Transdisciplinarity in transformative ocean governance research—reflections of early career researchers

Strand, Mia and Ortega-Cisneros, Kelly and Niner, Holly J and Wahome, Michel and Bell, James and Currie, Jock C and Hamukuaya, Hashali and La Bianca, Giulia and Lancaster, Alana M S N and Maseka, Ntemesha and McDonald, Lisa and McQuaid, Kirsty and Samuel, Marly M and Winkler, Alexander (2022) Transdisciplinarity in transformative ocean governance research—reflections of early career researchers. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 79 (8). pp. 2163-2177. fsac165. ISSN 1054-3139 (

[thumbnail of Strand-etal-ICESJMS-2022-Transdisciplinarity-in-transformative-ocean-governance-research-reflections-of-early-career-researchers]
Text. Filename: Strand_etal_ICESJMS_2022_Transdisciplinarity_in_transformative_ocean_governance_research_reflections_of_early_career_researchers.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (1MB)| Preview


This paper interrogates the concept of transdisciplinarity, both theoretically and practically, from a perspective of early career researchers (ECRs) in transformative ocean governance research. Aiming to advance research methodologies for future complex sustainability challenges, the paper seeks to illuminate some common uncertainties and challenges surrounding transdisciplinarity from a marine science perspective. Following a literature review on transdisciplinary research, workshops, and a series of surveys, we determine that transdisciplinarity appears to be a concept in search of definition, and that there is a need to explore transdisciplinarity specifically from an ocean research perspective. The paper discusses a number of challenges experienced by ECRs in conducting transdisciplinary research and provides recommendations for both ECRs wishing to undertake more equitable transdisciplinary research and for the UN Decade for Ocean Science to support ECRs in this endeavour (Figure 1). Based on our findings, we interrogate the role of non-academic collaborators in transdisciplinary research and argue that future transdisciplinarity will need to address power imbalances in existing research methods to achieve knowledge co-production, as opposed to knowledge integration.