Researcher biography

Natalie is an applied anthropologist that is dedicated to advancing the role of social science in agriculture and natural resource management within interdisciplinary teams. Her research interests involve understanding how people perceive and interact with environmental systems.

Natalie has established a strong track record in applying cognitive constructs, including mental models and values, to explore how people make sense of and relate to their environment, particularly in relation to water resources. She has an interest in designing and implementing participatory processes to support decision-making.

She is currently leading the social component of an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research project in Fiji which aims to develop a value chain for converting senile coconut trees into engineered wood products. This will reduce reliance on native forest harvesting, provide new income opportunities for landholders and make more productive use of agricultural landscapes.

Natalie has conducted applied social science research within a number of interdisciplinary teams involving governments, research organisations, non-governmental organisations and Indigenous groups. She has published more than 25 academic papers and book chapters.

Natalie is a Senior Lecturer within the School of the Environment. Prior to taking up her position at UQ, Natalie was a Researcher at the Australian National University working in the Resource Management of the Asia Pacific Program. This involved working as a social scientist in an international collaboration with CIRAD – Agricultural Research for Development, to evaluate 34 participatory modelling projects globally. She has undertaken consultancies with various natural resource management groups within Australia, including Healthy Land and Water and Seqwater.