People and ecosystems

Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.


Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution


Responding to a changing world

Advancing the fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning reef resilience.

Coral Bleaching

Coral Bleaching

Coral Reef Studies

From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)

Menu Image Menu Image Menu Image Menu Image Menu Image Menu Image Menu Image

Environmental governance in the Anthropocene: theories, methods, strategies


Tuesday, April 17th, 2018, 11:00 to 12:00 hrs

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building) Room 106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville
R. Patrick Bixler
R. Patrick Bixler


To address the ongoing environmental and climatological crises of climate change, and how it will alter ecosystems across the globe, will require new and innovative environmental governance strategies.  The 21st century has seen a dramatic shift in technology and social norms that have fundamentally changed the way we coordinate and make decisions at individual, organizational, and societal levels. The term “network society” has been applied to this mode of organization. Through networks, people leverage informal relationships to exchange ideas, build rapport, identify common interests, work together, share power, and solve problems of mutual interest. Networked forms of governance emerge when people realize that they (and the organizations they represent) cannot solve a particular problem by acting independently and that their interests may be better served through collaboration, drawing on their diverse capabilities. Yet, academic and managerial ideas vary on the most effective ways to govern through networks and little consensus exists. This presentation explores various theories of governance – network, polycentric, and multi-level – and examines them through empirical evidence collected in a variety of landscapes across North American. Successful adaptation will require an environmental governance of the Anthropocene.



Dr. Bixler is a research assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Bixler’s work focuses on collaborative governance and the ways that cross-sector networks influence policy and on-the-ground outcomes. He recently published a book, Forest Conservation in the Anthropocene, that examines the impacts of climate change on America’s forests and policy responses to facilitate adaptation. More generally his research and teaching focuses on the interplay between society and environment. He has published in numerous social science and environmental science journals on topics of land and water management, biodiversity conservation, climate adaptation, residential development, and urban resilience.


Australian Research Council Pandora

Partner Research Institutions

Partner Partner Partner Partner
Coral Reef Studies