Landscape as a complex system to study interactions between human beings and environment: coupling local knowledge and remote sensing to highlight landscape structure and dynamics

This proposition focuses on the conceptual framework developed in my doctoral research in geography, which puts the landscape at the result of interactions between humans and their environment. Then the presentation will show the first results of the study resulting from a crossing between local knowledge and remote sensing in order to characterize the structure of the landscape. Holding a master’s degree in tropical ecology, but defending a PhD in geography/ethnology, I developed a transdisciplinary approach mobilizing the concepts and analysis methods of both social sciences and natural sciences. This choice is part of the OneHealth and EcoHealth movements, bringing together the different actors of health and the environment with the aim of developing a global and preventive approach for the protection of human health, animal health and ecosystems. In this context, the landscape, a concept resulting from the collaboration between naturalistic geographers and ecologists, is the central object of my research. Indeed, landscape studies can shed light on health-related processes, and particularly on the emergence of diseases linked to specific environments and / or species, especially when zoonoses are concerned.

Even if old demons are sometimes hard to dislodge, the rift between natural and social sciences is no longer necessary. On a planet entirely influenced by human action, it seems obvious to break this artificial and arbitrary delimitation between social and ecological systems. In this sense, I developed a landscape approach based on a complex system, which deconstructs the concept of socio-ecological system and incorporates the concept of socio-spatial formation. This system is composed by ecological and social characteristics in interactions, and the landscape, at the centre of this system, is both the cause and the result of these interactions. The presentation of this conceptual and complex system will be the main topic of the presentation.

Authors: 
Christophe Demichelis
Room: 
2
Date: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 17:15 to 17:30

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Photo of Thessaloniki seafront courtesy of Juli Bellou
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