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 were in environmental politics and the media over 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:

Post graduate (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:

Great Barrier Reef-

  • Governance and the politics of the GBR
  • GBR and communication practices.
  • Advocacy and the media.

Environmental governance and climate change

  • Media representation
  • Gender representation
  • Environmental Advocacy
  • Developing world
  • Pacific Region (inc PNG)

Social Network Analysis, including

  • Social media analysis
  • Political communication
  • Environmental communcation

Discourse and Critical Discourse AnalysisPolitical Science and International Relations with a focus on Indo-Pacific region.

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

Recently Completed Projects

Most Recent Political Commentary in the Media


Community Engagement

Maxine is the convenor of the Ecofeminism, Educators and Climate Change network and symposium, and the Young Diplomats Program (YDP).   YDP is a program that works with year ten students from local school culminating in a Day of Diplomacy, and the Townsville Protocol. (2016). Funded by JCU. 

  • 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)
  • PL2153: International Politics and Foreign Relations (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)
  • PL5153: Politics and Foreign Relations (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • SY4017: Classical Social Theory (Level 4; 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
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 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 - TROPECO - Learning and Teaching Award, Highly Commended for embedding sustainability in teaching and learning activities
  • 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 - Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA)
  • 2018 - Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) and APSA APSA Environmental Politics and Policy Standing Research Group.
  • 2016 - James Cook University's Centre for Research & Innovation in Sustainability Education
  • 2015 to 2019 - The Cairns Institute, JCU, Cairns.

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 47+ 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
$176,500 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 , Secondary 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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