• E De Santo
Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Program Chair of Environmental Studies



Office: HAC121C

Office Hours 


Email: edesanto@fandm.edu Phone: 717-358-4555
Office: Hackman 121C
Office hours: TR 1-2 and 4-5PM, book slots here: https://tinyurl.com/cbavhfyx
Additional days/times available by appointment (email me).



Elizabeth De Santo is a human geographer with training in environmental law, history of international relations, environmental management, and marine zoology.  Her teaching and research focus on marine conservation and environmental governance, critically examining: (1) the efficacy of spatial approaches to conserving 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 in the Marine Affairs Program  and the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University, in Nova Scotia, Canada.  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 is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law.   She is also a member of the Environmental Studies Section of the International Studies Association, and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

For more information on Dr. De Santo's teaching, research and publications, please see her website.

PhD - University College London, University of London: Geography, co-supervised in Laws
MSc - London School of Economics and Political Science: History of International Relations
MEM - Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment: Coastal Environmental Management 
BA - Connecticut College: Zoology, minor in Anthropology

CNX 240 - The Whale

ENE/STS 117 - Environment and Human Values

ENE/STS 216 - Environmental Policy

ENE/GOV 320 - International Environmental Law

ENE/BIO 360 - Wildlife Conservation

ENE 405 - Marine Protected Areas 

Recent Publications

For a full listing (30+ peer-reviewed journal publications as well as reports and recorded lectures), please see her website


Forthcoming (2023) book under contract with Routledge: Securitizing Marine Protected Areas: Geopolitics, Environmental Justice, and Science

MacDonald, B.H., Soomai, S.S., De Santo E.M., and Wells, P.G., (2016) Science, Information and Policy Interface for Effective Coastal and Ocean Management. CRC Press. Link to book (open access).


Mendenhall, E., De Santo, E.M., Jankila, M., Nyman, E., and Tiller, R. (2022). Direction, not detail: Progress towards consensus at the fourth intergovernmental conference on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. Marine Policy 146: 105309  (open access).

Moreland, H.R., MacDonald, B.H. and De Santo, E.M. (2021) Information source and channel preference in marine policy development: The Nova Scotian Eastern Shore Islands Area of Interest. Facets: 1539-1569.

Gonçalves, L.R. and De Santo, E.M. (2021) Unpacking the process: how agenda-setting theory explains the case of creating large-scale marine protected areas in Brazil. Environmental Politics - link to early version.

De Santo, E., Mendenhall, E., Nyman, E. and Tiller, R. (2020) Stuck in the middle with you (and not much time left): The third intergovernmental conference on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. Marine Policy 117: 103957 (open access)

Tiller, R., De Santo, E., Mendenhall, E., Nyman, E. and Ralby, I. (2020) Wealth blindness beyond national jurisdiction. Marine Pollution Bulletin 151: 110809.

De Santo, E.M. (2020) Militarized Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in overseas territories: Conserving biodiversity, geopolitical positioning, and securing resources in the 21st century. Ocean and Coastal Management 184: 105006. 

Mendenhall, E., De Santo, E., Nyman, E., and Tiller, R. (2019) A soft treaty, hard to reach: The second inter-governmental conference for biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. Marine Policy 108: 103664. 

De Santo, E.M., Ásgeirsdóttir, A., Barros-Platiau, A., Biermann, F., Dryzek, J., Gonçalves, L.R., Kim, R.E., Mendenhall, E., Mitchell, R., Nyman, E., Scobie, M., Sun, K., Tiller, R., Webster, D.G., and Young, O. (2019) Protecting biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction: An earth system governance perspective. Earth System Governance 2: 100029 (open access).

Tiller, R., De Santo, E., Nyman, E., and Mendenhall, E. (2019) The once and future treaty: Towards a new regime for biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Marine Policy 99: 239-242. 

De Santo, E.M. (2018) Implementation challenges of area-based management tools (AMBTs) for biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).  Marine Policy 97: 34-43 (open access).

De Santo, E.M. (2017) California dreaming: challenges posed by transposing science-based marine protected area planning processes in different political contexts. Environmental Science & Policy: 75: 38-46.

Jones, P.J.S. and De Santo, E.M. (2016) Viewpoint: Is the race for remote, very large marine protected areas (VLMPAs) taking us down the wrong track? Marine Policy 73: 231-234.

De Santo, E.M. (2016) Assessing public "participation" in environmental decision-making: lessons learned from the UK marine conservation zone (MCZ) site selection process. Marine Policy 64: 91-101.