Professor Susan Baker
Professor Baker is currently engaged in research on the interrelationship between social and ecological processes, particularly in relation to climate change and biodiversity loss.
Professor Baker has a multidisciplinary background (economics, philosophy and political science) and speaks several European languages. She has studied and worked in several countries, including Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA.
Her research has been primarily of a collaborative and interdisciplinary nature, involving project partnerships in Europe and North America. In 2003, Professor Baker received a Royal Appointment as King Carl XVI Gustaf Professor of Environmental Sciences, the first woman social scientist to obtain this prestigious international award. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate, (Doctor Honoris Causa) for her contribution to interdisciplinary dialogue and research between the natural and social sciences, Umeå University Sweden, 2005.
Professor Baker is particularly interested in the environmental policy in high consumption societies and in societies in transition in Eastern Europe. In 2010, she addressed an event to mark the International Year of Biodiversity, jointly organised by JNCC and the Linnean Society of London. This invitation followed Professor Baker’s address to an Official Event of Swedish EU Council Presidency The 2010 Biodiversity Targets, organised by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, 2009.
Under the auspices of the URI, Professor Baker will continue her research on the interrelationship between ecology, economic and society. She plans to develop a new integrated model of economic development, ecological management and societal steering, which enhances the resilience of our coupled natural and social systems. One of the key tasks will be to research the complex and dynamic feedback mechanisms that operate between the economy, society and ecosystem. Her research will also involve identification of the appropriate scale for action (be it local, national or international) needed to ensure adaptive and reflexive forms of governance; forms that positively reinforce ecological, economic and social interrelationships.
Professor Baker is a member of the Expert Standing Committee of Formas, the Swedish Research Council for the Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning and acts as External Scientific Consultant, European Union EuroStat Monitoring Report, 2009-13. Professor Baker is a member of the Scientific Board of GoverNat: Multi-Level Governance of Natural Resources, and the Marie Curie Research Training Network. She has acted as External Academic Assessor, for the Open University and as Expert Adviser to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the European Commission, AXA, and the Austrian Science Fund, as well as to the United Nations Preparatory Committee meeting for Rio+5 New York Summit, 1997.
Professor Baker has a BA Honours, Economics & Philosophy and an MA from the National University of Ireland and a Doctorate in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute, Florence, Italy.