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Title: Public and scientific discourses on biological invasions : social representations of invasive non-native species in Scotland
Author: Selge, Sebastian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 5812
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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Invasive non-native species are believed to be one of the biggest threats to biodiversity. Until now biological invasions have been mainly studied from a biological perspective and much research has been undertaken to investigate species’ ecology and potential options for management. Comparatively little attention has been devoted to questions regarding the social construction of the issue. This is despite invasion biologists increasingly acknowledging the fundamental importance of human perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and values inherent in debates about invasive non-native species. This thesis employs a mix of methods from the social sciences to investigate the social construction of biological invasions. Research conducted here is based on the theory of social representations. Thus, taking a social scientific perspective, the thesis contributes to both the development of the theory and an identification of beliefs inherent in the debate on biological invasions and their relationship to people’s attitudes towards species and their management. Those species attributes that predominantly shape the debate – but yet appear to be under-researched – are identified. Based on the findings in this thesis I argue that invasion biology would benefit from a more explicit and transparent use of its concepts and terminology. This will have implications also for the communication with policy makers, conservation managers and the general public. Recommendations for future research are discussed along with limitations of the thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Alien plants ; Introduced organisms ; Biological invasions ; Social perception ; Social groups