Sustainability Science

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 889–890 | Cite as

Recognizing our authors

  • Kazuhiko TakeuchiEmail author

As editor-in-chief of the international journal Sustainability Science, I am proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Sustainability Science Best Paper Awards. We conduct the yearly awards to recognize contributions of researchers that further enhance the understanding of sustainability science and demonstrate high standards of scientific quality.

For this award, we considered all papers published in 2018 excluding note and comments, editorials, message article and papers authored by a member of the committee. From a total of 102 eligible papers published in 6 issues of 2018, 3 winners (1 outstanding paper and 2 honorable mentions) have been chosen following our selection process. Our entire advisory board along with selected active editors are encouraged to nominate papers which members feel make a particularly good contribution to the advancement of sustainability science. The nominated papers are then ranked based on reviewer impressions and downloads, among other criteria, and then are hand selected by our nominating committee. Links and short descriptions of the winning papers are shared below.

I congratulate the authors for their hard work on this significant accomplishment, as well as Thomas Elmqvist from Stockholm University, Sweden and Peter Wilderer from European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Germany, for their extended support from the beginning of the process. We believe authors deserve recognition for diligent work beyond a citation count and other article metrics. Conversely, this serves as an indicator for our readership to find high-quality, new research publications.

This award provides acknowledgements to the winning paper in the form of an award plate, certificates and a €200 book voucher from Springer. Winning papers will also be available open access for 2 months as of the July issue publication.

The winning papers are:

Outstanding article

For the paper entitled:

The undisciplinary journey: early-career perspectives in sustainability science

Authors: L. Jamila Haider, Jonas Hentati-Sundberg, Matteo Giusti, Julie Goodness, Maike Hamann, Vanessa A. Masterson, Megan Meacham, Andrew Merrie, Daniel Ospina, Caroline Schill and Hanna Sinare

January 2018, Volume 13, Issue 1

Short description:

The field of sustainability science is a problem-driven and solutions-oriented field of research. Embarking upon an interdisciplinary endeavor as an early-career scholar poses a unique set of challenges: to develop an individual scientific identity and a strong and specific methodological skill set, while at the same time gaining the ability to understand and communicate between different ways of knowing or epistemologies. The paper illustrates this well-known ‘breadth’ vs ‘depth’ struggle through the metaphor of a “compass”: intended to help navigate methodological groundedness (deep knowledge of methods within one or a few disciplines) and epistemological agility (ability to work across and integrate different ways of knowing). The undisciplinary journey is an iterative and reflexive process of balancing these two aspects to engage in rigorous sustainability science.

The paper lays out the challenges and opportunities that emerge from a new kind of interdisciplinary journey, described as ‘undisciplinary.’ Undisciplinary describes: (1) the new academic space in which early career sustainability science researchers with early interdisciplinary backgrounds find themselves; (2) what it is actually like to navigate this space through an iterative process that reflects one’s own development of methodological skills, understanding how we know what we know, and other competencies in relation to the sustainability challenges at hand; and (3) the development of an undisciplinary orientation which embraces the complexity and uncertainty inherent in problem-oriented research.

Honorable mention

For the paper entitled:

Ecological distribution conflicts as forces for sustainability: an overview and conceptual framework

Authors: Arnim Scheidel, Leah Temper, Federico Demaria and Joan Martínez-Alier

May 2018, Volume 13, Issue 3

Short description:

Conflicts over environmental degradation, pollution and access to natural resources are frequently portrayed from a destructive angle that analyzes resource use concerns, injustices or violent tensions between actors. But can such environmental conflicts also unleash creative and constructive processes relevant for sustainability? This paper illustrates how contentious encounters may turn into potent forces for both justice and sustainability. A systematic view on the dynamic interactions between societal resource uses, environmental conflicts, social mobilizations and sustainability transitions is put forward.

The authors argue that environmental conflicts hold tremendous power for change, when affected people come together and resist being further polluted or dispossessed from environments upon which their livelihoods depend. Civil society movements, born out of such conflicts, contribute to sustainability transitions by monitoring and politicizing social and environmental unsustainabilities. Sometimes, they also stop them through radical and contentious actions or develop and point toward urgently needed alternatives. Many stories from across the globe illustrate the authors’ argument and show how environmental conflicts can turn into important spaces of social and environmental transformation.

Honorable mention

For the paper entitled:

Unpacking factors influencing antimicrobial use in global aquaculture and their implication for management: a review from a systems perspective

Authors: Patrik J. G. Henriksson, Andreu Rico, Max Troell, Dane H. Klinger, Alejandro H. Buschmann, Sonja Saksida, Mohan V. Chadag and Wenbo Zhang

July 2018, Volume 13, Issue 4

Short description:

Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal food sector globally. Fish and shrimp are traditionally farmed in ponds and cages, but intensified practices have driven an increased reliance on therapeutants, including antimicrobials. These antimicrobials are usually applied with the feed or directly to the water and enter the surrounding environment through runoff water and sediments. This has resulted in increased frequencies of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) genes in organisms and humans living close to certain aquaculture operations.

AM use in aquaculture is in the meantime generally lower than in terrestrial livestock and some fish farming systems have greatly reduced use over the last decade. The variability in use among species and countries, and lack of empirical data on AM use in different aquaculture systems, however, limits detailed insights. In response, the authors set out to identify the underlying factors and the proximate drivers behind AM use in aquaculture.

Six proximate factors were identified: vulnerability to bacterial disease, AM access, disease diagnostic capacity, AMR frequency, target markets and food safety regulations, and certification. Low enforcement levels, easy availability, and limited ability to diagnose disease suggested higher AM use in low and middle-income countries. Meanwhile, for internationally traded products, food safety regulations were identified as the strongest proximate factor to limit current AM use. Investments are consequently recommended into improved farming practices and developing vaccines for finfish. Moreover, broader strategies that adopt a ‘one health’ approach, looking at all types of AM use in society, need to be implemented. The success of these strategies, in turn, depends on data availability and quality.

I extend my congratulations to all the winning authors.

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Kazuhiko Takeuchi




  1. Haider LJ, Hentati-Sundberg J, Giusti M, Goodness J, Hamann M, Masterson VA, Meacham M, Merrie A, Ospina D, Schill C, Sinare H (2018) The undisciplinary journey: early-career perspectives in sustainability science. Sust Sci 13(1):191–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Scheidel A, Temper L, Demaria F, Martínez-Alier J (2018) Ecological distribution conflicts as forces for sustainability: an overview and conceptual framework. Sust Sci 13(3):1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Henriksson PJG, Rico A, Troell M, Klinger DH, Buschmann AH, Saksida S, Chadag MV, Zhang W (2018) Unpacking factors influencing antimicrobial use in global aquaculture and their implication for management: a review from a systems perspective. Sust Sci 13(4):1105–1120CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S)The University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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