No photo of Emma Ligtermoet

Emma Ligtermoet


  • The University of Western Australia (M087), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 52 Citations
  • 5 h-Index
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Emma is a geographer interested in human-environment interactions. She is particularly drawn to understanding how histories of environmental change shape people’s contemporary relations with aquatic environments. Emma recently completed her PhD in Indigenous natural and cultural resource management and climate change adaptation, through the Fenner School of Environment and Society, ANU.

Prior to her PhD, Emma worked as a freshwater scientist, in river health research with the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge program at Charles Darwin University (Northern Territory), and in environmental management of the Swan-Canning Estuary with the Western Australian Government. She has university teaching experience in geography and environmental science units. Emma has also undertaken field research training in Sabah, Malaysia, with the Tropical Biology Association, and spent a year working in wildlife conservation and supervising honours students in Laos, as an Australian Volunteer for Development. Her honours research examined land use change and water catchment management with remote sensing in Malaysian Borneo.


Emma has research interests spanning geography, environmental history, Indigenous studies, freshwater ecology and conservation science. During the course of her PhD research, Emma carried out extensive field work in the coastal floodplain region of Kakadu National Park and West Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia. This freshwater floodplain region holds significant cultural and ecological values, however, it is vulnerable to transformation and loss with climate change. Emma worked closely with Aboriginal land owners, residents and rangers to understand local perspectives on adaptation pathways and to identify ways of supporting freshwater customary harvesting practices in the context of future environmental change.

Roles and responsibilities

My current research role contributes to understanding the social, cultural and biodiversity benefits of urban greening, as part of the National Environmental Science Programme's Clean Air and Urban Landscape Hub. As urban density increases, attention is turning to the contribution that informal, ‘in between’ open spaces in our built environment might make, to our social and environmental health. Informal urban greenspaces includes, for example, street verges and streetscapes and the riparian areas associated with the urban hydrological networks. My research examines the perspectives of a diverse stakeholder set regarding the role of these informal urban greenspaces in providing ecosystem services, in the Perth metropolitan region. This research will contribute to policy development and recommendations for the management of these areas in Australian cities.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD (submitted) Human Geography, Australian National University

BSc (Hons1) Environmental Science and Conservation Biology, Murdoch University


  • Indigenous natural and cultural resource management
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Indigenous knowledge systems
  • Management of aquatic systems
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Cross-cultural research methods
  • Sustainable livelihoods
  • Seasonal calendars

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2009 2018

  • 52 Citations
  • 5 h-Index
  • 7 Article
  • 1 Other output
5 Citations (Scopus)

An integrated risk-assessment framework for multiple threats to floodplain values in the Kakadu Region, Australia, under a changing climate

Bayliss, P., Finlayson, C. M., Innes, J., Norman-López, A., Bartolo, R., Harford, A., Pettit, N. E., Humphrey, C. L., Van Dam, R., Dutra, L. X. C., Woodward, E., Ligtermoet, E., Steven, A., Chariton, A. & Williams, D. K., 1 Jan 2018, In : Marine and Freshwater Research. 69, 7, p. 1159-1185 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

risk assessment process
Introduced Species
invasive species
8 Citations (Scopus)
cultural values
6 Citations (Scopus)

Understanding climate-change adaptation on Kakadu National Park, using a combined diagnostic and modelling framework: A case study at Yellow Water wetland

Dutra, L. X. C., Bayliss, P., McGregor, S., Christophersen, P., Scheepers, K., Woodward, E., Ligtermoet, E. & Melo, L. F. C., 1 Jan 2018, In : Marine and Freshwater Research. 69, 7, p. 1146-1158 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Climate Change
Oceans and Seas
sea level
5 Citations (Scopus)
indigenous peoples
15 Citations (Scopus)

Organizational drivers that strengthen adaptive capacity in the coastal zone of Australia

Dutra, L. X. C., Bustamante, R. H., Sporne, I., van Putten, I., Dichmont, C. M., Ligtermoet, E., Sheaves, M. & Deng, R. A., 1 Jun 2015, In : Ocean and Coastal Management. 109, p. 64-76 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

coastal zone
natural resource management
climate change
resource management