My research focuses on human-nature connections in time and space. I study these relationships across various scales and levels: from local to global, and from the past into the future. My research areas include (oceanic) islands, cities, agroecological landscapes, continents, and sometimes the entire globe.

Questions that drive my research are: what is the relative contribution of human and environmental factors in shaping biodiversity patterns, and why do biodiversity and cultural diversity coincide spatially?

These questions cannot be addressed from the perspective of a single discipline. Therefore, I collaborate with people from across the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. In terms of methods, I generally use open source geospatial approaches (e.g. GIS, geocomputation, mapping).

With my research I hope to contribute to a shift from the one-sided focus of ‘human impacts on biodiversity’ towards a more nuanced relational approach called ‘biocultural geography’.


Below you’ll find a selection of my publications, see Google Scholar for a more comprehensive overview.

Nogué, S., Santos, A.M.C., Birks, H.J.B., Björck, S., Castilla-Beltrán, A., Connor, S., de Boer, E.J., de Nascimento, L., Felde, V.A., Fernández-Palacios, J.M., Froyd, C.A., Haberle, S.G., Hooghiemstra, H., Ljung, K., Norder, S.J., Peñuelas, J., Prebble, M., Stevenson, J., Whittaker, R.J., Willis, K.J., Wilmshurst, J.M., Steinbauer, M.J. (2021) The human dimension of biodiversity changes on islands. Science, 372, 488-491.   

Norder, S.J., de Lima, R.F., de Nascimento, L., Lim, J.Y., Fernández-Palacios, J.M., Romeiras, M.M., Elias, R.B., Cabezas, F.J., Catarino, L., Ceríaco, L.M.P., Castilla-Beltrán, A., Gabriel, R., Menezes de Sequeira, M., Rijsdijk, K.F., Nogué, S., Kissling, W.D., van Loon, E.E., Hall, M., Matos, M., Borges, P.A.V. (2021). Global change in microcosms: environmental and societal predictors of land cover change on the Atlantic Ocean Islands. Anthropocene, 30, 100242

Norder S.J., Proios, K.V., Whittaker, R.J., Alonso, M.R., Borges, P.A.V., Borregaard, M.K., Cowie, R.H., Florens, F.B.V., de Frias Martins, A.M., Ibáñez, M., Kissling, W.D., de Nascimento, L., Otto, R., Parent, C.E., Rigal, F., Warren, B.H., Fernández-Palacios, J.M., van Loon, E.E., Triantis, K.A., Rijsdijk, K.F. (2019). Beyond the Last Glacial Maximum: island endemism is best explained by long-lasting archipelago configurations. Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Norder S.J., Baumgartner, J.B., Borges, P.A.V., Hengl, T., Kissling, W.D., van Loon, E.E., Rijsdijk, K.F. (2018). A global spatially explicit database of changes in island palaeo-area and archipelago configuration during the late Quaternary. Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Gosling, W.D., de Kruif, J., Norder, S.J., de Boer, E.J., Hooghiemstra, H., Rijsdijk, K.F. & McMichael, C.N.H. (2017) Mauritius on fire: Tracking historical human impacts on biodiversity loss. Biotropica. 

Norder S.J., Seijmonsbergen A.C., Rughooputh, S.D.D.V., van Loon E.E., Tatayah, V., Kamminga, A.T., Rijsdijk K.F. (2017). Assessing temporal couplings in social-ecological island systems: historical land use change and soil loss analyses on Mauritius (Indian Ocean). Ecology and Society 22(1):29.

Simaiakis, S.M., Rijsdijk, K.F., Koene, E.F.M., Norder, S.J., Van Boxel, J.H., Stocchi, P., Hammoud, C., Kougioumoutzis, K., Georgopouloug, E., Van Loon, E., Tjørve, K.M.C., Tjørve, E. (2017) Geographic changes in the Aegean Sea since the Last Glacial Maximum: Postulating biogeographic effects of sea-level rise on islands. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 471, 108-119.

Norder S.J., Rijsdijk K.F., (2016) Interdisciplinary island studies: connecting the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Island Studies Journal 11, 673-686.

Hansen, D.M., Austin, J.J., Baxter, R.H., de Boer, E., Falcón, W., Norder, S.J., Rijsdijk, K.F., Thébaud, C., Bunbury, N.J., Warren, B.H. (2016). Origins of endemic island tortoises in the western Indian Ocean: A critique of the human-translocation hypothesis. Journal of Biogeography.

Rijsdijk, K. F., Hengl, T., Norder, S. J., Otto, R., Emerson, B. C., Ávila, S. P., López, H., van Loon, E. E., Tjørve, E., Fernández-Palacios, J. M. (2014) Quantifying surface-area changes of volcanic islands driven by Pleistocene sea-level cycles: biogeographical implications for the Macaronesian archipelagos. Journal of Biogeography 41, 1242–1254.

Warren, B.H., Simberloff, D., Ricklefs, R.E., Aguilée, R., Condamine, F.L., Gillespie, R.G., Gravel, D., Morlon, H., Mouquet, N., Rosindell, J., Casquet, J., Conti, E., Cornuault, J., Fernández-Palacíos, J.M., Hengl, T., Norder, S.J., Rijsdijk, K.F., Sanmartín, I., Strasberg, D., Triantis, K., Valente, L.M., Whittaker, R.J., Emerson, B.C., Thébaud, C. (2015) Islands as model systems in ecology and evolution: progress and prospects fifty years after MacArthur – Wilson. Ecology Letters 18, 200-217.

Fernández-Palacios, J.M., Rijsdijk, K.F., Norder, S.J., Otto, R., de Nascimento, L., Fernández-Lugo, S., Tjørve, E., Whittaker, R.J. (2015) Towards a glacial-sensitive model of island biogeography. Global Ecology and Biogeography Special Issue on Island biogeography, 1-14.