Jennifer Amparo

MA Sociology (University of the Philippines Diliman); BS Human Ecology (UP Los Banos)
PhD Student

Jennifer Amparo is a PhD student (Human Ecology) at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University and an Australia Awards Scholar. Her PhD research focuses on dynamics of social-ecological traps using small-scale fisheries in the Philippines as cases. Social-ecological traps are self-reinforcing situations that locked-in systems in an undesirable and unsustainable trajectories. Using systems-based frameworks and methods, she is developing a framework to understand the dynamics of these traps, including its drivers and feedback interactions.  This has policy and project implications especially in transforming these traps into a more sustainable and desirable development pathways.

Jennifer’s research was driven in part by her work experience in health and pollution projects of Blacksmith Institute (now PureEarth) in the Philippines specifically in the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River System (MMORS). She served as the organization’s Country Coordinator from 2009-2012 completing clean-up and site assessment projects in the Philippines supported by World Bank, Asian Development Bank, EU, UNIDO and Green Cross Switzerland and in partnership with local regulatory agencies, governments, and community organizations.

Jennifer has a MA degree in Sociology from the University of the Philippines Diliman where she explored the discourse of corporate social responsibility at the interface of environmental NGO and corporations. She also has a BS degree in Human Ecology in UP Los Banos and an Assistant Professor in the college for more than a decade, before taking a study leave, to pursue her PhD in ANU.

Jennifer is a member of the Society of Human Ecology and the Emerging Water Professionals Program of DFAT. She is also an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research interests

Thesis title

Dynamics of Social-ecological Traps: The Case of Small-scale fisheries in the Philippines

Thesis description

Despite knowledge, technological, and management advancements in our society, social-ecological issues persist and some social-ecological systems tend to be locked-in an undesirable and unsustainable state. These "locked-in" systems are commonly referred to as social-ecological traps. Some small-scale fisheries (SSF) exemplify these traps. Even if SSF contribute to livelihoods, food and nutrition security on a local, regional and global scale, they are continually faced with issues such as declining catch or harvest, poverty, marginality, and resource degradation. SSF may adapt and be resilient to these stresses but the sustainability of small-scale fisheries amidst local and regional changes such as fishery resource depletion, pollution, competing resource, pollution, among others, remain a concern. Using selected small-scale fisheries (SSF) in the Philippines as a case study, this thesis aims to understand the dynamics of social-ecological traps in a social ecological system located in Bulacan and Northern Mindanao, Philippines.

Amparo JS et all (2011) The Role of Social Capital in the conduct of Initial Site Assessments in the Philippines. Journal of Health and Pollution. Volume 1 Series 2.

Amparo JS (2010) Negotiating the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Discourse at the interface of environmental NGOs and corporation: The Case of an oil spill in Guimaras, Philippines. MA Thesis

Chatman-Stephens, K: Caravanos J; Ericson, B; Amparo JS; Susilorini, B; Sharma P; Landrigan P.J; Fuller, R (May 4, 2013) Burden of Disease from Toxic Waste Sites in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines in 2010. Enviornmental Health Perspectives. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (

Visco, E.S., Amparo JS, Mendoza MET, Dumalanta R. Perceived Effects of Lead Recycling of Selected Communities in Bulacan, Philippines. Journal of Environmental Science and Management. Volume 16-1 June 2013

Jimena, CG; Mendoza MET; Lagos, DT; Visco, ES; Amparo JS. (2013) Determining the Social Acceptability of a large scale quarrying project: The Case of Barangay San Rafael, Rodriguez, Rizal Province, Philippines. Asia Life Sciences. Volume 22. No. 2

Alfafara, C; Maguyom, M; Laurio, MV; Migo VP; Trinidad LC; Ompad EO; Amparo JS; Mendoza MD (2012) Scale up and Operating Factors for Electrolytic Silver Recovery from Effluents of Artisanal Used Gold Jewelry Smelting Plants in the Philippines. Journal of Health and Pollution. Volume 2 Series 1.

Amparo JS (2013) Module 1: Concepts on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Module 5. DRRM Planning Process. DRRM Capacity Building Program for the UP System. UP Padayon, UP Diliman, QC.