About

Associate Professor, Chief Investigator, Program 1 Leader and Social Science Research Leader

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

Background

I grew up in Queensland, Australia. I completed a PhD on complex environmental governance in the USA and Australia in 2004, supported by a highly competitive Land and Water Australia scholarship at The University of Queensland and a visiting fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research focuses on improving how society governs complex environmental change. My interest in complex environmental governance began in 1996 while working on the first CSIRO experiment in regional environmental governance, an experiment fundamentally challenged by hidden political-economic dynamics. From 2004-2008 I taught in the Master of Public Administration program while tenured faculty in the School of Political and International Studies at Flinders University. In 2005, I was awarded a visiting Fellowship at the University of Kyoto, where I became interested in the complex governance challenge of climate adaptation. During 2008-2014 I held an ARC Super Science Fellowships grant, where I focused on developing integrated governance solutions for sea level rise. This project which was profiled by The Australian newspaper (2 November 2011) as in the top 10 of innovative collaborative Australian research projects.  Throughout this time, I was tenured faculty in the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management at The University of Queensland. I joined the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies as tenured Social Science Research Leader and co-leader of the People and Ecosystems Program in 2015. Since then, I have developed a major new research program on multiscale governance of climate adaptation and conflict in large-scale reef systems. In 2017, a BAFTA-awarded BBC documentary producer interviewed me about my work on the complex governance of the Great Barrier Reef. A two-part documentary Costing the Earth was aired on the BBC in early 2018.

Morrison Complex Environmental Governance Research Group

Our research program combines the disciplines of political science and geography to understand and improve the design of complex environmental governance regimes.  We work closely with a range of physical, natural, and social scientists and policymakers on inter-disciplinary approaches to environmental governance problems. Our social science capacity and competitiveness is underpinned by an international research program, involving co-tutelle PhD supervision and co-appointed postdoctoral fellowships, with colleagues at Exeter University, Stockholm University, WorldFish, and the University of Queensland.

Our current research is centred around three questions.

Hidden political-economic drivers in complex regimes: Global sustainability depends on better understanding and implementation of complex environmental governance regimes. However, current understanding is typically limited to snapshot analyses of the initial design or the emergent structure of complex regimes. To meet this challenge, we are focusing not only on the structure of regimes but also on systematically examining internal and external socio-political drivers in environmental governance. Recent results have been published in journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and WIREs Climate Change, and cited in major policy reviews such as the 2017 Review of Governance of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Our main aim is to uncover hidden levers for improving the design, implementation and robustness of complex environmental governance regimes. This program involves a diverse array of collaborators from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, University of Michigan, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Exeter, University of Melbourne, Lancaster University, McGill University, WorldFish and WWF.

Governing through power asymmetry and complexity: The problems of resource-dependent regions include globally uneven power relations and development patterns, and rapid and uncertain exogenous threats. At the same time, economic and social restructuring involving devolved planning responsibilities, privatised resource rights, and networked management approaches are undermining previous scientific and policy assumptions about the resilience of resource-dependent regions. We already know that multiscale institutions play a critical role in ensuring the resilience and resourcefulness of regions in the face of such challenges. We do not yet understand why some regions are resilient while others strain or even paralyse under conditions of inequity, complexity, uncertainty, and unpredictability. Our early contributions to this field emerge out of conducting empirical research on policy and administration in the USA and Australia, focusing on the role of scale in governance. Our more recent work has involved the development of a Regional Governance Index for assessing the institutional potential of regions. This has led to new cross-national projects analysing the governance of governance (‘meta-governance’) in governing through power asymmetry and complexity. By focusing on scale and power asymmetry, we are providing an important counterpoint to the ‘bottom-up bias’ in sustainability science. See new papers in Journal of Rural Studies and American Review of Public Administration here.

Governance in the Anthropocene. This dimension of our research is concerned with the feasibility of different institutional designs to respond to chronic conflict and cumulative impacts of multiple environmental threats, such as global climate change, coastal development and over-fishing. In four recent and highly influential Reviews (in Nature, WIRES Climate Change, Nature Climate Change and Ecosystems), we identified several key challenges associated with governing large scale SESs under climate change. Future research will continue this work by developing a robust framework for understanding complex environmental governance under climate change, providing a more rigorous basis for understanding the effects of complexity and change on socio-ecological systems. New findings demonstrate that current governance interventions fail comprehensively for large scale SESs under climate change, highlighting the need for a more forward-looking understanding of the governance of socio-ecological change incorporating complex exogenous, cumulative and feedback dynamics. See our new paper on marine fisheries and future ocean conflict in Fish and Fisheries.

Interests
Research
  • 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).
Experience
  • 2015 to present - Associate Professor, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2008 to 2015 - Senior Lecturer, Founding Director - Environmental Governance Research Group, Geography, Planning and Environment, University of Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 2004 to 2008 - Lecturer, Political and International Studies, Flinders University (Adelaide)
  • 2000 to 2004 - PhD, Geographical Sciences and Planning, The University of Queensland (Brisbane)
Honours
Other
  • 2018 - Editorial Board, Earth System Governance
  • 2017 - Scientific Management Committee, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  • 2016 - Expert Assessor, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in Political Science
  • 2016 - Steering Committee, UQ Network of Environmental Social Scientists, University of Queensland
  • 2015 - Adjunct Fellow, School of Geography, Planning & Environmental Management, University of Queensland
  • 2012 - Adjunct Professor, University of Oregon Institute for Policy Research and Innovation
  • 2012 - Member, Australian Academy of Science Stressed Ecosystems Implementation Committee
  • 2011 - Expert Assessor, Australian Research Council
  • 2016 to 2021 - Chief Investigator, ACIAR Research Grant - Regional Governance of Fisheries, $180,000
  • 2018 to 2020 - Participating Investigator, US SESYNC Award
  • 2017 to 2020 - Chief Investigator, ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies, $28,000,000
  • 2014 to 2015 - Ambassadorial Fellow, Regional Studies Association
  • 2013 to 2014 - University of Queensland, Career Progression for Women Program
  • 2013 to 2014 - Participating Investigator, US SESYNC Award
  • 2010 to 2014 - Chief Investigator, Australian Research Council Super Science Fellowships, $837,000
  • 2012 - Universitas 21, Early Career Researcher Award
  • 2009 to 2012 - Chief Investigator, University of Queensland Early Career Researcher Award, $20,500
  • 2011 - Rapporteur, Australian Academy of Sciences Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank
  • 2005 - Chief Investigator, Japan Foundation Fellowship Award, $12,000
  • 2001 to 2003 - Honorary Fellow, Department of Urban and Regional Planning & School of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin- Madison
Publications

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
More

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 60+ 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
Summary
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.
Investigators
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)
Keywords
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)
Summary
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.
Investigators
Tiffany Morrison in collaboration with Philippa Cohen (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Keywords
Governance; Pacific; Scale; Regional; Fisheries; Community-based
Supervision

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.

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

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)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:
jcu.me/tiffany.morrison

Email
Phone
Location
Advisory Accreditation
Advisor Mentor
Find me on…
Icon for Google Scholar profile Icon for ORCID profile Icon for ResearchGate profile Icon for Scopus Author page Icon for ResearcherID page Icon for NLA Trove People record Icon for Twitter profile page

Similar to me

  1. Prof Marcus Lane
    College of Science & Engineering
  2. Dr Maxine Newlands
    College of Arts, Society & Education
  3. A/Prof Aduli Malau-Aduli
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences
  4. Prof Allan Dale
    Cairns Institute
  5. Prof Terry Hughes
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies