Please go to my ARC CoE Coral Reef Studies page to see the full list of my publications

As a political geographer (PhD, University of Queensland), I draw on the disciplines of political science, public administration, geography, and sociology to understand and improve the design of complex and multi-scalar environmental governance regimes. My approach is based on the development of an empirical database of specific national cases and transnational trends across the US, Australia, and Asia. This systematic comparative approach has generated important contributions to governance theory and practice, particularly in the area of decentralisation, regionalisation and risk. I also work closely with a range of physical, natural, and social scientists and policymakers on inter-disciplinary approaches to environmental governance problems.

My current research program centres around two main themes:

(1)    Basic theory of environmental governance. My principal theoretical contributions to this field emerge out of conducting empirical research on policy and administration in the USA, Australia, and Asia, and focus on the role of inter-agency arrangements, the use of science and stakeholders in decision-making and assessment and planning, and the role of scale in governance. My most recent work has involved the development of a Regional Governance Index for assessing the institutional potential of regions. This has led to a new cross-national project analysing the role of environmental and economic institutions and policy in shaping regional ecosystems, and further theoretical exploration of the governance of governance (‘meta-governance’).

(2) Applied studies of environmental governance. This dimension of my research is concerned with the feasibility of different institutional designs to respond to contemporary environmental issues, such as climate variability and unplanned coastal development. I am particularly interested in how different institutional designs deal with socio-ecological dynamics and the science-policy interface. As a chief investigator on a recent ARC Super Science Fellowship award, I co-lead a team of geographers, planners, economists, lawyers and ecologists on a multi-disciplinary approach to defining and solving the problems and impacts posed by sea level rise, a project which was profiled by The Australian newspaper (2 November 2011) as in the top 10 of innovative collaborative Australian research projects. Key results include papers on dealing with scientific uncertainty in policy, and on transformation of governance systems to deal with heightened risk.

At JCU, I co-lead a social science team and program of research in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

  • Basic theory of environmental governance, planning, and management (drawing on empirical research on policy and administration in the USA, Australia, and Asia focusing on the role of inter-agency arrangements, the use of science and stakeholders in decision-making and assessment and planning, and the role of scale).
  • Applied environmental governance, planning, and management (concerned with the feasibility of different institutional designs to respond to contemporary environmental issues - such as climate variability and unplanned coastal development - through manipulating socio-ecological dynamics and the science-policy interface).
  • 2015 - Adjunct Fellow, The University of Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 2013 to 2015 - Network of Environmental Social Scientists Co-Convenor (Founding), The University of Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 2012 to 2015 - Adjunct Professor, University of Oregon (Eugene)
  • 2008 to 2015 - Senior Lecturer, Founding Director - Environmental Governance Research Group, The University of Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 2004 to 2008 - Lecturer, Flinders University (Adelaide)
  • 2013 to 2014 - US SESYNC Award (Participating Investigator)
  • 2010 to 2014 - Australian Research Council Super Science Fellowships Grant, $837,000 (only non-professorial grantee)
  • 2012 - Universitas 21 Early Career Researcher Award
  • 2009 to 2012 - University of Queensland Early Career Researcher Grant
  • 2005 - Japan Foundation Fellowship
  • 2014 to 2015 - Regional Studies Association Australian Ambassador
  • 2011 - Australian Academy of Sciences Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank Rapporteur

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

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 54+ research outputs authored by Dr Tiffany Morrison from 2001 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Research Council - Centres of Excellence

ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies

Indicative Funding
$28,000,000 over 7 years
The overarching aim of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies is to provide the scientific knowledge necessary for sustaining ecosystem goods and services of the world's coral reefs, which support the livelihoods and food security of millions of people in the tropics. The Centre will enhance Australia's global leadership in coral reef science through three ambitious research programs addressing the future of coral reefs and their ability to adapt to change. A key outcome of the research will be providing tangible benefits to all Australians by bui8lding bridges between the natural and social sciences, strengthening capacity, and informing and supporting transformative changes in coral reef governance and management.
Terry Hughes, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Malcolm McCulloch, Peter Mumby, Sean Connolly, John Pandolfi, Bob Pressey, Andrew Baird, David Bellwood, Joshua Cinner, Sophie Dove, Maja Adamska, Mia Hoogenboom, Geoff Jones, Mike Kingsford, Ryan Lowe, Mark McCormick, David Miller, Philip Munday, Morgan Pratchett, Garry Russ and Tiffany Morrison in collaboration with Janice Lough, David Wachenfeld, Stephen Palumbi, Serge Planes and Philippa Cohen (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, The University of Queensland, The University of Western Australia, College of Science & Engineering, Australian National University, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Stanford University, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and WorldFish)
coral reef ecosystems; Climate Change Adaptation; ecological resilience; biodiversity goods and services; social-ecological dynamics

ACIAR - Research Grant

Regional Governance of Fisheries

Indicative Funding
$180,000 over 5 years (administered by WorldFish Center)
This project uses a multi-scale governance framework to understand and improve governance of fisheries, potentially through scaling-up community-based resource management ()CBRM) of small-scale fisheries in the Pacific. The postdoctoral fellow appointed will work alongside a JCU and WorldFish team working on multiscalar governance theory, and with regional authorities (eg the Secretariat of the Pacific Community) and national governments (eg Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu). Outputs will include high impact journal articles and policy briefings. The project will result in a more nuanced understanding of the role of CBRM, meta-governance, and scale in achieving resilient resource-dependent communities and regions.
Tiffany Morrison in collaboration with Philippa Cohen (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Governance; Pacific; Scale; Regional; Fisheries; Community-based

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.

  • Diffusion of Gear-based Conservation Innovation in Coral Reef Fisheries (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Understanding ecosystem service choices made by individual actors and their implications for social--ecological interactions (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Power and Participation in Seascape Conservation in the Anthropocene: How are new Governance Models Turning the Tide? (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)
  • Navigating International Conflicts in the Governance of Shared Stocks (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)
  • Assessing and orchestrating complex meta-norm diffusion in natural resource governance (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)

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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