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)

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Joshua Cinner

Joshua Cinner

Professorial Research Fellow, Chief Investigator and Program 1 Leader

ARC Future Fellow (2017-2020)
Pew Marine Fellow (2015)
ARC Australian Research Fellow (2011-2015), James Cook University (JCU)
Senior Research Fellow, JCU (2010-)
ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow (2008-2010), JCU
Postdoctoral Fellow, JCU (2006-2007)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Coral Reef Conservation Project (2005-2006)

Ph.D, James Cook University Australia • MA Marine Affairs, University of Rhode Island, USA • BA Environmental Studies & Geography (double major), University of Colarado, USA

The Cinner Research Group on the Human Dimensions of Coral Reefs

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 6751

Google Scholar Profile

Research Interests

I grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA. I completed a Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island in 2000 woking with Dr. Richard Pollnac, and received my PhD from James Cook University in 2006. My research focuses on using social science to improve coral reef management. My interest in this field began in 1996 while working as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Montego Bay Marine Park in Jamaica. There, I witnessed first hand how conventional conservation strategies were failing because they did not understand or reflect the social, economic, and cultural needs of resource users. Since then, I have worked with various 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. My work draws together a wide range of social science disciplines (including human geography, common property, anthropology, and conservation policy) and I often work closely with ecologists on interdisciplinary research topics. Increasingly, my research is moving beyond the case study approach toward a ‘big picture’ comparative exploration of human-environment interactions. Science magazine wrote an article about my scientific career.

I am currently working in three broad areas of research.

My first research thread examines the ways that socio-economic conditions such as access to markets and development influence the ways that people use natural resources. My colleagues and I use a ‘big-picture’ approach to integrating social and ecological data to explore these issues at a range of scales, including national, regional, and global. These results have been published in journals such as Nature, Conservation Biology, Current Biology, and Global Environmental Change, have gained major international coverage in venues such as The New York Times and CNN, and been the focal point of academic editorials. The current centrepiece of this program is my ‘Bright Spots’ project, which is the focus of my recently awarded Australian Research Council Future Fellowship and my Pew Fellowship in marine conservation. The project seeks to identify and learn from places that have lots more fish than expected, given the socioeconomic and environmental conditions they are exposed to.


My second research theme, examines how different governance arrangements can benefit both people and marine ecosystems. The aim of this body of research is to examine how the key aspects of success (e.g. ecological, livelihood, and behavioural) are influenced by different institutional designs and socioeconomic factors (population, market influences, etc.). Integrating theories from geography, anthropology, and common property economics, I have sought to plug a large hole in our understanding of when and how marine conservation initiatives are effective by asking the question “what are the socioeconomic and institutional conditions under which they succeed or fail?” This project involves fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea and key results were published Global Environmental Change and PNAS (available free and open access).


My third research theme examines societal responses to environmental change. The aim of this body of work is to better understand how ecosystems and human communities will respond to climate change. The scale of this project is extremely large and includes socioeconomic and ecological fieldwork in >50 communities across Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Seychelles, and Mauritius. In this work, my research team and I examine how conservation priorities should differ based on site-specific levels of environmental susceptibility to climate change and differing levels of how human communities adapt and respond to this change (adaptive capacity). We are also exploring how poorer fishers are caught in a ‘poverty trap’ and pursue different response strategies than wealthier fishers. Results from this research theme have been published in Nature Climate Change, Global Environmental Change, Conservation Biology, Conservation Letters and in a book, Adapting to a Changing Environment: Confronting the Consequences of Climate Change published by Oxford University Press. Check out a review of it in PLoS Biology




Publications online

Recent Publications


McClanahan T.R. and J.E. Cinner. (2012). Adapting to a Changing Environment: confronting the consequences of climate change. Oxford University Press. New York.

2020/in press

Barnes, M. L., Wang, P., Cinner, J. E. , Graham, N. A., Guerrero, A. M. Jasny, L., … & Zamborain-Mason, J. (2020). Social determinants of adaptive and transformative responses to climate change.Nature Climate Change, 1-6. [Link]

Cinner, J. E., Zamborain-Mason, J., Gurney, G. G., Graham, N. A., MacNeil, M. A., Hoey, A. S., … & Mouillot, D. (2020). Meeting fisheries, ecosystem function, and biodiversity goals in a human-dominated world.Science, 368(6488), 307-311.[Link]

Cinner, J. E., Barnes, M. L., Gurney, G. G., Lockie, S., & Rojas, C. (2020). Markets and the crowding out of conservation‐relevant behavior.Conservation Biology.[Link]

Lau, J. D., Gurney, G. G., & Cinner, J. (2020). Environmental justice in coastal systems: Perspectives from communities confronting change.Global Environmental Change, 66, 102208.[Link]

Lau, J. D., Cinner, J. E., Fabinyi, M., Gurney, G. G., & Hicks, C. C. (2020). Access to marine ecosystem services: Examining entanglement and legitimacy in customary institutions.World Development, 126, 104730.[Link]

Maire, E., D’agata, S., Aliaume, C., Mouillot, D., Darling, E. S., Ramahery, V., … & Cinner, J. E. (2020). Disentangling the complex roles of markets on coral reefs in northwest Madagascar. Ecology and Society, 25(3).[Link]

MacNeil, M. A., Chapman, D. D., Heupel, M., Simpfendorfer, C. A., Heithaus, M., Meekan, M., … & Cinner, J. E. (2020). Global status and conservation potential of reef sharks. Nature, 583(7818), 801-806.[Link]

Mbaru, E. K., Graham, N. A., McClanahan, T. R., & Cinner, J. E. (2020). Functional traits illuminate the selective impacts of different fishing gears on coral reefs. Journal of Applied Ecology, 57(2), 241-252.[Link]


Cohen, P. J., E. H. Allison, N. L. Andrew, J. E. Cinner, L. S. Evans, M. Fabinyi, L. R. Garces, S. J. Hall, C. C. Hicks, T. P. Hughes, S. Jentoft, D. J. Mills, R. Masu, E. K. Mbaru, and B. D. Ratner (2019). Securing a Just Space for Small-Scale Fisheries in the Blue Economy. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6:171. [Link]

Darling, E. S., T. R. McClanahan, J. Maina, G. G. Gurney, N. A. J. Graham, F. Januchowski-Hartley, J. E. Cinner et al. (accepted). Evaluating social-environmental drivers to inform strategic management of coral reefs. Nature Ecology & Evolution
Jones, J. P. G., J. Ratsimbazafy, A. N. Ratsifandrihamanana, J. E. M. Watson, H. T. Andrianandrasana, M. Cabeza, J. E. Cinner, S. M. Goodman, F. Hawkins, R. A. Mittermeier, A. L. Rabearisoa, O. S. Rakotonarivo, J. H. Razafimanahaka, A. R. Razafimpahanana, L. Wilmé, and P. C. Wright (2019). Last chance for Madagascar’s biodiversity. Nature Sustainability, 2:350–352. [Link]

Lau, J. D., C. C. Hicks, G. G. Gurney, and J. E. Cinner (2019). What matters to whom and why? Understanding the importance of coastal ecosystem services in developing  coastal communities. Ecosystem Services, 35:219–230. [Link]

McClanahan, T. R., R. E. Schroeder, A. M. Friedlander, L. Vigliola, L. Wantiez, J. E. Caselle, N. A. J. Graham, S. K. Wilson, G. J. Edgar, R. D. Stuart-Smith, R. M. Oddenyo, and J. E. Cinner (2019). Global baselines and benchmarks for fish biomass: Comparing remote reefs and fisheries closures. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 612:167–192. [Link]



Aswani, S., X. Basurto, S. C. A. Ferse, M. Glaser, L. Campbell, J. E. Cinner, T. Dalton, L. D. Jenkins, M. L. Miller, R. Pollnac, I. Vaccaro, and P. Christie (2018). Marine resource management and conservation in the Anthropocene. Environmental Conservation, 45:192–202. [Link]

Bergseth, B. J., G. G. Gurney, M. L. Barnes, A. Arias, and J. E. Cinner (2018). Addressing poaching in marine protected areas through voluntary surveillance and enforcement. Nature Sustainability, 1:421–426. [Link]

Beyer, H. L., E. V. Kennedy, M. Beger, C. A. Chen, J. E. Cinner, E. S. Darling, C. M. Eakin, R. D. Gates, S. F. Heron, N. Knowlton, D. O. Obura, S. R. Palumbi, H. P. Possingham, M. Puotinen, R. K. Runting, W. J. Skirving, M. Spalding, K. A. Wilson, S. Wood, J. E. Veron, and O. Hoegh‐Guldberg (2018). Risk‐sensitive planning for conserving coral reefs under rapid climate change. Conservation Letters, 11:e12587. [Link]

Cinner, J. E. (2018). How behavioral science can help conservation. Science, 362:889–890. [Link]

Cinner, J. E., W. N. Adger, E. H. Allison, M. L. Barnes, K. Brown, P. J. Cohen, S. Gelcich, C. C. Hicks, T. P. Hughes, J. D. Lau, N. A. Marshall, and T. H. Morrison (2018). Building adaptive capacity to climate change in tropical coastal communities. Nature Climate Change, 8:117–123. [Link]

Cinner, J. E., E. Maire, C. Huchery, M. A. MacNeil, N. A. J. Graham, C. Mora, T. R. McClanahan, M. L. Barnes, J. N. Kittinger, C. C. Hicks, S. D’Agata, A. S. Hoey, G. G. Gurney, D. A. Feary, I. D. Williams, M. Kulbicki, L. Vigliola, L. Wantiez, G. J. Edgar, R. D. Stuart-Smith, S. A. Sandin, A. L. Green, M. J. Hardt, M. Beger, A. M. Friedlander, S. K. Wilson, E. Brokovich, A. J. Brooks, J. J. Cruz-Motta, D. J. Booth, P. Chabanet, C. Gough, M. Tupper, S. C. A. Ferse, U. R. Sumaila, S. Pardede, and D. Mouillot (2018). Gravity of human impacts mediates coral reef conservation gains. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115:E6116–E6125. [Link]

Lau, J. D., C. C. Hicks, G. G. Gurney, and J. E. Cinner (2018). Disaggregating ecosystem service values and priorities by wealth, age, and education. Ecosystem Services, 29:91–98. [Link]

Maire, E., S. Villéger, N. A. J. Graham, A. S. Hoey, J. E. Cinner, S. C. A. Ferse, C. Aliaume, D. J. Booth, D. A. Feary, M. Kulbicki, S. A. Sandin, L. Vigliola, and D. Mouillot (2018). Community-wide scan identifies fish species associated with coral reef services across the Indo-Pacific. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 285:20181167. [Link]

Marshall, N. A., M. L. Barnes, A. Birtles, K. Brown, J. E. Cinner, M. Curnock, H. Eakin, J. Goldberg, M. Gooch, J. N. Kittinger, P. Marshall, D. Manuel-Navarrete, M. Pelling, P. L. Pert, B. Smit, and R. Tobin (2018). Measuring what matters in the Great Barrier Reef. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 16:271–277. [Link]

Teel, T. L., C. B. Anderson, M. A. Burgman, J. E. Cinner, D. Clark, R. A. Estévez, J. P. G. Jones, T. R. McClanahan, M. S. Reed, C. Sandbrook, and F. A. V. St. John (2018). Publishing social science research in Conservation Biology to move beyond biology. Conservation Biology, 32:6–8. [Link]



Bergseth, B. J., D. H. Williamson, G. R. Russ, S. G. Sutton, and J. E. Cinner (2017). A social-ecological approach to assessing and managing poaching by recreational fishers. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15:67–73. [Link]

Blythe, J., P. J. Cohen, H. Eriksson, J. E. Cinner, D. Boso, A.-M. Schwarz, and N. L. Andrew (2017). Strengthening post-hoc analysis of community-based fisheries management through the social-ecological systems framework. Marine Policy, 82:50–58. [Link]

Gelcich, S., J. E. Cinner, C. J. Donlan, S. Tapia-Lewin, N. Godoy, and J. C. Castilla (2017). Fishers’ perceptions on the Chilean coastal TURF system after two decades: problems, benefits, and emerging needs. Bulletin of Marine Science, 93:53–67. [Link]

Graham, N. A. J., T. R. McClanahan, M. A. MacNeil, S. K. Wilson, J. E. Cinner, C. Huchery, and T. H. Holmes (2017). Human Disruption of Coral Reef Trophic Structure. Current Biology, 27:231–236. [Link]

Hughes, T. P., M. L. Barnes, D. R. Bellwood, J. E. Cinner, G. S. Cumming, J. B. C. Jackson, J. Kleypas, I. A. van de Leemput, J. M. Lough, T. H. Morrison, S. R. Palumbi, E. H. van Nes, and M. Scheffer (2017). Coral reefs in the Anthropocene. Nature, 546:82–90. [Link]



Arias, A., R. L. Pressey, R. E. Jones, J. G. Álvarez-Romero, and J. E. Cinner (2016). Optimizing enforcement and compliance in offshore marine protected areas: a case study from Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Oryx, 50:18–26. [Link]

Cinner, J. E., C. Huchery, M. A. MacNeil, N. A. J. Graham, T. R. McClanahan, J. Maina, E. Maire, J. N. Kittinger, C. C. Hicks, C. Mora, E. H. Allison, S. D’Agata, A. S. Hoey, D. A. Feary, L. Crowder, I. D. Williams, M. Kulbicki, L. Vigliola, L. Wantiez, G. J. Edgar, R. D. Stuart-Smith, S. A. Sandin, A. L. Green, M. J. Hardt, M. Beger, A. M. Friedlander, S. J. Campbell, K. E. Holmes, S. K. Wilson, E. Brokovich, A. J. Brooks, J. J. Cruz-Motta, D. J. Booth, P. Chabanet, C. Gough, M. Tupper, S. C. A. Ferse, U. R. Sumaila, and D. Mouillot (2016). Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs. Nature, 535:416–419. [Link]

Cinner, J. E., M. S. Pratchett, N. A. J. Graham, V. Messmer, M. M. P. B. Fuentes, T. Ainsworth, N. C. Ban, L. K. Bay, J. Blythe, D. Dissard, S. Dunn, L. S. Evans, M. Fabinyi, P. Fidelman, J. Figueiredo, A. J. Frisch, C. J. Fulton, C. C. Hicks, V. Lukoschek, J. Mallela, A. Moya, L. Penin, J. L. Rummer, S. Walker, and D. H. Williamson (2016). A framework for understanding climate change impacts on coral reef social–ecological systems. Regional Environmental Change, 16:1133–1146. [Link]

Gurney, G. G., J. E. Cinner, J. Sartin, R. L. Pressey, N. C. Ban, N. A. Marshall, and D. Prabuning (2016). Participation in devolved commons management: Multiscale socioeconomic factors related to individuals’ participation in community-based management of marine protected areas in Indonesia. Environmental Science & Policy, 61:212–220. [Link]

Maire, E., J. E. Cinner, L. Velez, C. Huchery, C. Mora, S. Dagata, L. Vigliola, L. Wantiez, M. Kulbicki, and D. Mouillot (2016). How accessible are coral reefs to people? A global assessment based on travel time. Ecology Letters, 19:351–360. [Link]

McClanahan, T. R., C. R. Sebastián, and J. E. Cinner (2016). Simulating the outcomes of resource user- and rule-based regulations in a coral reef fisheries-ecosystem model. Global Environmental Change, 38:58–69. [Link]

Pendleton, L., A. Comte, C. Langdon, J. A. Ekstrom, S. R. Cooley, L. Suatoni, M. W. Beck, L. M. Brander, L. Burke, J. E. Cinner, C. Doherty, P. E. T. Edwards, D. Gledhill, L.-Q. Jiang, R. J. van Hooidonk, L. Teh, G. G. Waldbusser, and J. Ritter (2016). Coral Reefs and People in a High-CO2 World: Where Can Science Make a Difference to People? PLOS ONE, 11:e0164699. [Link]

Waldie, P. A., G. R. Almany, T. H. Sinclair-Taylor, R. J. Hamilton, T. Potuku, M. A. Priest, K. L. Rhodes, J. Robinson, J. E. Cinner, and M. L. Berumen (2016). Restricted grouper reproductive migrations support community-based management. Royal Society Open Science, 3:150694. [Link]



Aguilera, S.E., Cole, J., Finkbeiner, E.M., Le Cornu, E., Ban, N.C., Carr, M.H., Cinner, J.E., Crowder, L.B., Gelcich, S., Hicks, C.C., Kittinger, J.N., Martone, R., Malone, D., Pomeroy, C., Starr, R.M., Seram, S., Zuercher, R., Broad, K. (2015) Managing small-scale commercial fisheries for adaptive capacity: Insights from dynamic social-ecological drivers of change in Monterey Bay. PLoS One 10: e0118992

Arias, A., J. E. Cinner, R. E. Jones and R. L. Pressey. 2015. Levels and drivers of fishers’ compliance with marine protected areas. Ecology and Society 20(4):19

Bergseth B, Cinner J, Russ G. (2015). Measuring and monitoring compliance in no-take marine reserves. Fish & Fisheries 16: 240-258

Biggs et al. (2015) Marine tourism in the face of global change: the resilience of enterprises to crises. Ocean and Coastal Management 105: 65-74

Cinner et al. (2015) Changes in adaptive capacity of Kenyan fishing communities. Nature Climate Change 5: 872-876

Cinner J, MS Pratchett, NAJ Graham, V Messmer , MMPB Fuentes, T Ainsworth , NC Ban, LK Bay, JL Blythe, D Dissard, S Dunn, LS Evans, M Fabinyi, Fidelman, J Figueiredo, AJ Frisch, CJ Fulton, CC Hicks, V Lukoschek, J Mallela, A Moya, L Penin, JL Rummer, S Walker, DH Williamson. (2015) A framework for understanding climate change impacts on coral reef social-ecological systems. Regional Environmental Change DOI 10.1007/s10113-015-0832-z

Eckstrom et al. (2015). Vulnerability and adaptation of US shellfisheries to ocean acidification. Nature Climate Change 5: 207–214

Gurney, G., R. Pressey, J. Cinner, R. Pollnac, and S. Campbell. (2015) Integrating Conservation and Development: evaluating a community-based marine protected area project for equity of socioeconomic impacts. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 370: 20140277

Hicks CC, JE Cinner, N. Stoeckl, TR McClanahan. (2015). Linking ecosystem services and human values theory. Conservation Biology 29: 1471-1480

Januchowski-Hartley, F., NAJ Graham, JE Cinner. G Russ. (2015) Local fishing influences coral reef fish behavior inside protected areas of the Indo-Pacific. Biological Conservation 182: 8-12

MacNeil et al. (2015) Recovery potential of the world’s coral reef fishes. Nature 520: 341-344

Maina et al. Integrating social-ecological vulnerability assessments with climate forecasts to improve local climate adaptation planning. Regional Environmental Change 16:881-891

McClanahan, TR, MA MacNeil, NAJ Graham, J Cinner (2015). Biomass-based targets and the management of multispecies coral reef fisheries. Conservation Biology 29: 409-417

McClanahan TR, Cinner J, Alison EH. (2015). Managing fisheries for human and food security. Fish & Fisheries 16: 78-103

Robinson et al. (2015). Fish and fisher behaviour influence the susceptibility of groupers to fishing at a multispecies spawning aggregation site. Coral Reefs 34: 371-382


Arias, A., RS Pressey, R. Jones, J. Alvarez-Romero, J Cinner. (2014). Optimizing enforcement and compliance in offshore marine protected areas: A case study from Coco’s Island, Costa Rica. Oryx 50: 18-26

Campbell SJ, Mukminin A, Kartawjaya T, Huchery C, Cinner J. (2014). Changes in a coral reef fishery along a gradient of harvesting intensity in an Indonesian marine protected area. Aquatic Conservation: marine and freshwater ecosystems 24: 92-103

Cinner J. Coral reef livelihoods. (2014). Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 7:65-71

Cinner, J and TR McClanahan. (2014) A sea change on the African coast: Preliminary social and ecological outcomes of a governance transformation in Kenyan fisheries. Global Environmental Change 30: 133-139

Cinner J, et al. (2014). Winners and losers in marine conservation: Fisher’s experiences of displacement and perceptions of spillover from marine protected areas in Seychelles and Kenya. Society & Natural Resources 27: 994-1005

Condy M, J Cinner, TR McClanahan, DB Bellwood (2014). Projections for the recovery of fish catch and ecosystem function by gear modifications in an impoverished fishery. Aquatic Conservation 25: 396-410

D’agata, S., D Mouillot, M Kulbicki, DR Bellwood, J Cinner, PF Cowman, M Kronen, S Pinca, L Vigliola. (2014). Human-mediated loss of phylogenetic and functional diversity in coral reef fishes. Current Biology 24: 555-560

Graham, NAJ, J Cinner, A Norström, M Nyström (2014). Coral reefs as novel ecosystems: embracing new futures. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 7: 9-14
– ISI Highly Cited paper

Gurney et al. (2014). Poverty and protected areas: an evaluation of a marine integrated conservation and development project in Indonesia. Global Environmental Change. 26: 98-107

Hicks CC and JE Cinner (2014). Social, institutional, and knowledge mechanisms mediate diverse ecosystem service benefits from coral reefs. PNAS 111: 17791-17796

Hicks CH, Stoeckl N, Cinner J, Robinson J. (2014) Fishery benefits and stakeholder priorities associated with a coral reef fishery and their implications for management. Environmental Science & Policy 44: 258-270.

Januchowski-Hartley FA, Cinner J, Graham NAJ. (2014). Fisheries benefits attained from behavioural modification of fishes in periodically harvested fisheries closures in Melanesia. Aquatic Conservation 24: 777-790.

Kittinger et al. (2014). A practical approach for putting people in ecosystem-based ocean planning. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12: 448-456

McClanahan et al. (2014). Perceived benefits of management benefits in Madagascar. Ecology & Society 19(1): 5.

Robinson J, Cinner JE, Graham NAJ (2014) The Influence of Fisher Knowledge on the Susceptibility of Reef Fish Aggregations to Fishing. PLoS ONE 9(3): e91296.


Brewer T, Cinner J, Green A, Pressey R. (2013). Market access and socioeconomic development explain patterns of exploitation on coral reefs. Conservation Biology 27: 443-452

Cinner J, MA MacNeil, X. Basutro, S. Gelcich. (in press). Looking beyond the fisheries crisis: Cumulative learning from small-scale fisheries through diagnostic approaches. Global Environmental Change

Cinner J, Graham NAJ, Huchery C, MacNeil MA. (2013). Global impacts of local human population density and distance to markets on the condition of coral reef fisheries. Conservation Biology 27: 453-458

Two reviews in Faculty of 1000

Cinner J, Huchery C. (2013). A comparison of social outcomes associated with different fisheries co-management institutions. Conservation Letters

Cinner J, Huchery C, Darling ES, Humphries AT, Graham NAJ, Hicks CH, Marshall N, McClanahan TR. (2013) Evaluating social and ecological vulnerability of coral reef fisheries to climate change. PLoS One. 8(9): e74321. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074321

Cohen P, Cinner J, Foale SJ. (2013). Fishing dynamics associated with periodically harvested marine closures. Global Environmental Change 6: 1702-1713

Cvitanovic C. Wilson SK, Fulton CJ, Almany GR, Anderson P, Babcock RC, Ban NC, Beeden RJ, Beger M, Cinner J, Dobbs K, Evans LS, Farnham A, Friedman KJ, Gale K, Gladstone W, Grafton Q, Graham NA, Gudge S, Harrison PL, Holmes TH, Johnstone N, Jones GP, Jordan A, Kendrick AJ, Klein CJ, Little LR, Malcolm HA, Morris D, Possingham HP, Prescott J, Pressey RL, Skilleter GA, Simpson C, Waples K, Wilson D, Williamson DH. (2013). Critical research needs for managing coral reef Marine Protected Areas: perspectives of academics and managers. Journal of Environmental Management 114: 84-91

Graham NAJ, Bellwood DR, Cinner J, TP Hughes, Norström AV, Nyström M. (2013). Managing resilience to reverse phase shifts in coral reefs. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Hicks CH, Graham, NAJ, Cinner J (2013). Synergies and tradeoffs in how managers, scientists, and fishers value coral reef ecosystem services. Global Environmental Change

Januchowski-Hartley FA, Graham NAJ, Cinner J, Russ GR. (2013). Spillover of fish naïveté from marine reserves. Ecology Letters 16:191-197

Johnson AE, Cinner J, Hardt M, Jacquet J, McClanahan TR, Sanchirico J. (2013). Trends, current understanding, and future directions for artisanal coral reef fisheries research. Fish & Fisheries 14: 281–292

Kittinger, J. N., E. M. Finkbeiner, N. C. Ban, K. Broad, M. H. Carr, J. E. Cinner, S. Gelcich, M. L. Cornwell, J. Z. Koehn, X. Basurto, R. Fujita, M. R. Caldwell, and L. B. Crowder. (2013) Emerging frontiers in social-ecological systems research for sustainability of small-scale fisheries. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 5: 352-357

MacNeil MA, Cinner J. (2013). Hierarchical livelihood outcomes among co-managed fisheries. Global Environmental Change http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.04.003

McClanahan TR, Cinner J, Abunge C (2013). Identifying management preferences, institutional organizational rules, and attributes, and their capacity to improve fisheries management in Pemba, Mozambique. African Journal of Marine Science 35(1)


Ban NC, Cinner J, Adams V, Mills M, Almany GR, Ban S, McCook LJ, White A (2012) Recasting shortfalls of marine protected areas as opportunities through adaptive management. Aquatic Conservation 22: 262–271

Brewer T, Cinner J, Fisher R, Green A, Wilson SK. (2012). Market access, population density, and socioeconomic development explain diversity and functional group biomass of coral reef fish assemblages. Global Environmental Change 2: 399-406

Bruggeman H, Rodier M, Guillaume M, Andréfouët S, Arfi R, Cinner J, Pichon M, Ramahatratra F, Rasoamanendrika F, Zinke J, McClanahan T. (2012). Wicked social-ecological problems forcing unprecedented change on the latitudinal margins of coral reefs: the case of southwest Madagascar. Ecology & Society 17: 1-17

Campbell SJ, Hoey AS, Maynard J, Kartawijaya T, Cinner J, Graham NAJ, Baird AH. (2012). Weak compliance undermines the success of no-take zones in a large government controlled marine protected area. PLOS One 7(11): e50074. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050074

Campbell SJ, Cinner J, Ardiwijaya R, Pardede S, Kartawijaya T, Mukminin A, Herdiana Y, Hoey A, Pratchett M, Baird A. (2012) Avoiding conflicts and protecting coral reefs: Customary management protects habitat and fish biomass. ORYX 46: 486-494

Cinner J, McClanahan TR, MacNeil MA, Graham NAJ, Daw TM, Mukminin A, Feary DA, Rabearisoa AL, Wamukota A, Jiddawi N, Campbell SJ, Baird AH, Januchowski-Hartley FA, Hamed S, Lahari R, Morove T, Kuange J. (2012a). Comanagement of coral reef social-ecological systems. Proceedings of the US National Academies of Sciences (PNAS) 109: 5219-5222

ISI Highly Cited paper

Cinner J, Daw TM, McClanahan TR, Muthiga N, Abunge C, Hamed S, Mwaka B, Rabearisoa A, Wamukota A, Fisher E, Jiddawi N. (2012b). Transitions toward co-management: the process of marine resource management devolution in three east African countries. Global Environmental Change 22: 651-658

Cinner J, McClanahan TR, Graham NAJ, Daw TM, Maina J, Stead SM, Wamukota A, Brown K, Bodin Ö. (2012c). Vulnerability of coastal communities to key impacts of climate change on coral reef fisheries. Global Environmental Change 22: 12–20

– Highlighted in Nature Climate Change

Cinner J, Basurto X, Fidelman P, Kuange J, Lahari R, Mukminin A. (2012d). Institutional designs of customary fisheries management arrangements in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Mexico. Marine Policy 36: 278-285

Cinner J, Pomeroy RS. (2012). People and the Sea. Coastal Management 40: 235-238

Daw T, Cinner J, McClanahan TR, Brown K, Stead SM, Graham NAJ, Maina J. (2012). To fish or not to fish: factors at multiple scales affecting artisanal fishers’ readiness to exit a declining fishery. PLoS One 7(2): e31460.

– Covered by BBC news

Fidelman P, Evans L, Fabinyi M, Foale S, Cinner J, Rosen F. (2012). Governing large-scale marine commons: contextual challenges in the Coral Triangle. Marine Policy 36:42-53

Hughes S, Yaua A, Max L, Petrovicc N, Davenport F, Marshall M, McClanahan TR, Allison EA, Cinner J. (2012). A Framework to Assess National Level Vulnerability from the Perspective of Food Security: The Case of Coral Reef Fisheries. Environmental Science & Policy 23: 95-108

McClanahan T, Abunge CA, Cinner J. (2012). Heterogeneity in fishers’ and managers’ preferences towards management restrictions and benefits in Kenya. Environmental Conservation 39: 357-369

McLoed L, Green A, Game E, Anthony K, Cinner J, Heron S, Kleypas J, Lovelock C, Pandolfi J, Pressey R, Salm R, Schill S, Woodroffe C. (2012). Integrating climate and ocean change vulnerability into conservation planning. Coastal Management 40: 651-672

Setiawan A, Cinner J, Sutton S, Mukim A. (2012). The perceived impact of customary marine resource management on household and community welfare in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Coastal Management 40: 239-249

Wamukota A, Cinner J, McClanahan TR. (2012). Co-management of coral reef fisheries: A critical evaluation of the literature. Marine Policy 36: 481-488


Ban, NC, V Adams, GR Almany, S Ban, J Cinner, LJ McCook, M Mills, RL Pressey, A White. (2011) Designing, implementing and managing marine protected areas: emerging trends and opportunities for coral reef nations. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 408: 21-31

Cinner, J Social-ecological traps in coral reef fisheries (2011). Global Environmental Change. 21: 835-839

Listed in Faculty of 1000

Cinner, J. and G. David (2011). Human dimensions of coastal and marine ecosystems in the western Indian Ocean. Coastal Management. 39: 351-357

Cinner, J., C. Folke, T. Daw, C. Hicks. (2011) Responding to change: using scenarios to understand how socioeconomic factors may influence amplifying or dampening exploitation feedbacks among Tanzanian fishers. Global Environmental Change. 21: 7-12

Daw, TM., J Cinner, TR McClanahan, NAJ Graham, SK Wilson. (2011) Design factors & socioeconomic variables associated with ecological responses to fishery closures in the western Indian Ocean. Coastal Management. 39: 412-424

Graham et al. From Microbes to People: Tractable benefits of no-take areas for coral reefs. (2011). Oceanography and Marine Biology: an Annual Review: 46: 251-296

Feary, D., JE Cinner, N.A.J Graham, F.A. Hartley. (2011). Effects of Customary Marine Closures on Fish Behavior, Spear-Fishing Success, and Underwater Visual Surveys. Conservation Biology. 25: 341-349

Januchowski-Hartley, F., N.A.J. Graham, D. Feary, T. Morove; J. E. Cinner. Fear of Fishers: Human Predation Explains Behavioral Changes in Coral Reef Fishes. PLoS ONE. 6(8): e22761.

McClanahan, TR, NAJ Graham, MA MacNeil, N. Muthiga, J Cinner, H. Bruggeman, SK WIlson (2011). Critical thresholds and tangible targets for ecosystem-based management of coral reef fisheries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) doi/10.1073/pnas.1106861108

Listed in Faculty of 1000

– Coverage in Sydney Morning Herald, Courier Mail, ABC news, and other key media outlets

Mora, C. O Aburto-Oropeza, A Ayala Bocos, P Ayotte, S Banks, A Bauman, M Beger, S Bessudo, D Booth, E Brokovich, A Brooks, P Chabanet, J Cinner, J Cortés, J Cruz-Motta, AC Magaña, E DeMartini, G Edgar, D Feary, S Ferse, A Friedlander, K Gaston, C Gough, N Graham, A Green, H Guzman, M Hardt, M Kulbicki, Y Letourneur, AL Perez, M Loreau, Y Loya, C Martinez, I Mascareñas-Osorio, T Morove, MO Nadon, Y Nakamura, G Paredes, N Polunin, M Pratchett, HR Bonilla, F Rivera, E Sala, S Sandin, G Soler, R Stuart-Smith, E Tessier, D Tittensor, M Tupper, P Usseglio, L Vigliola, L Wantiez, I Williams, S Wilson, and F Zapata. (2011) Global human footprint on the linkage between diversity and function in reef fishes. PLoS Biology. 9(4): e1000606

– Coverage in CNN

Listed as a ‘must read’ by Faculty of 1000

Steneck, R.S. T.P. Hughes, J. Cinner, N. Adger, S. Arnold, S. Boudreau, K. Brown, F. Berkes, C. Folke, L. Gunderson, P. Olsson, M. Scheffer, B. Walker, J. Wilson, B. Worm. (2011) Creation of a gilded trap by the high economic value of the Maine lobster fishery. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01717.x

– Coverage in New York Times

Listed as ‘exceptional’ by Faculty of 1000


Cinner, J. (2010) Poverty and the use of destructive fishing gear near east African marine protected areas. Environmental Conservation. (4): 321–326.

Cinner, J and Ö. Bodin. (2010). Livelihood diversification in tropical coastal communities: a network-based approach to analyzing ‘livelihood landscapes’ PLoS ONE. 5(8): e11999 <http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0011999>

Cinner, J TR. McClanahan, A. Wamukota. (2010). Differences in livelihoods, socioeconomic characteristics, and environmental perceptions between fishers and non-fishers living near and far from marine parks on the Kenyan coast. Marine Policy: 34:22-28

Feagan R.A., N. Mukherjee, K. Shanker, AH. Baird, J. Cinner, AM. Kerr, N Koedam, A. Sridhar, R. Arthur, L.P. Jayatissa, DL Seen, M Menon, S. Rodriguez, Md. Shamsuddoha, F. Dahdouh-Guebas. Shelter from the storm? The use and misuse of ‘bioshields’ in managing for natural disasters on the coast. Conservation Letters. 3: 1-11

Fuentes MMPB, JE Cinner (2010) Using expert opinion to prioritize impacts of climate change on sea turtles’ nesting grounds. Journal of Environmental Management: 91: 2511-2518

MacNeil, A. NAJ Graham, JE Cinner, PA Loring, S Jennings, NK Dulvy, AT Fisk, TR McClanahan. (2010). Transitional states in marine fisheries: adapting to predicted global change. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 365: 3753-3763

Pollnac, R., P. Christie, J. Cinner, T. Dalton, T. Daw, G. Forrester, N. Graham, T. McClanahan (2010). Marine reserves as linked social-ecological systems. Invited article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). 107: 18262-18265 Link to full text or pdf

-covered in Faculty of 1000

Wilson, S.K. et al. (2010). Critical knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes. Journal of Experimental Biology: 213: 894-900


Bartlett C.Y., C. Manua, J. Cinner, S. Sutton, R. Jimmy, R. South, J. Nilsson, J. Raina. (2009). Comparison of outcomes of permanently closed and periodically harvested coral reef reserves. Conservation Biology: 23: 1475-1484

Brewer, T. J. Cinner, A. Green, J. Pandolfi. (2009) Thresholds and multiple scale interactions of environment, resource use, and market proximity on reef fishery resources in the Solomon Islands. Biological Conservation 142: 1797–1807

Cinner, J. (2009). Migration and Coastal Resource Use in Papua New Guinea. Ocean & Coastal Management 51: 411-416

Cinner, J, T.M. Daw, T.R. McClanahan (2009). Socioeconomic factors that affect artisanal fishers’ readiness to exit a declining fishery. Conservation Biology: 23: 124-130 Link to full text or pdf

Cinner, J, M.M.P.B. Fuentes, H. Randriamahazo. (2009). Exploring social resilience in Madagascar’s marine protected areas. Ecology & Society: 14(1): 41.

[online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss1/art41/

Cinner, J. T. McClanahan, T. Daw, N.A.J. Graham, J. Maina, S.K. Wilson, T.P. Hughes. (2009) Linking social and ecological systems to sustain coral reef fisheries. Current Biology: 19: 206-212 Link to full text or pdf

– Commentary in Moving beyond Malthus (R. Steneck, Current Biology, 2009, 19: R117-119)

– Listed as a ‘must read’ by Faculty of 1000

– Coverage in New York Times, CNN, Scientific American, ScienceNews, Discovery Channel etc.

Cinner, J. T. McClanahan, N.A.J. Graham, M. Pratchett, S.K. Wilson, J.B. Raina. (2009). Gear-based fisheries management as a potential adaptive response to climate change and coral mortality. Journal of Applied Ecology: 46: 724-732

Cinner, J. A. Wamukota, H. Randriamahazo, A Rabearisoa. (2009) Toward community-based management of inshore marine resources in the Western Indian Ocean. Marine Policy: 33: 489-496

Hicks, C., TR McClanahan, J Cinner, and J Mills. (2009) Trade offs in ecological goods and services associated with different coral reef management strategies. Ecology & Society: 14:10.

Lokrantz, J., M. Nystrom, A. Norstrom, C. Folke, J. Cinner. (2009) Impacts of artisanal fishing on key functional groups and the potential vulnerability of coral reefs. Environmental Conservation. 36: 327-337

McClanahan T.R, J. Cinner, J Maina, N.A.J. Graham, T.M. Daw, S.M. Stead, A. Wamukota, K. Brown, M. Ateweberhan, V. Venus, & N.V.C. Polunin. (2009). Identifying reefs of hope and hopeful actions: Contextualizing environmental, ecological, and social parameters to effectively respond to climate change. Conservation Biology: 23: 662–671


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