Associate Professor Melissa Nursey-Bray

Associate Professor Melissa Nursey-Bray
 Position Head of Geography, Environment and Population
 Org Unit Geography, Environment and Population
 Telephone +61 8 8313 3497
 Location Floor/Room G 36 ,  Napier ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    Dr Melissa Nursey-Bray

    Melissa is currently Head of Department in Geography, Environment and Population (GEP), and the Coordinator of the GEP Masters Dissertation Program. She also teaches the research methods, sustainable cities, urbanization, community engagement and EIA subjects within it as well as undergraduates subjects in ethics, Indigenous resource management, coastal management and EIA. She is the Convener of the Adaptation, Community and Environment Research Group (ACE), a member of the Fay Gale Centre for Gender Research and of the Centre for Housing Regional and Urban Studies Program (CHURP). She is currently co-theme leader of the Indigenous Theme for the Social and Institutional National Climate Change Adaptation Research Network, Chair of the REDMAP Community Advisory Committee, and an Honorary Tyndall Fellow (2009). Melissa's research interest is the examination of how communities or communities of interest become involved in decision making. In this context she has worked in the areas of Indigenous resource management, fisheries and urban governance. She is currently working on climate change adaptation projects in local government, Indigenous and fisheries communities.

    Melissa believes in teaching for and about environmental sustainability: in 2009 she won a national teaching award for making an outstanding contribution to student learning in the area of critical thinking and environmental sustainability.

    Melissa obtained her PhD from James Cook University, and now has over 60 publications including 2 books, and many chapters and articles on climate change and Indigenous resource management respectively.

  • Qualifications

    • Graduate Certificate of University Learning and Teaching (University of Tasmania)
    • PhD, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland
    • Master of Environmental Studies, University of Adelaide
    • Honours (History), University of Adelaide
    • Bachelor of Arts, University of Adelaide
  • Awards & Achievements

    2015: Invited Plenary Speaker, Rangelands Conference, Alice Springs

    2015: Invited speaker, Landcare Conference, Waikerie

    2013: Invited key note speaker, National Climate Change Adapation Research Facility (NCCARF) Conference, Climate-Change - Country: The Arabana

    2012: Invited plenary speaker, Coast to Coast 2012: Livng on the edge. Theme: Knowledge sharing.

    2012: Won a 'bottom drawer' Fay Gale Writing Fellowship

    2011: Winner of inuagural HUMMS Faculty (University of Adelaide) White Paper Prize, entitled: Challenge or Opportunity? Coastal Tourism and Climate Change

    2010: Winner of Faculty (Humanities and Social Sciences) Research Award in the category of Outstanding Research Performance, (Early career).

    2009: Invited to give the Fay Gale Lecture, at Plenary Session of the annual Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) Conference, Cairns, 2009.

    2009: Invited to conduct research at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Universities of East Anglia and Southampton

    2009: Austalian Teaching and Learning Council (ALTC) Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student learning in the field of environmental sustainability and critical thinking.

    2008: Vice Chancellors Award: UTAS Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student learning in the field of environmental sustainability and critical thinking.

    2001: Winston Churchill Fellowship

  • Teaching Interests

    Teaching interests include:

    • Environmental Impact Assessment
    • Environmental Planning and Governance
    • Globalisation and Global Change
    • Indigenous peoples and the environment
    • Climate Change Adaptation
    • Research Methodology
    • Environmental Ethics
    • Marine and Coastal Management 
  • Research Funding

    Examples of current and recent projects:

    Ongoing 2015

    Project lead: Building a stategy for the Marine Scale Fishery (FRDC grant)

    Co-Theme Leader, Indigenous theme, the Social Insitutional Economic (SEI) Research Network (NCCARF Funded)

    Project lead: Social Impacts of seal species on marine stakeholders (SARDI/FRDC)

    Project lead: Perceptions of stakeholders about sharks and aquaculture (SARDI/FRDC)

    Project CoCI: Women in Leadership Project. 

    Project lead: Indigenous Enrichment of GEP Curricula project (DVCA/Faculty funded)

    Completed projects

    Project lead, Cultural Values Mapping: Goyder Research Institute, River System Indicators project, Kathi-Thanda-Lake Eyre Basin. See this link for the report:

    CoCI Community Gardens and urban resilience project (funded by Faculty Small Grants scheme), AdelaideCompleted

    Project lead, Australian case study (others Cambodia and Vietnam) on study into adaptive capacity and co-management, collaborating with University of Sunshine Coast. 2014

    Chief investigator  NCCARF Grant: Community based adaptation to climate change, the Arabana people, 2011 - 2013. See this link for the report:

    Chief investigator (social dimensions) on Australia/India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) grant with Associate Professor Stewart Frusher (IMAS, UTAS) on developing a strategic research framework with Indian colleagues on climate change and fisheries, 2011 - 2014.

    Chief investigator for a project funded by the Climate Change Adaptation Skills for Professionals Program, Department of Climate Change and Energy, where developed an online course in climate change adaptation 2008 - 2013.

    Project Researcher for a project funded by Inspiring Australia to lead evaluation of REDMAP project, led by Dr Gretta Pecl, IMAS, UTAS. 2012 - end 2014

    Co-CI on project with Dr Beverly Clarke (CI lead), Flinders University, undertaking Stage 2 of AMLNRM Coastal Habitat and Climate Change Project, 2012.

    Co-theme leader with Professor Tim Smith of the Communities Theme as part of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Network in Marine Biodiversity and Resources, funded by the NCARRF Networks Scheme

    Researcher within the knowledge and adaptive learning themes for the CSIRO Cluster project (Cat 1 grant) designed to investigate how to incorporate science into policy in coastal zone management.

    2009:Chief Investigator: Preliminary assessment of the Vulnerability of Australian Ports to Climate Change

    2008: Led the social component as part of an interdisciplinary team led By Dr Gretta Pecl and Associate Profoessor Stewart Frusher (TAFI, UTAS) on the National Coastal Vulnerability Assessment - Tasmanian East Coast Rock Lobster Fishery Case Study, Department of Climate Change.

    2008: Undertook a risk identification for local government to climate change project funded by NRM North, Tasmania.

    2006: CI on a research project identifying aspirations towards and current policy and legal barriers to the recognition customary commercial fishing and sea hunting rights in Australia

    2005: Project Investigating options for incorporation of (i) Indigenous, (ii) ENGO and (iii) maritime industry interests in the development of an Oceans Policy, funded by the Australian Conservation Foundation

  • Publications

    The following are Melissa's publications since appointment. 

    Currently accepted and in press

    Nursey-Bray, M., Nicholls, R., Vince, J., Day., S., and Harvey, N Public participation, coastal management and climate change adaptation, in book Marine and Coastal Management, Earthscan press.

    Nursey-Bray, M and the Arabana Association, Cultural Indiactors, Country and Culture: The Arabana, for a special edition of the Rangelands Journal, on water 

    Nursey-Bray, M and Beer, A. Urban Planning and Indigenous Peoples, Australia in Handbook of Urban planning, Edited by Neil Snipe and Karen Vella

    Nursey-Bray, M 'More than fishy business': Ontology, Integration and Conflict in Marine Spatial Planning, for an Interface in the Journal of Planning Theory and Practice, edited by Wes Flannery

    Nursey-Bray ,M, Parnell, E., Ankeny, R.A., Bray, H. and Rudd, D Community Gardens as pathways to community resilence? Reflections from a pilot case study, Adelaide, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society

    Published 2016

    Nursey-Bray, M. 2016. Partnerships and ports: Negotiating climate adaptive governance for sustainable transport regimes, International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 10:2, 76-85, DOI: 10.1080/15568318.2013.855849


    Published 2015

    Nursey-Bray, M 2015. Beyond the north–south culture wars: reconciling Northern Australia's recent past with its future, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management,DOI: 10.1080/14486563.2015.1023692

    Nursey-Bray, M 2015 'Moving with mobiles - using IT in the classroom as against online: a comparative reflection from South Australia, Chapter in Handbook of Mobile Learning, (ed) Zhang, A. Springer Press

    Nursey-Bray, M., Smith, T., Harvey, N 2015  'Learning and Local Government in coastal South Australia: towards a community of practice to adapting to global change for Regional Enviornmental Change

    Nicholls, R., Dawson, R., Day, S. Mimura, N. Nursey-Bray, M., Nurse. L., Sallenger, A. Stive, M.,White, K. and Zanuttigh, B in Nicholls, R. Dawson, R and Day, R, (eds) 2015 Generic lessons for coastal management in the third millennium in Broad scale coastal simulation: new techniques to understand and manage shorelines in the third millennium, Wiley Publishers.

    Nursey-Bray, M 2015 Gender, Governance and Climate change Adaptation,in Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation, Volume Two: Policy and Climate Change, Springer press.

    Nursey-Bray, M., Fergie, D., Arbon, V., Rigney, LI., Palmer, R., Tibby, J., Harvey, N., Hackworth, L., and Stuart, A. 2015 Indigenous Adaptation to Climate Change: The Arabana, for Palutikof, J., Boulter, S., Barnett, J., and Rissik, D. Practical studies in climate change adaptation, Wiley Press,

    Published 2014

    C. Jacobson, K.F.D. Hughey, A.J.J. Lynch, M. Nursey-Bray, M. O'Connell, P.G.Munro, K. Vella, D. Whiley, S. Dovers & R.W. (Bill) Carter (2014) Twenty years of pacifying responses to environmental management, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 21:2, 143-174, DOI: 10.1080/14486563.2014.917594

     Nursey-Bray, M and Jacobson, C (2014) 'Which Way?': The contribution of Indigenous marine governance, Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs, Vol 6: 1, 27 - 40.

    Nursey-Bray, M. An invited book review of "Welcome to my country" by L Burrarrwanga, Maymuru, S., Wright, S. Suchet-Pearson, S., LLoyd, K, Allen and Unwin, for the Journal of Geographical Research, May 2014, 52: 2: 223-227.

    Nursey-Bray, M., Vince, J., Scott, M., Haward, M., O'Toole. K., Smith, T., Harvey, N., and Clarke, B. Science into policy? Discourse, coastal management and knowledge. Environmental Science and Policy, Volume 38 – Apr 1, 2014

     Published in 2013

    van Putten, I., Jennings, S., Frusher, S., Gardner, C., Haward, M., Hobday, A., Nursey-Bray, M., Pecl, G., Punt, A., and Revill, H. Buildng blocks of economic resilience - a fisheries example in Regional Environmental Change, Vol 13, Issue 61313 - 1323, online. ISSN 1436-3798

    Frusher, SD and Hobday, AJ, and Jennings, SM and Creighton, C, Haward, M., Holbrok, NJ., Nursey-Bray, MJ., Pecl, GT., van Putten, EI, The short history  of research in a marine climate change hotspot from anecdote to adaptation in south-east Australia. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, Article 3, ISSN 0960 3166.

    Nursey-Bray, M Blackwell, B., Brooks, B., Campbell, M.L., Goldsworthy, L., Haugstetter, H., Rodrigues, I., Roome, M., Wright, J., Francis, J., and Hewitt, C.L: Vulnerabilities and adaptation of ports to climate change for the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. Volume 56, No 7, 1021 - 1046.

    Nursey-Bray, M, Fergie, D, Arbon, V, Rigney, L, Palmer, R, Tibby, J, Harvey, N, Hackworth, L 2013 Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change: The Arabana, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, pp. 133. ISBN: 978-1-925039-63-4. See :

    Nursey-Bray, M 2013 Climate change policy, conflict and transformative governance, Policy Brief, Indo-Pacific Governance research centre, see link:

    Nursey-Bray, M. 2013 Arid Lands, arid management? Community engagement, communities of practice and environmental governance in the Lake Eyre, paper for memorium edition for Les Heathcote for the South Australian Geographical Journal, Vol 111, pp 56 - 74.

    Clarke, B., Stocker, L., Coffey, B., Leith, P., Harvey, N., Baxter, T., Bruekers, G., Danese Galana, C., Good, M., Hofmeester, C., Martins de Freitas, D., Mumford, T., Nursey-Bray, M., Krikowen, L., Shaw, J., Shaw, J., Smith, T., Thomsen, D., and Wood, D. 2013 Enhancing the knowledge-governance interface: Coasts, Climate and Collaboration, in Ocean and Coastal Management xxx (2013) 1e12

    Davidson, J., Leith, P., Nursey-Bray, M., van Putten, I., Madin E and Holbrook, N. 2013 : A working indicator framework to operationalise resilience thinking in Australian marine sectors dealing with climate change in Ecology and Society 18 (3):4,

    Nursey-Bray, M and Harvey, N 2013 Bridging the science-policy divide in the coastal zone: is there a role for learning processes?, in E. Moksness, E. Dahl and J. Støttrup (Eds.) Global Challenges in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Wiley-Blackwell Ltd.

     Published in 2012

     Myers, S., Smith, T., Thibaud, T., Dutra, L., Ellis, N., Nursey-Bray, M and Ryan McAllister 2012 Adaptive Learning and Coastal Management in South East Queensland, Australia, in R Kenchington, L Stocker and D Wood, (Eds) Sustainable Coastal Management and Climate Adaptation, CSIRO Publishing ISBN.

    Harvey N., Clarke B. and Nursey-Bray M. Australian coastal management and climate change, Geographical Research, Volume 50, no 4. DOI:10.1111/j.1745-5871.2011.00734.x (available online 24/11/11).

    Nursey-Bray M 11 entries in Philander, George Encyclopaedia of Global warming and Climate Change, SAGE press, Updated new version and also an e-encyclopedia (Reference work) see, ISBN (hard copy) : 9781412992619 and e-copy : 9781412992626

    Entries include: (i) Adaptation (3000 words), (ii) Climate Action network (750 words), (iii)FOE (750 words), (iv) Gaia Hypothesis (1000 words),(v) Globalisation (2000 words), (vi)Impact of global warming (3500 words), (vii) Non government Organisations (4000 words), (viii) Pew Center for Climate Change (1000 words), (ix) Sea Level Rise (2500words), (x) Social Ecology (1200words), and (xi)Environmental Refugees (1000 words).

    Nursey-Bray, M Table: "Observed and projected changes in some climate change observations and their likely impact on the port sector" in Dowling, D, Carew, A and Hadgraft, R (212) Engineering Your Future: An Australasian Guide, Wiley e book.

    Nursey-Bray, M, Pecl G, Frusher S, Gardner C, Haward M, Hobday A, Jennings S, Punt A, Revill H, van Putten, I  Climate Change risk perceptions colour a fisher's world for Marine Policy 36, 753 - 759.

    Pharo, E., Davison, A., Warr, K., Jones, C., Nursey-Bray, M., Beswick, K., and Wapstra, E. "Can teacher collaboration overcome barriers to interdisciplinary learning in a disciplinary university? A case study using climate change" for UK Journal Teaching In Higher Education, DOI:10.1080/13562517.2012.658560.

    Nursey-Bray, M and Miller, T Chapter 17: Ports and Climate Change: Building Skills in Climate Change Adaptation, Australia pp 273 - 283, in Filho, W (ed) Climate Change and the Sustainable Use of water Resources, Springer, Heidelberg.

    Published in 2011

    Nursey-Bray, M. ‘Social Contexts and Customary Fisheries: Marine Protected Areas and Indigenous Use, Australia', Journal of Environmental Management, Vol 47, (4), p 167 -.

    Nursey-Bray, M and Haugstetter More than a marriage of convenience: The convergence of management and Indigenous educational practice, Journal of management education, Vol 35, No 1, 168 - 187.

    Nursey-Bray, M. ‘Indigenous peoples, marine protected areas and ecologically sustainable development,' Chapter 14, in (eds) Gullett, W., Schofield, C., and Vince, J. Marine Resources Management, pp 239 - 253, Lexis Nexis Butterworths.

    Published in 2010

    Nursey-Bray, M. Local Governance for local governments: A Framework for addressing climate change, Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, Issue 7, November 2010, 168 - 186.

    Nursey-Bray, M and Hill, R. ‘Australian Indigenous peoples and biodiversity', Journal - Social Alternatives Vol 29 No 3, 13 - 19.

    Nursey-Bray, M ‘Climate change adaptation in Australia: education, training and achieving social and political outcomes' in International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol 2, No 4 pp 393 - 402.

    Nursey-Bray, M and Miller, T. 'Reconciling Needs: Ports and Climate Change', peer reviewed paper for conference Klima 2010 an annual online conference on Climate Change.

    Nursey-Bray, M and Shaw, J Australia, ‘Climate Change and the Sea Change Phenomenon', The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Social and Economic Sustainability, Volume 6, No 1.

    Nursey-Bray, M, Marsh, H and Ross, H Uncommon Platforms: Developing Common Discourse Understandings in Environmental Decision-Making, for Society and Natural Resources, 23: 4, 366 - 382.


  • Professional Associations

    • Executive Member: HERDSA 
    • Chair, REDMAP Community Engagement Committee
    • Collaboration with Sabine Jessen, Endeavour Fellow 2012, Simon Fraser University, Canada.
    • Member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (Oceania Division).
    • Member of Australian Coastal Society.
    • Member of Institute of Australian Geographers.
    • Deputy Director (with Dr Bev Clarke, Flinders University) for the Centre for Coastal Research, University of Adelaide.
    • Member of Fay Gale Center for Research on Gender, and Theme Leader Environmental Activism (2011 - 2012), University of Adelaide.
    • Theme leader Adaptive Governance with Professor Tim Doyle and Dr. Thomas Wanner for the Indo- Pacific Research Centre for Governance, University of Adelaide.

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Entry last updated: Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018

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