Christine Beitl

Cooperating Faculty, School of Marine Sciences
Cooperating Faculty, School of Economics

Research Interests
Sustainability Science
Human Ecology
Environmental Anthropology
Coastal/Fisheries Anthropology
Environmental Governance and Policy
Research Design and Methods

Research Projects

  • Sustainable Mangrove Landscapes and Livelihoods in Coastal Ecuador
  • Understanding Ecological, Social, and Economic Aspects of Bycatch and Building Stakeholder Alliances in the Gulf of Maine Lobster Fishery

Student Opportunities
Inquiries are encouraged from self-motivated prospective graduate students broadly interested in human ecology and/or coastal and marine anthropology.


  • University of Georgia, Ph.D. (Ecological and Environmental Anthropology)
  • Florida International University, M.A. (Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Environmental Studies)
  • Ohio University, B.A. (Spanish)


  • ANT 102: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (The Diversity of Cultures)
  • ANT 250: Conservation Anthropology
  • ANT 300: Anthropological Theory
  • ANT 553: Institutions and Common Pool Resources
  • ANT 597: Research Design and Methods

Christine Beitl is a faculty member in the University of Maine’s Department of Anthropology. Her research within the Department of Anthropology broadly looks at the interactions between socio-political, ecological, and economic systems. She specializes in the study of common pool resources in coastal and marine environments, focusing on mangrove forests and their associated artisanal fisheries. She has used a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, ethnographic and fishery data, and geographic information systems to study human-environment interactions and to evaluate the social-ecological effects of collective action, property arrangements, civil society, customary norms in fishing, and coastal management policies in Ecuador. Her current research program focuses on livelihood adaptations, decision-making, and various aspects of fisheries management within the context of social-ecological change in Ecuador and Maine.

Prior to working at the University of Maine, Beitl taught at both the University of Georgia and Emory University. She was also awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for research in Ecuador.

Funding for Beitl’s research has come from an ADVANCE Rising Tide Center NSF grant, the Maine EPSCoR-NSF SSI, and the Wenner Gren Foundation, among others. Her work has been published in Human Ecology, World Development, the Journal of Political Ecology, and the International Journal of the Commons.

Selected Publications

Beitl, C.M. The Changing Legal and Institutional Context for Recognizing Nature’s Rights in Ecuador: Mangroves, Fisheries, Farmed Shrimp, and Coastal Management since 1980. Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy.

Beitl, C.M., (2016). Decentralized Mangrove Conservation and Territorial User Rights in Ecuador’s Mangrove-Associated Fisheries. Bulletin of Marine Science. DOI:

Stoll, J.S., Beitl, C.M., Wilson, J.A., (2016). How Access to Maine’s Fisheries Has Changed over a Quarter Century: The Cumulative Effects of Licensing on Resilience. Global Environmental Change. 37:79-91.

C.M. Beitl, “Mobility in the Mangroves: Catch Rates, Daily Decisions, and Dynamics of Artisanal Fishing in a Coastal Commons,” Applied Geography (in press).

C.M. Beitl, “Navigating Over Space and Time: Fishing Effort Allocation and the Development of Customary Norms in an Open-Access Mangrove Estuary in Ecuador,” Human Ecology 42, no. 3 (2014): 395-411.

C.M. Beitl, “Adding Environment to the Collective Action Problem: Individuals, Civil Society, and the Mangrove-Fishery Commons in Ecuador,” World Development 56 (2014): 93-107.

C.M. Beitl, “Shifting Policies, Access, and the Tragedy of Enclosures in Ecuadorian Mangrove Fisheries: Towards a Political Ecology of the Commons,” Journal of Political Ecology 19 (2012): 94-113.

C.M. Beitl, “Cockles in Custody: The Role of Common Property Arrangements in the Ecological Sustainability of Mangrove Fisheries on the Ecuadorian Coast,” International Journal of the Commons 5, no. 2 (2011): 485-512.