Axelrod’s areas of research include environmental and natural resource law and politics, environmental justice, international political economy, particularly trade and development. His environmental scholarship also has a regional focus in India and South Asia.
Finds that international fisheries management organizations are more likely to address climate change as a means of avoiding catch limits, rather than in fisheries most likely to be threatened by climatic changes.
Shows how fishing effort increased more in response to global market demand in districts that had access to information through mobile phones. Simulations show that such increased fishing could deplete some marine species, but regulatory interventions could mitigate these ecosystem pressures while still permitting fishers to benefit from increased demand.
Surveys Michigan residents to discover that despite disagreement among Great Lakes states, residents view invasive Asian carp as a substantial risk. Programs that prevent the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes Basin have greater public support than programs that would poison the introduced population once established.
Finds that a majority of surveyed residents agreed that management should be based on state agency-generated scientific recommendations, with pluralities supporting inputs from a public vote and university-generated science. Preferences varied by age, gender, education level, region, self-identified ideology, and level of fear towards wolves. Results also indicate limited public knowledge regarding wolf behavior and current policies.
Demonstrates greater success in preventing conservation threats when policies include enforcement, alternative livelihood opportunities, and stakeholder participation.
Examines how fisheries policy impacts people differently, depending on different configurations of gender, occupation, wealth, and power. Finds that women are more likely to adapt reactively (e.g., insufficient nutrition) when they also face low levels of wealth and/or social networks.