Assistant Professor

Prateep Nayak
519-888-4567 x33112
EV3 4221


Prateep has an academic background in political science, environmental studies and international development. He does interdisciplinary work with an active interest in combining social and ecological perspectives. Prateep’s research focuses on the understanding of complex human-environment connections (or disconnections) with particular attention to change, its drivers, their influence and possible ways to deal with them.

In the past, Prateep worked as a development professional in India on issues around community-based governance of land, water and forests, focusing specifically at the interface of research, implementation and public policy. 

Research Interests

His main research interests include:

  • Commons
  • Environmental governance
  • Social-ecological system resilience
  • Environmental justice
  • Political ecology


Ph.D. Natural Resources and Environmental Management, University of Manitoba

Natural Resources Management, University of Manitoba


Rural Development, Xavier Institute of Social Service, India


Political Science (Honours), Sambalpur University, India

Current courses taught

International Development

  • INDEV 100: Introduction to International Development: Concepts, Theories and Actors
  • INDEV 101: Introduction to International Development: Issues, Challenges and Approaches
  • INDEV 602/GEOG 635: Theories and Practices of International Development

Current research

  • Social-Ecological Change, Thresholds and Governance in Aquatic-Terrestrial Systems (funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), University of Waterloo through the Office of the Provost and the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Ecohydrology)
  • Living with Climate Change: Mapping Experience and Adaptation in the Global South and North (funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) - Partnership Development Grant)

Selected publications

  • Nayak, P. K., L. E. Oliveira, and F. Berkes 2014. Resource degradation, marginalization, and poverty in small-scale fisheries: threats to social-ecological resilience in India and Brazil. Ecology and Society 19(2): 73.
  • Nayak, P. K. 2014. The Chilika Lagoon social-ecological system: an historical analysis. Ecology and Society 19(1): 1.
  • D. Armitage, S. Alexander, M. Andrachuk, S.  Berdej, T. Dyck, P. K. Nayak, J. Pittman, and K. Rathwell.  2014. Emerging Concepts in Adaptive Management. In: C. Allen and A. Garmestani (eds.) Adaptive Management of Social Ecological Systems. New York: Springer.

  • Weeratunge, N., C. Bene, R. Siriwardane, A. Charles, D. Johnson, E. H. Allison, P. K. Nayak and M. Badjeck. 2013. Small-scale fisheries through the wellbeing lens. Fish and Fisheries Online First, DOI: 10.1111/faf.12016.

  • Nayak. P. K. and F. Berkes. 2012. Linking global drivers with local and regional change: A social-ecological system approach in Chilika Lagoon, Bay of Bengal. Regional Environmental Change Online First, DOI 10.1007/s10113-012-0369-3.
  • Haque, E., M. S. Uddin and P. K. Nayak. 2012. Adoption of Sustainable Forest Management Criteria and Indicators in South Asia. International Journal on Environmental Consumerism 8: 35-44.
  • Nayak, P. K. and F. Berkes. 2011. Commonisation and decommonisation: Understanding the processes of change in Chilika Lagoon, India. Conservation and Society 9:132-145.
  • Nayak, P. K. 2011. Conditions for Governance of tenure in lagoon social-ecological systems: Lessons from around the world. UN/FAO initiative on Governance of Tenure for Responsible Capture Fisheries. Rome: FAO.
  • Nayak, P. K. and F. Berkes. 2010. Whose marginalisation? Politics around environmental injustices in India’s Chilika Lagoon. Local Environment 15(6): 553–567.
  • Robson, J. P. and P. K. Nayak. 2010. Rural out-migration and resource dependent communities: Lessons from Mexico and India. Population and Environment 32: 263-284.
  • Nayak, P. K. and F. Berkes. 2008. Politics of Co-optation: Community forest management vs. joint forest management in Orissa, India. Environmental Management 41(5): 707–718.
  • Nayak, P. K. 2007. Adaptive community forest management: Some emerging trends in India. In: Lebel, L., X. Jianchu and A. Contreras (eds). Institutional Dynamics and Stasis: How Crisis Alter the Way Common Pool Resources are Perceived, Used and Governed. Volume III. Thailand: RCSD Series on Politics of Commons. pp. 89-109.
  • Nayak, P. K. and C. E. Haque. 2005. Institutional approaches in natural resources management and sustainability: Lessons from joint forest management policy of India. International Journal on Environmental Consumerism 1(1): 37- 46.
  • Nayak, P. K. 2004. Adaptive community forest management: An alternate paradigm. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods 14 (2/3/4): 199-216.
  • Nayak, P. K. 2003. Community-based forest management in India: The significance of tenure. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods 13: 135-160.
  • Rai, A., A. Nayak, M. R. Mishra, N. M. Singh, P. K. Nayak, S. Mohanty, and Y. G. Rao. 2002. Gadabanikilo - An example of community forest management with a difference. In: Ravindranath, N., H, K. S. Murali and K. C. Malhotra (eds). Joint Forest Management and Community Forestry in India: An Ecological and Institutional Assessment. New Delhi, India: Oxford and IBH Publishing.
  • Singh, N. M. and P. K. Nayak. 2001. Up from the roots: Regenerating Dhani forest through community action. In: World Resources 2000-2001. People and Ecosystems: The Fraying Web of Life. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. pp. 181-192.
  • Nayak, P. K. 2001. United they work. In: Agarwal, A., S. Narain and I. Khurana (eds). Making Water Everybody’s Business: Practice and Policy of Water Harvesting. New Delhi, India: Center for Science and Environment.

Research com​munities

  • Environmental Change and Governance Group (ECGG)

  • International Association for the Study of Commons (IASC)

  • Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER)

  • Community Conservation Research Network (CCRN)

  • Too Big to Ignore (TBTI) – Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research

Awards and honours

  • Harvard Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow in Sustainability Science, Center for International Development, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2009-2010). View his Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow profile
University of Waterloo