PhD, Conservation Ecology, Stellenbosch University
A current Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Urban Studies Institute, Lelani Mannetti has a keen interest in identifying differences among people’s values and perceptions pertaining to ecosystem services, in particular an understanding of the implications of these differences. By delving deeper into current and potential trade-offs and conflicts between different elements of integrated landscapes, she aims to understand stakeholder preferences and the resulting drivers of change; while also trying to identify viable and sustainable solutions and to inform strategy and decision-making.
Mannetti’s previous research mainly focused on the analysis of social-ecological systems, particularly surrounding adaptive co-governance of complex systems. With participatory research experience working alongside various stakeholders in a variety of settings, she has conducted social network, stakeholder and institutional analyses in an attempt to include land and resource users’ valuation of ecosystem services in protected area decision-making. Additionally, she has gained practical experience by doing research, outreach, and project administration via numerous consultancy opportunities in her native Namibia.
At the USI, Mannetti will participate in the ongoing research being conducted by the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN). A multi-institutional, transdisciplinary effort spanning 10 North and Latin American cities, the network aims to develop novel frameworks for integrating social, ecological and technological dimensions in the face of climatic uncertainty. Working alongside David Iwaniec, Mannetti will help promote visionary thinking by city stakeholders, including policy-makers, planners, scientists, engineers, and city residents. Through the development of desirable and plausible scenarios that analyze possible future pathways through which cities can achieve more resiliently designed infrastructures, they hope to accelerate innovative urban sustainability knowledge and application, thereby putting cities on a path to sustainable futures.