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Perspectives on Oceans Past

  • Book
  • © 2016


  • First book dealing with theoretical backgrounds of marine environmental history
  • Equips readers with broad understanding of the major concepts and methods from science and history used in and applied to marine environmental history
  • Written by some of the leading scholars in the field of marine environmental history
  • Includes and summarizes topics on modelling approaches, gendered perspectives, and more
  • Looks at possible future developments in marine environmental history
  • Includes supplementary material:

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About this book

Marine environmental history analyses the changing relationships between human societies and marine natural resources over time. This is the first book which deals in a systematic way with the theoretical backgrounds of this discipline. Major theories and methods are introduced by leading scholars of the field. The book seeks to encapsulate some of the major novelties of this fascinating new discipline and its contribution to the management, conservation and restoration of marine and coastal ecosystems as well as the cultural heritages of coastal communities in different parts of the world.

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Table of contents (11 chapters)


“Perspectives on Oceans Past, edited by Kathleen Schwerdtner Máñez at the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology in Germany, and Bo Poulsen, at Denmark’s Aalborg University, is an effort to take stock of the methods and theories that are coming to the fore in the process. … The collection brought together in Perspectives on Oceans Past does a remarkably fine job in explaining how we make sense of this world through time.” (Bonnie J. McCay, The International Journal of Maritime History, Vol. 29 (3), August, 2017) 

“It should be a useful and sometimes provocative guidebook for them to take more seriously marine environmental history and insert it into political, social and other more mainstream versions of Pacific history. … Taken together, the book’s essays work towards a nice balance of theory and practice. … All the field’s major issues are discussed here, the essays’ bibliographies are resplendent, and high-quality colour images illuminate the drier parts of the text.” (Ryan T. Jones, The Journal of Pacific History, July, 2017)

“Each chapter has been contributed by different authors, who comprise a group of global scholars representing a wide set of disciplines and educated interest. Their product is a significant and enlightening contribution to our understanding of marine environmental history. … The book collates a considerable body of information through argument, discussion and is accessible in language to any reader from the realm of marine studies or broader interest.” (Rachel Kelly, Richard S. Cottrell, Mary Mackay and Yannick Rousseau, Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, Vol. 27, 2017)

“This volume is an unusual collaboration between historians, archaeologists, and marine biologists to assess these questions. The chapters achieve a rough balance between the sciences and more humanities-based approaches. Perspectives on Oceans Past may leave some readers wishing for a tighter focus, but this is undoubtedly a volume containing something for everyone and it is replete with suggestive ideas about where the field might go next.” (Isaac Land, The Journal of Transport History, 2017)

“Each chapter is meant to be accessible to humanists or scientists interested in engaging in a study of the marine world that takes into account the shifts in human interactions and natural resources over an extended time period. … Each chapter in the volume offers a methodological perspective on marine environmental history centred in a particular field of study.” (Samantha Muka, The Mariner’s Mirror, Vol. 103 (4), 2017)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Ecology (ZMT), Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine, Germany

    Kathleen Schwerdtner Máñez

  • Aalborg University, Denmark

    Bo Poulsen

About the editors

Dr Kathleen Schwerdtner Máñez is affiliated at the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine

Ecology (ZMT) in Germany.


Prof. Dr Bo Poulsen is affiliated at the Aalborg University in Denmark.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Perspectives on Oceans Past

  • Editors: Kathleen Schwerdtner Máñez, Bo Poulsen

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Dordrecht

  • eBook Packages: Earth and Environmental Science, Earth and Environmental Science (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-94-017-7495-6Published: 02 June 2016

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-94-024-1361-8Published: 31 May 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-94-017-7496-3Published: 24 May 2016

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XII, 211

  • Number of Illustrations: 30 b/w illustrations, 15 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Marine & Freshwater Sciences, Coastal Sciences, History, general

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