117: Coral reefs and collaborative science with Joshua Cinner

In this episode, Stefan speaks with Joshua Cinner.

Josh is a distinguished professor in the social sciences at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, and is one of world’s leading researchers on human-environment interactions in fisheries, marine conservation and coral reef systems. His research brings together a wide range of social science disciplines including human geography, common property, anthropology, and conservation policy. He often works closely with ecologists on interdisciplinary research topics. Increasingly, his research is moving beyond the case study approach toward a ‘big picture’ comparative exploration of human-environment interactions. This includes work with coastal peoples in the Pacific Islands, South East Asia, East Africa, and the Caribbean, to better understand how socioeconomic factors influence the ways in which people use, perceive, and govern coral reefs.

In our conversation, Josh explains his origin story connecting to marine systems, his research on coral bright spots and ambitions to continue large scale comparative analyses of human-nature interactions in fisheries. He also explains his approach to collaborative project design and implementation, and how he navigates the social networks of science and science management.

Josh’s JCU page


Josh’s Google Scholar page


Publication link: Bright spots on the world’s coral reefs


Publications link: 

Sixteen years of social and ecological dynamics reveal challenges and opportunities for adaptive management in sustaining the commons | PNAS