I am an environmental social scientist, and my research focuses broadly on understanding the interactions between people and marine environments. Specifically, my research seeks to improve livelihood outcomes in vulnerable small-scale fishing communities experiencing social and ecological change. My work to date has centred on three drivers of change currently dominating international policy agendas offering potential avenues for small scale fishing communities to reduce their vulnerability to global threats such as climate change and fisheries decline; tourism, conservation, and small-scale aquaculture. 

My work occurs at the interface of humans and fisheries resources, which means that I tend to work very closely with interdisciplinary teams comprised of natural and social scientists. My research generally has a strong applied element, which means that I prioritize taking measures to ensure the work I produce results in practical, sustainable outcomes for end-users. This necessitates a participatory approach to research, which means that I collaborate closely with local communities, local partners and NGOs, and decision-makers. 

I have diverse international experience, which has allowed me to build a portfolio of comparative research. Following several years working in Central America and the Caribbean during my PhD I held a postdoctoral position in Spain, where I worked mainly in the Mediterranean region. Since I moved to Australia to take up my current position, my research has been mainly in Asia and the Pacific. These include completed projects in Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Ecuador, and current ones in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Australia.

Learn more about the work that my students and I are doign via my Lab Webpage at www.livelihoodslab.com



  • EV3020: Human Dimensions of Nature, Environment and Conservation (Level 3; TSV)
  • EV5020: Human Dimensions of Nature, Environment and Conservation (Level 5; TSV)
  • SC5009: Professional Project (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • SC5900: Special Topic (Level 5; TSV)
  • SC5901: Special Topic 1 (Level 5; TSV)
  • SC5902: Special Topic 2 (Level 5; TSV)
  • SC5903: Literature Review (Level 5; TSV)
  • SC5909: Minor Project and Seminar (Level 5; TSV)
  • SC5912: Minor Project, Seminar and Literature Review (1 of 2) (Level 5; TSV)
  • SC5913: Minor Project, Seminar and Literature Review (2 of 2) (Level 5; TSV)
  • Small-scale fisheries
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Sustainable livelihoods
  • Marine tourism
  • Small-scale aquaculture
  • 2017 to present - Senior Lecturer, College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2013 to 2017 - Lecturer, College of Marine and Environmental Sciences (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2012 - Lecturer, The School for Field Studies (Bocas del Toro, Panama)
  • 2009 to 2012 - Lead Researcher, Division of Strategic Issues and Applications for Society, Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (Spain)
  • 2006 to 2008 - Postdoctoral Researcher, Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (Balearic Islands, Spain)
  • 2002 to 2003 - Doctoral Research Assistant, Coastal Resources Centre, University of Rhode Island (USA)
  • 2001 to 2002 - Program Assistant, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO (Paris, France)
Research Disciplines

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 36+ research outputs authored by Dr Amy Diedrich from 2007 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

ACIAR - Research Grant

Improved productivity and efficiency of the culture based fishery for giant freshwater prawn in Sri Lankan reservoirs.

Indicative Funding
$1,950,000 over 4 years
Productivity of the fisheries resources of Sri Lankan reservoirs has been improved through application of culture based fishery (CFB) practices. In addition to a variety of finfish that serve to provide protein to local communities, the addition of stocked giant freshwater prawn (GFP)-Macrobrachium rosenbergii, has added significant value, due to high market price, 10 times higher than that of finfish. Currently, the GFP are captured as a bycatch to finfish and the stocking practices are ad-hoc, resulting in very low yield per seed prawn stocked. The fishery is managed as a single multi-species fishery, and although the project will focus on research of GFP, some aspects of the research will involve the entire fishery, particularly modelling of stocking and yields. This will provide benefits for production of all species, with an emphasis on enhancement of GFP production through specific research of stocking practices, production dynamics, harvest and socio-economic aspects 0of the fishery and the supply chain.
Clive Jones and Amy Diedrich in collaboration with Asanka Jayasinghe, Dileepa De Croos and Asoka Jayasinghe (College of Science & Engineering, University of Ruhuna Faculty of Science, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka and National Aquaculture Development Authority)
Macrobrachium rosenbergii (Palaemonidae); reservoir fisheries; Aquaculture; culture-based fishery

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Expressions of Interest

Northern Aquaculture Industry Situational Analysis

Indicative Funding
$202,117 over 2 years
This project will identify key challenges and opportunities facing the North Australian aquaculture sector and explore potential solutions and/or identify the most strategic research projects for further investment. This will include and not be limited to: infrastructure, policy, investment, environmental, production, knoweldge, training and human capital gaps and the research or alternative solutions to address them. The project will be delivered through a literature review, development of the 'Northern aquaculture industry vision 2028' in consultation with indigenous and non-indigenous stakholders, desktop study and SWOT analysis, and the situational analysis report.
Dean Jerry, Jennifer Cobcroft, Kyall Zenger, Jan Strugnell, Amy Diedrich, Chaoshu Zeng, Rocky de Nys and Sandra Hughes in collaboration with Matthew Cook, Robert Bell, Jane Lovell, Wayne Hutchinson, Kim Hooper and Jo-Anne Ruscoe (College of Science & Engineering, JCU Singapore, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, Blueshift Consulting, Seafood Industry Australia, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Australian Prawn Farmers Association and Australian Barramundi Farmers Association)
Northern Australia; Aquaculture

QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries - Grant

Survey of users of Cid Harbour regarding shark smart behaviours

Indicative Funding
$40,492 (administered by BioPixel Oceans Foundation Limited)
Project will conduct surveys of tourists and recreational users in Airlie Beach to examine their activities and behaviours, knowledge and awareness of 'shark smart' behaviours. Surveys will also examine local and tourism industry knowledge and preceptions about the history of use and behaviour of tourists and recreational users in the Whitsundays. This project is a rapid response project that has arisen directly from community and industry concerns about recent shark incidents in the Whitsundays. The project team will work closely with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, tourism industry representatives, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and the Local Marine Advisory Committee. JCU is operating under a subcontract from BioPixel Oceans Foundation Limited which won the tender in mid-December 2018.
Amy Diedrich and Andrew Chin (College of Science & Engineering)
Tourism; Safety; Shark; attack

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors - Global Partnership for Sharks & Rays (GPSR)

Maximising outcomes for shark and ray MPAs

Indicative Funding
$740,629 over 2 years
This project will investigate the benefits of using marine protected areas (MPAs) for shark and ray conservation. It will combine work reviewing the current state of knowledge, synthesis or shark and ray movement data to better inform MPA design, identification of socioeconomic factors that affect MPA success, and spatial modelling to identify the areas where MPAs will be of greatest benefit. I will include partnerships with AIMS and Simon Fraser University.
Colin Simpfendorfer and Amy Diedrich in collaboration with Michelle Heupel and Nick K Dulvy (College of Science & Engineering, Australian Institute of Marine Science and Simon Fraser University)
Marine Protected Areas; movement ecology; Shark; Conservation Planning; ray; Spatial Planning

ACIAR - Research Grant

FIS/2013/015 Sustainable Management of Sport Fisheries for Communities in Papua New Guinea

Indicative Funding
$709,131 over 5 years
The project aims to conduct the ecological, fisheries, social, business and tourism research needed to develop a viable local-based sport fishery for Black Bass in Papua New Guinea that can provide alternative livelihoods for local people.
Marcus Sheaves, Jacob Wani, Ronnie Baker, Adam Barnett, Amy Diedrich, Murray Prideaux and Katya Abrantes in collaboration with Dean Jerry, Alf Kuilboer, Gianna Moscardo, Anne Swinbourne, Leban Gisawa, Peter Vincent, Jason Yip, Riccard Reimann and Ian Middleton (College of Science & Engineering, National Fisheries Authority, Papua New Guinea, College of Business, Law & Governance, College of Healthcare Sciences, Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority, National Department of Health (PNG), Baia Sport Fishing and Ok Tedi Development Foundation)
Fish; Ecosystems; Sport Fishing; Estuary; Livelihoods; Food Security

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Conservation Targeting and Prioritization in the Prairie Pothole Region (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The Impact of Fisheries Interactions on the Foraging Behaviour of Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins (Sousa plumbea) along the Sindhudurg Coast of Maharashtra, India (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Understanding the social dynamics of tilapia pond aquaculture in a rural developing pacific islands context (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Local people, nature-based tourism and protected areas in Nepal (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Territorial use rights in small-scale fisheries management and the role of collective governance for sustainable fisheries in Botswana (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • A holistic approach to shark fisheries science and management: The role of contempory indigenous knowledge (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Maximising potential impact of Marine Protected Area placement: an integrated socioeconomic perspective. (PhD , Primary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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