Research Projects


Valuing Victoria’s wild-catch fisheries and aquaculture (Fisheries Research and Development Corporation) (2018-2020)

Assessing the Governance of Tuna Fisheries (2017-2019)

This project, funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, develops methods for assessing the governance of tuna fisheries in the Indo-Pacific region, in terms of how they influence the social wellbeing of fishing communities. With case studies in Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, we aim to develop approaches that can be widely applied across the Indian and Pacific Oceans to assist in the human dimensions of fisheries being taken into account in decision making, for the betterment of the communities that depend on these resources for food and livelihoods.

Governing the blue economy in maritime Asia-Pacific (Australian Research Council) (2018-2020)

This project critically examines how politically and economically divergent visions of Blue Economy policies and practices are negotiated, prioritised and implemented in maritime Asia-Pacific, focusing on China and the Philippines.

Develop strategies to improve livelihood and wellbeing outcomes for sandfish stakeholders (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and University of Sunshine Coast) (2018-2022)

Economic and social evaluation of commercial fisheries Business Adjustment Program and design of ongoing social and economic monitoring (New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and Environment) (2019)

Provision of strategies and methods to improve Fisheries Queensland’s effectiveness at engaging with commercial stakeholders (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) (2018)

Social limnology in Central Asia (UTS collaboration grant) (2018-2019)

Limnology – the study of insular bodies of water (such as inland seas and lakes) – is well developed internationally but is almost exclusively focused on scientific research into biological, hydrological and/or chemical aspects. Despite the key roles that insular bodies of water have played in the historical development of societies and cultures (and in political tensions over rights and/or access to these areas), this topic has been largely overlooked. In collaboration with the University of Central Asia, we are developing a research program of social limnology, initially focusing on Kyrgyzstan.

Valuing Coastal Fisheries

Australia’s professional fishing industries are an essential ingredient for maintaining the economic, social and cultural richness of coastal communities. This two-year research study reveals that both social and economic factors must be considered when measuring the value professional fishing delivers to communities.

PNG Beche-de-Mer Fish Chain (2014-2016)

Tropical sea cucumber, called bêche-de-mer (BDM) in its dried form, is a luxury seafood and health food, with its main market in southern China. The objective of this study was to conduct a governance analysis that will assist the National Fisheries Authority of Papua New Guinea and other stakeholders to grasp the factors influencing the effectiveness of a new Management Plan for BDM.

Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Aquaculture 

How do communities benefit from productive sustainable oyster and prawn farms and from some of the new and emerging aquaculture ventures appearing in NSW?

Transnational seafood commodity chains and the coastal poor in the maritime frontiers of the Asia-Pacific. (Australian Research Council) (2014-2017)

This project, funded by the Australian Research Council, examined how access to the benefits of seafood commodity chains in the Philippines is gained and maintained.

The social dynamics of seafood consumption in China (2012-2017)

This project, funded by a Branco Weiss – Society in Science fellowship, exmained the trends, drivers and effects of changing patterns of seafood consumption in China.

Integrating human and environmental dimensions for sustainable fisheries: 

This research applies a range of qualitative and quantitative methods (e.g. bayesian networks) to determine the effectiveness of management systems and policy interventions on achieving environmental, economic and social outcomes. Case studies from Australia and Chile are used to provide an evaluation of  current fisheries management practices and forecast the impact of these systems on people dependent on the resource, regional economies and the environment. Finding  better ways of integrating social and environmental aspects will help users, like fishers, and managers and policy makers to make more transparent, equitable and fair decisions which benefit both marine systems and people.