Dr Jean Wencélius is an environmental anthropologist studying the socio-ecological
feedbacks of the complex Polynesian island ecosystems. His approach envisons such
ecosystems in their broadest definition : complex systems holistically encompassing the
interactions between humans – along with their social organization and cultural values – and

non-humans. At the crossroads of life and human sciences, his work combines i) qualitative
approaches grounded on a fine-tuned ethnography of primary users’ practices, strategies and
knowledge systems along with ii) quantitative approaches driven by cutting-edge citizen- and
participatory-science led data collection protocols. In addition to better understanding the
feedbacks between Polynesian cultures and environments, he endeavors to analyze the socio-
political dynamics at play in the implementation of environmental management policies and
more specifically to understand how local stakeholders involved in resource management and
governance (e.g., resource managers, scientists, fishers) receive, repurpose and/or claim
ownership over such policies.
Jean Wencélius has been a post-doctoral fellow of the Anthropology Department of San
Diego State University since 2018. In 2022 he joins the Rāhui Center as a research fellow.
Collaborating with marine scientists and local stakeholders he strives to create bridges
between local and scientific expertise in order to co-produce innovative tools for community-
based marine management resources and to co-design hybrid resource management regimes
that may address the expectations of local communities, political decision-makers and