Dr Christopher Cvitanovic

HDR Convenor

Dr Chris Cvitanovic is an environmental social scientist working to improve the relationship between science, policy and practice to enable evidence-informed decision-making for sustainable ocean futures. In doing so Chris draws on almost ten years of experience working at the interface of science and policy for the Australian Government Department of Environment, and then as a Knowledge Broker in CSIROs Climate Adaptation Flagship.

Chris has published broadly on topics relating to knowledge exchange, stakeholder engagement and marine governance, with papers published in journals including Nature Climate Change, Nature Communications, Nature Ecology and Evolution, Global Environmental Change and the Journal of Environmental Management. Chris also regularly contributes to several blogs focused on linking science to action, including the LSE Impact Blog and Research to Action.

Chris is a member of the Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR) project Scientific Steering Committee and the MarXiv Advisory Board. He is also the Chair of The Interdisciplinary Marine Early Career Network, and on the Editorial Board of both Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries and Socio-Ecological Practice Research.

Research interests

In its broadest sense, Chris' current research is focused on improving the uptake and impact of scientific research among different end-users to facilitate evidence-informed decision-making for sustainable ocean governance. In doing so Chris has two primary focal research areas:

1. Improving Knowledge exchange among scientists and decision-makers, including:

· Identifying barriers to knowledge exchange;

· Understanding options for improved knowledge exchange (e.g.- co-production, knowledge brokers, boundary organisation, etc);

· Identifying the core capacities needed for improved knowledge exchange (i.e.- the institutional, financial, political, social and individual traits that underpin effective knowledge exchange);

· The ethics of knowledge exchange; and

· The influence of trust on knowledge exchange.

2. Stakeholder/community engagement, including:

· Understanding the importance of social networks, and how to leverage these to build adaptive capacity among communities; and

· Participatory research approaches, and how they can be tailored to specific circumstances for maximum benefit.

Chris also has a strong interest in understanding the challenges and opportunities for building effective interdisciplinary research teams, with several projects underway to identify the core features underpinning success in interdisciplinary research environments.

  • Kelly, R, Mackay, M, Nash, K et al 2019, 'Ten tips for developing interdisciplinary socio-ecological researchers', Socio-Ecological Practice Research, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 149-161.
  • Stephenson, R, Hobday, A, Cvitanovic, C et al 2019, 'A practical framework for implementing and evaluating integrated management of marine activities', Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 177, pp. 127-138.
  • Cvitanovic, C, Howden, M, Colvin, R et al 2019, 'Maximising the benefits of participatory climate adaptation research by understanding and managing the associated challenges and risks', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 94, pp. 20-31.
  • Posner, S & Cvitanovic, C 2019, 'Evaluating the impacts of boundary-spanning activities at the interface of environmental science and policy: A review of progress and future research needs', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 92, pp. 141-151.
  • McDonald, K, Hobday, A, Thompson, P et al 2019, 'Proactive, Reactive, and Inactive Pathways for Scientists in a Changing World', Earth's Future, vol. 7, pp. 60-73.
  • Alexander, K, Hobday, A, Cvitanovic, C et al 2019, 'Progress in integrating natural and social science in marine
    ecosystem-based management research', Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 71-83.
  • Cvitanovic, C & Hobday, A 2018, 'Building optimism at the environmental science-policy-practice interface through the study of bright spots', Nature Communications, vol. 9, no. 3466, pp. 1-5.
  • Lacey, J, Howden, M, Cvitanovic, C et al 2018, 'Understanding and managing trust at the climate science-policy interface', Nature Climate Change, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 22-28.
  • Cvitanovic, C, Lof, M, Norstrom, A et al 2018, 'Building university-based boundary organisations that facilitate impacts on environmental policy and practice', PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 13, no. 9, pp. 1-19.
  • Evans, M & Cvitanovic, C 2018, 'An introduction to achieving policy impact for early career researchers', palgrave communications, vol. 4, no. 88, pp. 1-12.
  • Bednarek, A, Wyborn, C, Cvitanovic, C et al 2018, 'Boundary spanning at the science-policy interface: the practitioners' perspectives', Sustainability Science, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 1175-1183.
  • Cvitanovic, C, van Putten, I, Hobday, A et al 2018, 'Building trust among marine protected area managers and community members through scientific research: Insights from the Ningaloo Marine Park, Australia', Marine Policy, vol. 93, pp. 195-206.
  • Fazey, I, Schapke, N, Caniglia, G et al 2018, 'Ten essentials for action-oriented and second order energy transitions, transformations and climate change research', Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 40, pp. 54-70pp.
  • van Putten, I, Cvitanovic, C, Fulton, E et al 2018, 'The emergence of social licence necessitates reforms in environmental regulation', Ecology and Society, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 1-11.
  • Cvitanovic, C, Hobday, A, McDonald, J et al 2018, 'Governing fisheries through the critical decade: the role and utility of polycentric systems', Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 1-18.
  • Hobday, A, Doerr, V, Marshall, N et al 2018, 'Adapting to climate change: the role of organisational personalities in natural resource management', Regional Environmental Change, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 561-571.
  • van Putten, I, Plaganyi, E, Booth, K et al 2018, 'A framework for incorporating sense of place into the management of marine systems', Ecology and Society, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 1-24.
  • Cvitanovic, C, Cunningham, R, Dowd, A et al 2017, 'Using Social Network Analysis to Monitor and Assess the Effectiveness of Knowledge Brokers at Connecting Scientists and Decision-Makers: An Australian case study', Environmental Policy and Governance, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 256-269pp.
  • Marshall, N, Adger, N, Attwood, S et al 2017, 'Empirically derived guidance for social scientists to influence environmental policy', PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 1-9.
  • Nash, K, Cvitanovic, C, Fulton, E et al 2017, 'Planetary boundaries for a blue planet', Nature Ecology & Evolution, vol. 1, no. 11, pp. 1625-1634.
  • Hobday, A & Cvitanovic, C 2017, 'Preparing Australian fisheries for the critical decade: insights from the past 25 years', Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 68, no. 10, pp. 1779-1787.
  • van Putten, I, Villanueva, C & Cvitanovic, C 2017, 'The Influence of Community Size and Location on Different Dimensions of Vulnerability: a case study of Australian coastal communities', Australian Geographer, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 121-142.
  • Cvitanovic, C, McDonald, J & Hobday, A 2016, 'From science to action: Principles for undertaking environmental research that enables knowledge exchange and evidence-based decision-making', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 183, no. 3, pp. 864-874.
  • Cunningham, R, Cvitanovic, C, Measham, T et al 2016, 'Engaging communities in climate adaptation: the potential of social networks', Climate Policy, vol. 16, no. 7, pp. 894-908pp.
  • van Putten, I, Cvitanovic, C & Fulton, E 2016, 'A changing marine sector in Australian coastal communities: An analysis of inter and intra sectoral industry connections and employment', Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 131, pp. 1-12.
  • Boschetti, F, Cvitanovic, C, Fleming, A et al 2016, 'A call for empirically based guidelines for building trust among stakeholders in environmental sustainability projects', Sustainability Science, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 855-859.
  • Cvitanovic, C, Crimp, S, Fleming, A et al 2016, 'Linking adaptation science to action to build food secure Pacific Island communities', Climate Risk Management, vol. 11, pp. 53-62.
  • Lacey, J, Howden, M, Cvitanovic, C et al 2015, 'Informed adaptation: Ethical considerations for adaptation researchers and decision-makers', Global Environmental Change - Human and Policy Dimensions, vol. 32, pp. 200-210.
  • Cvitanovic, C, Hobday, A, Van Kerkhoff, L et al 2015, 'Overcoming barriers to knowledge exchange for adaptive resource management; the perspectives of Australian marine scientists', Marine Policy, vol. 52, pp. 38-44.
  • Lacey, J, Howden, M, Cvitanovic, C et al 2015, 'Informed adaptation: Ethical considerations for adaptation researchers and decision-makers', Global Environmental Change - Human and Policy Dimensions, vol. 32, pp. 200-210.
  • Cvitanovic, C, Hobday, A, Van Kerkhoff, L et al 2015, 'Improving knowledge exchange among scientists and decisionmakers to facilitate the adaptive governance of marine resources: A review of knowledge and research needs', Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 112, pp. 25-35.
  • Cvitanovic, C, Marshall, N, Wilson, S et al 2014, 'Perceptions of Australian marine protected area managers regarding the role, importance, and achievability of adaptation for managing the risks of climate change', Ecology and Society, vol. 19, no. 4, p. 33.
  • Noble, M, Pratchett, M, Coker, D et al 2014, 'Foraging in corallivorous butterflyfish varies with wave exposure', Coral Reefs, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 351-361.
  • Cvitanovic, C, Fulton, C, Wilson, S et al 2014, 'Utility of primary scientific literature to environmental managers: An international case study on coral-dominated marine protected areas', Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 102, pp. 72-78.
  • Pratchett, M, Hoey, A, Cvitanovic, C et al 2014, 'Abundance, diversity, and feeding behavior of coral reef butterflyfishes at Lord Howe Island', Ecology and Evolution, vol. 4, no. 18, pp. 3612-3625.
  • Bohnet, I, Hill, R, Turton, S et al 2013, 'Supporting Regional Natural Resource management (NRM) organisations to update their NRM plans for adaptation to climate change', International Congress on Modelling and Simulation MODSIM 2013, ed. Piantadosi, J., Anderssen, R.S. and Boland J., Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc., Australia, pp. 2214-2220.
  • Cvitanovic, C, Wilson, S, Fulton, C et al 2013, 'Critical research needs for managing coral reef marine protected areas: Perspectives of academics and managers', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 114, pp. 84-91.
  • Hoey, A, Pratchett, M & Cvitanovic, C 2011, 'High Macroalgal Cover and Low Coral Recruitment Undermines the Potential Resilience of the World's Southernmost Coral Reef Assemblages', PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 6, no. 10, pp. 1-9.
  • Ceccarelli, D, Richards, Z, Pratchett, M et al 2011, 'Rapid increase in coral cover on an isolated coral reef, the Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve, north-western Australia', Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 62, no. 10, pp. 1214-1220.
  • Cvitanovic, C & Hoey, A 2010, 'Benthic community composition influences within-habitat variation in macroalgal browsing on the Great Barrier Reef', Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 61, no. 9, pp. 999-105.
  • Cvitanovic, C & Bellwood, D 2009, 'Local variation in herbivore feeding activity on an inshore reef of the Great Barrier Reef', Coral Reefs, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 127-133.