Julian Clifton

Dr, BA Hull, PhD Liv.

  • The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile

Future research

I would welcome applications for research supervision from students interested in analysing marine conservation policy and practice within Australia and overseas.
I would also welcome inquiries from students with a broad interest in natural resource management policies, institutions and processes.

Funding overview

Fisheries Research Development Corporation: CI on an AUD353,000 grant entitled 'Enhancing the understanding of the value provided to fisheries by man-made aquatic structures' led by Prof Euan Harvey (Curtin), with fellow CI's Prof Fran Ackermann (Curtin), Prof Michael Burton (UWA), Dr Carmen Elrick-Barr (UWA), Dr Johanna Zimmerhackel (UWA) and Georgie Hill (Curtin).

UWA: Lead organiser of a $19,910 Reseach Impact Growth Grant entitled 'Leveraging the Indonesia-Australia Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation' with Prof Erika Techera, Prof Malcolm McCulloch and Dr Jade Lindley.

Australian Government New Colombo Plan: AUD65,000 awarded in 2016 via a consortium with Murdoch University to support student placements within Indonesia from 2017-2020.

Australian Government AsiaBound programme: AUD21,500 awarded to support undergraduate residential fieldwork in 2014.

UWA/UQ Bilateral Research Collaboration Award: AUD19,000 awarded October 2011 for project entitled 'Stateless stakeholders: facilitating participatory governance in the Coral Triangle', with Dr Wolfram Dressler (UQ); Dr Greg Acciaioli (UWA) and Dr Sarinda Singh (UQ)

Previous positions

2007-date: Lecturer / Senior Lecturer, University of Western Australia
1997-2007: Lecturer / Senior Lecturer, University of Portsmouth, UK

Current projects

Current PhD supervision

Amorisa Wiwatri: The Indonesian diaspora across the Celebes Sea: citizenship, negotiation and identity.

PhD completions

Rusianti Amat Sugio: Food security and marine resource management in Karimunjawa National Park, Indonesia PhD awarded May 2020

Kendra Travaille: The influence of fishery attributes on governing fishery social-ecological system transitions: insights from two Caribbean spiny lobster fishery improvement projects [in collaboration with Stanford University] PhD awarded Mar 2020

Asha McNeill: Applying sustainable livelihood concepts to Australian marine protected areas. PhD awarded Nov 2019

Maria Jose Gonzalez-Bernat: Living with our backs to the sea: understanding marine and coastal governance in Guatemala. PhD awarded October 2018

Gracie Verde Selva: Can ecological fiscal transfers contribute to conservation and wellbeing? An examination of local interactions in the Atlantic forest region of Brazil. PhD awarded November 2018

Michelle Walker Pyke: How can Indigenous customary knowledge inform understanding of eawarded Mar 2020cological change and enhance the care of freshwater places on the Dampier Peninsula? PhD awarded September 2017.

Genevieve Simpson: Analysing social acceptance of renewable energy policy in Australia: community, industry and government perceptions of residential solar energy PhD awarded March 2017.

Andrew Hill: Factors contributing to the establishment of marine protected areas in Australia PhD awarded July 2014.

Rita Costa Abecasis: The human dimensions of marine protected area establishment in remote island settings: a case study in the Archipelago of the Azores. PhD awarded November 2013.

Emily Ogier: Island-based tourism: governance and use of natural resources at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. PhD awarded June 2013.

Together with colleagues from University College London and Dalhousie University, I have co-edited two Special Issues of Marine Policy exploring case studies of marine protected area governance. These are available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/marine-policy/vol/41 and https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/marine-policy/vol/127/suppl/C
Further details of this project are available at http://mpag.info

Teaching overview

I co-ordinate and deliver material in the following units:

  • Climate Change: Environment and Society (GEOG1106). This unit is delivered with colleagues from Archaeology and examines the impacts of climate change on society and environment over a variety of timescales.
  • Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation (GEOG3308). This unit examines processes of policy formulation, negotiation and outcomes with respect to climate change. It focuses in particular on understanding how strategies of mitigation and adaptation are devised and implemented at the local, national and international scales.
  • Protected Area Conservation and Management (GEOG5006). This new unit for 2022 examines protected areas through a political ecology lens, exploring their role in conservation, their financing and the effects of protected areas on local communities. 

I co-ordinate an overseas residential fieldwork unit GEOG2204 titled International Fieldwork in Geography. This unit runs regular and varied fieldwork trips to explore aspects of development, urbanisation and conservation in contrasting settings led by various colleagues in Geography. Previous destinations and fieldwork leaders include the USA (Prof Tonts), Barcelona (Drs Maginn and Pauli), Spain (Dr Pauli), Germany and Austria (Drs Mouat and Leopold) and Japan (Drs Martinus, Hipsey and Callow). I have led the fieldwork on two occasions to Bali in 2014 and 2016. It is anticipated that this unit will run again in 2022/23.


My principal research interests lie in processes of interaction and conflict between local user groups and conservation policy-makers in the marine environment. I have a longstanding focus on marine protected area institutions and governance in Indonesia, where conservation policy reflects a complex interaction between international NGOs, national and local government and various local stakeholders. My research interests have recently extended to include evaluations of vulnerability to climate change in fishing communities of the Seychelles along with similar studies of adaptation and resilience in Australian coastal communities. I am also developing a research programme focusing on the potential for community-based tourism development in coastal regions of Myanmar.


Conversational French and beginners Indonesian

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Research expertise keywords

  • Marine conservation
  • Marine national parks
  • Marine planning
  • Marine policy
  • Environment in Indonesia and Southeast Asia
  • Small island development and conservation
  • Local communities and natural resource management


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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