Accessibility statement

Professor Ioan Fazey
Professor of Social Dimensions of Environment and Change



 Professor Ioan Fazey personal website

Ioan Fazey is Professor of Social Dimensions of Environment and Change with a focus on understanding how to achieve fundamental and significant shifts in society towards more regenerative and sustainable futures. He is a transdisciplinary researcher, using a variety of action-oriented science and social science methods working at the interface of academia and practice. This includes collaborations with economists, ecologists, educationalists, modellers, social sciences, humanities and the arts and with those from policy, practice, local communities and government and non-government organisations.

21st Century challenges such as poverty, hunger, obesity, plastics in the oceans, growing inequality and climate change demand new ways of thinking and radically different approaches and practices. In this context Ioan’s vision is for a worldwide community of connected, skilled and supported change-makers capable of navigating and working with the challenges of the 21st Century and focused on facilitating transformative change towards socially and environmentally sustainable futures. His mission is then to support the development of this community and capacity through research; synthesis of key knowledge; providing supportive materials; facilitating learning about the practice of transformative change; widely disseminating knowledge; and by convening, inter-weaving and encouraging the development of associated networks, organisations, and other soft and hard forms of supportive infrastructure that will enable change-makers to facilitate transformative change.

Ioan has a diverse science and social science background, including a BSc in Zoology (Aberdeen University 997); MSc in Ecology (University of Wales, Bangor 1998), a PhD in understanding the nature and role of experiential knowledge (Australian National University  2005), a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (Aberystwyth University 2008) and a Certificate in Counselling Skills (Abertay University 2012).

He has held numerous previous posts, including as tutor at the Australian National University (2005); Lecturer Sustainable Rural Development, Aberystwyth University (2006 – 2009); Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews (2009 – 2013); Deputy and then full Director of the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience, University of Dundee (2013-2018).




Ioan’s research is oriented towards his goal of supporting the development of a worldwide community of connected, skilled and supported change-makers. This research includes international, interdisciplinary work spanning the ecological and social sciences in countries with both developed and least developed economies. It includes diverse participatory, co-creative and action-oriented methodologies on:

  • Transformations to sustainability
  • Practices of transformative change;
  • Vulnerability, resilience, adaptation in the context of environmental change;
  • The kinds of knowledge and knowledge production systems needed for a rapidly changing world
  • Methodologies, philosophies and epistemologies for action-oriented research;
  • Tools, approaches and practices for facilitating change.

External activities

Editorial duties

  • Reviewer for >30 peer reviewed journals and of proposals for >20 funding organisations
  • Co-founder of the SDG Transformation Forum
  • Co-founder of the Tansformation Conference Series
  • Trustee of a change making organisation called H3Uni



Contact details

Prof. Ioan Fazey
Professor of Social Dimensions of Environment and Change
Department of Environment & Geography
University of York
Wentworth Way
YO10 5DD