Jacqui is a post-doctoral research fellow with the Australia Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and WorldFish. Her research examines issues of justice and climate change resilience in small-scale fisheries and coastal communities in the Pacific.

Previously, Jacqui studied sociology at the Australian National University (2012), and an MPhil in Environment, Society and Development at the University of Cambridge (2014). During her MPhil she studied the role of identity in an artisanal oyster fishery in The Gambia, which inspired her to pursue a PhD in environmental social science at James Cook University (2019). Under the supervision of Joshua Cinner, Christina Hicks, and Georgina Gurney, her PhD project investigated the multiple values of ecosystem services and environmental justice in coastal communities in Papua New Guinea. 

Current Research Projects

·      Climate Change Resilient Small-Scale Fisheries, part of the CGIAR Research Program on Fish

·      Understanding moral principles in resource management and conservation

·      Gender and climate change


Grantham, R., Lau, J. & Kleiber, D. 2020. Gleaning: Beyond the Subsistence Narrative. Journal of Maritime Studies.

Barnes, M., Wang, P., Cinner, J., Graham, N., Guerrero, A., Jasny. L., Lau, J., Sutcliffe, S., Zamborain-Mason, J. 2020. ‘Social determinants of adaptive and transformative responses to climate change’. Nature Climate Change.

Lau, J. 2020. Three Lessons for Gender Equity in Biodiversity Conservation. Conservation Biology (in press)

Cinner, J., Lau, J., et al. 2020. Sixteen years of social and ecological dynamics reveal challenges and opportunities for adaptive management in sustaining the commons. PNAS. 116 (52), 26474-26483

Lau, J., Cinner, J., Fabinyi, M., Gurney, G. & Hicks, C. 2020. Access to Marine Ecosystem Services: Examining Entanglement and Legitimacy in Customary Institutions. World Development. 126: 104730

Lau, J., Hicks, C., Gurney., G & Cinner, J. 2019. What matters to whom and why? Understanding the importance of coastal ecosystem services in developing coastal communities. Ecosystem Services 35:219-230

Lau, J., Hicks, C., Gurney., G & Cinner, J. 2018. Disaggregating ecosystem service values and priorities by wealth, age, and education. Ecosystem Services 28:91-98

Cinner, J., Adger, W., Allison, E., Barnes, M., Brown, K., Cohen, P., Gelcich, S., Hicks, C., Hughes, T., Lau, J., Marshall, N. & Morrison, T. 2018. Building adaptive capacity to climate change in tropical coastal communities. Nature Climate Change 8:117-123

Lau, J. & Scales, I. 2016. Identity, subjectivity and natural resource use: How ethnicity, gender and class intersect to influence mangrove oyster harvesting in The Gambia. Geoforum 69 (1):136-146

  • The socio-cultural dimensions of coastal resource use in developing communities. Coastal ecosystems support the livelihoods, food security and wellbeing of millions of people worldwide, but are particularly vulnerable to climate and other environmental change.
  • Gaps and critiques of ecosystem services; now a dominant paradigm for investigating how people derive wellbeing from ecosystems. Ecosystem services have been critiqued for over-emphasizing the availability of services as a proxy for benefits, and thus missing the socially-stratified ways that people value, access and coproduce ecosystem services.
  • Theoretical and methodological approaches to normative judgements and evaluations in relation to fisheries management, development and conservation. Normative judgements encompass evaluations of what is right and wrong, fair or unfair, what constitutes flourishing and suffering and thus what ought or ought not to happen or be done.
  • 2017 - Casual Officer, CSIRO, Dept. of Land and Water (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
  • 2020 - Glenn Almany Memorial Prize for research beyond traditional academic boundaries, ARC COE in Coral Reef Studies
  • 2020 - Dean’s Award for High Degree by Research Excellence, James Cook University
  • 2019 - A MARE best student paper award
  • 2018 - Crawford Award
  • 2018 - International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) best student talk award
  • 2012 - Vice Chancellor's letter of commendation, The Australian National University
  • 2011 - Vice Chancellor's letter of commendation, The Australian National University

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.

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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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