londono, M. C. , Muller-Karger, F. , Turak, E. , Balvanera, P. , Costello, M. , Delavaud, A. , Serafy, GY. EI. , Ferrier, S. , Geijzendorffer, I. R. , Geller, G. , Jetz, W. , Kim, E-S. , Kim, H. , Martin, C. , Martin, C. & 14 others McGeoch, M., Mwampamba, T., Nel, J. L., Nicholson, E., Pettorelli, N., Schaepman, M., Skidmore, A., Pinto, I. S., Vergara, S., Vihervaara, P., Xu, H., Yahara, T., Gill, M. & Perreira, H., 2017, In : Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 29, p. 158 169 p., 29

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
biodiversity
monitoring
data acquisition
co-ordination
Group

Strategic water source areas for urban water security: Making the connection between protecting ecosystems and benefiting from their services

Nel, J. L., Le Maitre, D., Colvin, C., Roux, D., Maherry, A., Smith-Adao, L., Smith, J. & Sitas, N., 2017, In : Ecosystem Services. 28, p. 251-259

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
urban areas
Ecosystem
water
Water
ecosystems

Linking biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human well-being: three challenges for designing research for sustainability

Bennett, E. M. , Cramer, W. , Begossi, A. , Cundill, G. , Díaz, S. , Egoh, B. N. , Geijzendorffer, I. R. , Krug, C. B. , Lavorel, S. , Lazos, E. , Lebel, L. , Martín-López, B. , Meyfroidt, P. , Mooney, H. A. , Nel, J. L. , Pascual, U. , Payet, K. , Harguindeguy, N. P. , Peterson, G. D. , Prieur-Richard, A. H. & 11 others Reyers, B., Roebeling, P., Seppelt, R., Solan, M., Tschakert, P., Tscharntke, T., Turner, B. L., Verburg, P. H., Viglizzo, E. F., White, P. C. L. & Woodward, G., 1 Jun 2015, In : Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 14, p. 76-85 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

ecosystem service
biodiversity
well-being
sustainability
transdisciplinary