Sophia Kochalski

I am an interdisciplinary fishery scientist from Germany and I joined EqualSea in September 2021 as postdoctoral researcher through an EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA-IF) Individual Fellowship for the project “Social transformation of marine fisheries (SOCIALSHIFT)” which I developed together with Dr. Sebastian Villasante.


I hold a B.A. in European Studies and a M.Sc. in Fishery Science and Aquaculture. After completing my PhD at the University of Liverpool, UK, in 2017, I researched human-wildlife interactions at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin before working for 2,5 years as a fisheries consultant for the German agency for development cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ).


Back in academia, my goal is innovative, applied research that supports the sustainable and equitable use of our natural resources. I typically combine quantitative and qualitative methods to best understand social processes in fisheries. I have research experience in marine, coastal and freshwater systems in Europe and South America, and I have worked with both commercial and recreational fisheries. My personal career highlights include spending six weeks off the coast of Greenland assessing demersal fish stocks, delivering the keynote at the 2019 NASCO Science Symposium and conducting in-depth interviews with small-scale fisherfolk.

Research lines

Understanding change and adaptation in global fisheries and aquaculture.


Sustainable and equitable fisheries governance.


Conflict and cooperation in natural resource management.


Dynamic social network analysis (SNA) and social-ecological network analysis (SENA).