I am an environmental social scientist whose broad area of expertise includes environmental governance, cross-cultural research, and the links between science, policy and practice. I was born in Brazil, where I worked with Indigenous and traditional peoples. My Honours and Masters projects evaluated whether marine protected areas were achieving their environmental and social goals. In 2006 I moved to Spain and England to pursue an Erasmus Mundus Masters in Water and Coastal Management. I have been living in Australia since 2009. My doctoral research at James Cook University involved the identification of social and political factors affecting the uptake of environmental plans by their potential users in Queensland. It included in-depth interviews to government officials, Traditional Owners, landholders, and environmentalists, among others. My post-PhD research included: the social and cultural values of dugongs and marine turtles in Torres Strait, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in research, and the management of marine resources in Fijian fishing villages.
I am currently involved in two projects in the Fitzroy river catchment, located in the Kimberley region, NW Australia:
- Participatory future scenario planning: the project aims to construct and assess the outcomes of alternative development scenarios in collaboration with key stakeholders in the region. Major components of this exercise include exchanging views about development, imagining possible futures and exploring their outcomes. My roles are to (1) Map the benefits that key stakeholders (especially Traditional Owners and pastoralists) associate with natural assets and services in the region; and (2) use these ‘value maps’ to ask stakeholders to assess the positive and negative impacts of these ‘future scenarios’, thereby identifying possible co-benefits and trade-offs between the impacts of different stakeholder groups.
- Transdiciplinary environmental research: Transdisciplinary research is solution-oriented, multidisciplinary and includes participants from outside academia with the aim of increasing the uptake of research results by users. A group of NESP-NAERH projects in the Fitzroy catchment (WA) are adopting a transdisciplinary approach by having water resource management as a common theme, integrating their research processes and outputs and developing strong links with research users. Our project will: use lessons learned from other transdisciplinary projects to enhance the Fitzroy group via formative evaluation, assess the achievement of desired outcomes, contribute to the emerging literature on transdisciplinarity and inform future environmental research.
Links between science, policy and practice.
Transdisciplinary (interdisciplinary + participatory + cross-cultural) research and environmental planning.
Factors affecting research uptake by users, and the impacts of research on society and the environment.
Environmental governance and institutions.
Evaluation of social and environmental initiatives (e.g. protected areas, conservation planning).
Indigenous/traditional livelihoods (especially fishing) and the socio-cultural values of environment.
Interdisciplinary research on complex social-ecological systems.
Fluent in Portuguese
English and Spanish