Eunjung “Ej” Shin
Predoctoral Fellow 2012-2013, Institute for Environmental Science and Policy
My research interests are in how natural resources are managed, shared and collectively governed across individuals, organizations and sectors. My research areas also include knowledge networks in environmental policy. Currently, I am working on a dissertation research on sharing of non-plant genetic materials among agricultural researchers.
Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing in Non-Plant Research: A Social-Ecological System Approach
My dissertation project aims to investigate the mechanism through which individual researchers get access to non-plant genetic resources and share the benefits from the resources with others. It first develops an integrated framework of social-ecological systems. Biological diversity is understood to delineate a scope of potential legal, economic, social applications that human society can develop. At the same time, such human institutions are proposed to influence the resilience of ecological systems and biodiversity. Given the interplay between ecological and social systems, individual behaviors regarding material-exchange and benefit-sharing are explained by both ecological and social factors in this research. Ecological factors refer to biological and natural environmental attributes of genetic resources regarding reproduction and growth. Social factors include human institutions such as national borders, laws and regulations, market incentives, public vs. private sectors, and science field norms. Furthermore, it proposes a sequential process model through which social-ecological systems influence the access to genetic resources and, in turn, the patterns of benefit-sharing.