KLI Colloquia are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. We offer three types of talks:

1. Current Research Talks. KLI fellows or visiting researchers present and discuss their most recent research with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

2. Future Research Talks. Visiting researchers present and discuss future projects and ideas togehter with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

3. Professional Developmental Talks. Experts about research grants and applications at the Austrian and European levels present career opportunities and strategies to late-PhD and post-doctoral researchers.

  • The presentation language is English.
  • If you are interested in presenting your current or future work at the KLI, please contact the Scientific Director or the Executive Manager.

Event Details

Timothy Waring
KLI Colloquia
The Evolution of Social-Ecological Systems
Timothy WARING (University of Maine)
2019-04-02 17:00 - 2019-04-02 18:30
Organized by KLI

Topic description / abstract:

Human activity now threatens core components of the biosphere on which we depend, and urgent action is needed to resolve sustainability crises from fisheries collapse and species loss to carbon emissions and pollution. While academic sustainability research has focused on specific solutions, very little general knowledge has emerged, and two key scientific questions at the core of the sustainability crisis have not been adequately addressed: How did humans come to dominate the earth in such a short period of time? And how do human solve sustainability challenges? Dr. Waring proposes that both of these questions can be answered concretely when we consider the role of culture and cooperation in human evolution. Dr. Waring outlines how these two factors have caused the global sustainability crisis, and how they can be harnessed to solve environmental dilemmas and create positive change. Dr. Waring provides case examples of the role of cooperation in determining social and environmental outcomes, and supplies a toolkit for application in any scenario.


Biographical note:

Dr. Waring studies how cooperation determines social and environmental outcomes at any scale. He has developed an evolutionary theory to explain the role of cooperation in environmental dilemmas, and tests it with simulation studies and behavioral experiments. Dr. Waring has led two national working groups to refine this theory and apply it to case studies around the world. He was also awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER grant to study how cooperation also determines organizational outcomes, with application to the local food economy.