Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Elizabeth M. De Santo

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Office: HAC106

Professional Biography

Elizabeth De Santo received her Ph.D. in Geography (co-supervised in Laws) from University College London. Her teaching and research are in the area of environmental governance, focusing on (1) the conservation and management of marine species and habitats, and (2) improving the science-policy interface in environmental decision-making. She is particularly interested in the challenges of effectively implementing Marine Protected Areas and biodiversity conservation worldwide. 

Prior to joining F&M, she taught at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, in the College of Sustainability and Marine Affairs Program. She has also held positions with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Environment Center, consultancies with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada and the Institute for European Environmental Policy, and she she is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law.


Ph.D. 2008, University College London (UCL), Geography (co-supervised in Laws)

M.Sc. 2002, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), History of International Relations

M.E.M. 1999, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment

B.A. 1995, Connecticut College (major: Zoology, minor: Anthropology)

Research Interests

Environmental governance
Environmental law, policy and politics
Biodiversity conservation
Marine protected areas


Please email me to request a PDF if you do not have library access to the journals below.

De Santo, E.M. (forthcoming 2014) The Marine Strategy Directive as a catalyst for Maritime Spatial Planning: internal dimensions and institutional tensions. Chapter 8 in: Gilek, M. and Kern, K. (eds.). Governing Europe's Marine Environment: Europeanization of Regional Seas or Regionalization of EU Policies? Ashgate.

Schnurr, M.A., De Santo, E.M., Green, A., and Taylor, A. (2014) Investigating student perceptions of knowledge acquisition within a role-play simulation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Journal of Geography (in press).

Schnurr, M.A., De Santo, E.M., and Green, A. (2014) What do students learn from a role-play simulation of an international negotiation? Journal of Geography in Higher Education 38(3): 401-414.

De Santo, E.M. (2013) Missing marine protected area targets: how the push for quantity over quality undermines sustainability and social justice. Journal of Environmental Management 124: 137-146.

De Santo, E.M., Jones, P.J.S., Qiu, W., and Clifton, J. (Eds.),  (2013) Special issue of Marine Policy : “Governing Marine Protected Areas: towards socio-ecological resilience through institutional and biological diversity” containing sixteen case study analyses and the following three authored/co-authored articles:

  • Jones, P.J.S., De Santo, E.M., and Qiu, W. (2013) Introduction: an empirical framework for deconstructing the realities of governing marine protected areas. Marine Policy  41: 1-4.
  • Jones, P.J.S., Qiu, W., and De Santo, E.M. (2013) Governing marine protected areas: socio-ecological resilience through institutional and biological diversity. Marine Policy 41: 5-13.
  • De Santo, E.M. (2013) The Darwin Mounds Special Area of Conservation: implications for offshore marine governance. Marine Policy 41: 25-32.

Schnurr, M.A., De Santo, E.M., and Craig, R. (2012) Using a blended learning approach to simulate the negotiation of a Multi-lateral Environmental Agreement. International Studies Perspectives 14(2): 109-120.

De Santo, E.M. (2012) Implications of the 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity for coastal management and marine protected areas. Ocean Yearbook 26: 249-263.

De Santo, E.M. (2012) From paper parks to private conservation: the role of NGOs in adapting marine protected area strategies to climate change. Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy 15: 25-40.

Hinch, P., and De Santo, E.M. (2011) Factors to consider in evaluating the management and conservation effectiveness of a whale sanctuary to conserve the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis).  Marine Policy 35(2): 163-180.

De Santo, E.M., Jones, P.J.S., and Miller, A. (2011) Fortress conservation at sea: a commentary on the Chagos marine protected area. Marine Policy 35(2): 258-260.

De Santo, E.M. (2011) Environmental justice implications of Maritime Spatial Planning in the European Union.  Marine Policy 35(1): 34-38.

De Santo, E.M. (2010) “Whose science?” Precaution and power play in European environmental decision-making. Marine Policy 34(3): 414-420.

De Santo, E.M., and Jones, P.J.S. (2007) Offshore marine conservation in the North East Atlantic: emerging challenges and opportunities. Marine Policy 31(3): 336-347.

De Santo, E.M., and Jones, P.J.S. (2007) The Darwin Mounds: from undiscovered coral to the emergence of an offshore marine protected area regime. Bulletin of Marine Science Volume 81 Supplement 1: 147-156. Copy of paper.

Course Information

ENV/STS 117 - The Environment and Human Values

ENV 216 - Environmental Policy 

ENV/GOV/PUB 320 - International Environmental Law