Latest Book: Environmental Activism and the Media: the Politics of Protest (Peter Lang Academic) is now available.

Profile: Dr Maxine Newlands (BA (Hons), MA, PhD, FHEA) is a Senior lecturer in Political Science and International Relations in the School of Social Science at JCU. Her PhD studies in environmental politics and the media were conducted in the UK, and she moved to Australia and JCU shortly after finishing her doctoral studies (2013). Before entering academia, Maxine was a broadcast journalist with the BBC and commercial radio. She continues to write for the Ecologist magazine, and is a regular political commentator for Australian and international media.

Maxine is a Research Associate at the University of Queensland's Centre for Policy Futures, a Research Fellow at the Cairns Institute and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Current Research Projects:

  • Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), a project mapping stakeholder engagement, governance, and media and sentiment analysis of reef restoration.
  • CSIRO Townsville and the College of Business, Governance and Law on environmental communication and the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Creative Ecologies project.
  • With colleagues at UPNG on gender, climate change and governance in PNG.

Postgraduate (PhD, MA) or Honours inquiries: Maxine currently supervises three fulltime PhD candidates. If you are interested in studying for a Master or PhD with Maxine, she specialises in the following areas:

Environmental governance and climate change

  • Reefs, governance and policy.
  • Great Barrier Reef and communication practices.
  • The role of advocacy and the media in environmental governance and policy.
  • Coral Reef Restoration

 Social Network Analysis

  • Social media analysis
  • Political communication
  • Environmental communication
  • Discourse and Critical Discourse Analysis

I am also interested in supervising studies on the politics of gender representation in the developing world with a focus on the Pacific region.

Please contact Maxine or the JCU  Graduate Research School for further information. Honours studies can start in either February or August.

 Recently Completed Projects

Interviews and commentary in the media  (most recent)

 See google news for more media commentary with Maxine.

 Community Engagement

  • PL1001: The Political World: An Introduction to Political Science (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • PL2006: Political Communication in the Global Environment (Level 2; TSV)
  • PL2110: Government and Politics in Developing Areas (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • PL3003: Democracy and the State (Level 3; TSV)
  • PL3250: Australia and World Politics (Level 3; CNS & TSV)
  • PL4002: Theory and Method in Political Science (Level 4; CNS & TSV)
  • PL5110: Shifting Geopolitical Environments in Emerging States (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • Maxine was the Project Manager and lead investigator for the Townsville 150 Old and the News exhibition (Feb 2016 - Jan 2017) at the Museum of Tropical Queensland.
  • Maxine is interested in social media analysis, social netwrok analysis and discourse analysis. She has conducted consultation work for the Bureau of Meteorology on best practice for social media strategies. Please contact Maxine to discuss consultation works.
  • Maxine's research focuses -Political Ecology -Political Communciation -Environmental journalism -environmental politics and governance - radical politics and protest movements ; and Media discourse and the Great Barrier Reef. - Gender disparity in the developing world. Maxine's methodological approaches centers on critical discourse analysis, discourse analysis, focus groups, content analysis and empirical research. Maxine's monograph 'Environmental Activism and the Media: the Politics of Protest' (Peter Lang Publishers, forthcoming)
  • 2015 to 2022 - Research Fellow, Cairns Institute (Cairns, Qld.)
  • 2016 to 2018 - Editor (Reviews), Journal of Environmental Education (Aus.)
  • 2015 - Visiting Academic, National University of Samoa (Apia, Samoa)
  • 2010 to 2014 - Fellow, London East Research Institue (London, UK)
Research Disciplines
  • 2017 - 3 Minute Thesis: Early Career Researcher. JCU/ DTES Runner up
  • 2016 - TropEco Leadership & Governance - Highly Commended for EfECC Symposium.
  • 2014 - TROPECO - Research Award Highly Commended for outstanding research activities that contributes to a more sustainable society and environment.
  • 2014 - Overall Winner - TROPECO Excellence award for Outstanding contribution to sustainability at JCU and in the wider community
  • 2016 to 2017 - Scholarship- Australian Higher Education Sector Leadership Colloquium; Australian School of Applied Management.
  • 2016 - New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant ($110,000) over two years, working with colleagues in Samoa.
  • 2014 - Winner: Division of Tropical Environment & Societies Three Minute Thesis Competition ECR category
  • 2010 - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK.
  • 2018 to 2023 - Research Associate at the University of Queensland's Centre for Policy Futures
  • 2015 to 2018 - Visiting Fellow, Media and Journalism, National University of Samoa
  • 2010 to 2014 - London East Research Institute (LERI)
  • 2018 - International Political Science Association (IPSA)
  • 2018 - Australian Coral Reef Society
  • 2018 - Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) and APSA Environmental Politics and Policy Standing Research Group.
  • 2018 - Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA)

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
Book Chapters
Other research outputs

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 48+ research outputs authored by Dr Maxine Newlands from 2008 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science - Contract Research

Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program Design Phase

Indicative Funding
$246,500 over 2 years (administered by AIMS)
The RRAP Design Phase seeks to deliver a business case for government, industry and private investment, the primary objective of which is to develop reef restoration and adaptation technologies that can be applied at scale, within affordability and practicality limits, to retain key functional attributes of the Great Barrier Reef. This project will contribute JCU expertise to evaluating coral restoration methods, undertaking regulatory and institutional environment mapping required for restoration to occur and an analysis of the viewpoints and engagement of stakeholders in reef restoration.
Ian McLeod, Maxine Newlands and Stewart Lockie (TropWATER, College of Arts, Society & Education and Cairns Institute)
Great Barrier Reef; Reef Restoration

QLD Department of Science, Information, Technology and Innovation - Advance Queensland Women's Academic Fund

Eco-Feminism, Educators and Climate Change Symposium

Indicative Funding
Eco-feminism, Educators and Climate Change will promote the research of Queensland women in the sciences. This one day symposiu7m is a celebration of leading female Tertiary educators and researchers in the field of climate change. The symposium will bring together a range of researchers from education, sciences and social sciences to share different ways of communicating and sharing knowledge about climate change. Speakers include Emeritus Professor Annette Gough (RMIT) and Associate Professor, Hilary Whitehouse (JCU).
Maxine Newlands (College of Arts and Society & Education)
Eco feminism; Governance; Queensland; Climate Change; Education; Sciences

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.

  • Defining Nannagogy: Investigating Older Women’s Environmental Citizenship Learning through the Experiences of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Assessing the Impact of Patron-Client Politics on Corruption within the Civil Service and Governance System in Papua New Guinea: The Citizens' Perception (Masters , Primary Advisor)
  • When do Scientists become Advocates? The Blurred line between Science and Advocacy and the Role of Social Media (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Living Nature: Western Thinking and the Experience of Nature in the United States and in Australia in the 21st Century (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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  • 4.104, Social Sciences (Townsville campus)
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