The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

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Julian Clifton

Dr Julian Clifton

Senior Lecturer
Agriculture and Environment, School of

Contact details
School of Agriculture and Environment
The University of Western Australia (M004)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2695
Room 1.25, Geology and Geography Building, Perth campus

Senior Lecturer
UWA Oceans Institute

Contact details
UWA Oceans Institute
The University of Western Australia (M004)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2695
BA Hull, PhD Liv.
Key research
My principal research interests lie in processes of interaction and conflict between local user groups and conservation policy-makers in the marine environment. I have a longstanding focus on marine protected area institutions and governance in Indonesia, where conservation policy reflects a complex interaction between international NGOs, national and local government and various local stakeholders. My research interests have recently extended to include evaluations of vulnerability to climate change in fishing communities of the Seychelles along with similar studies of adaptation and resilience in Australian coastal communities. I am also developing a research programme focusing on the potential for community-based tourism development in coastal regions of Myanmar.
Clifton J, Unsworth R, Smith DJ, eds. (2010) Marine research and conservation in the Coral Triangle: the Wakatobi National Park. Nova Science Publishers, New York. ISBN: 978-1616684730.

Calmanovici B, Waayers D, Reisser J, Proietti M, Clifton J (in press). Assessing I3S Pattern as a mark-recapture tool for captured and free-swimming sea turtles. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Boruff B, Biggs E, Pauli N, Callow C, Clifton J (2018). Changing water system vulnerability in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region. Applied Geography 91, 131-143 [full article available on open access until April 2018 at]

Acciaioli G, Brunt H, Clifton J (2017). Foreigners everywhere, nationals nowhere: exclusion, irregularity, and invisibility of stateless Bajau Laut in eastern Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies 15, 232-249

Clifton J, Foale S (2017). Extracting ideology from policy: analysing the social construction of conservation priorities in the Coral Triangle region. Marine Policy 82, 189-196

Steenbergen D, Stacey N, Visser L, Clifton J, McWilliam A (2017). Understanding influences in policy landscapes for sustainable coastal livelihoods. Marine Policy 82, 181-188

Gonzalez-Bernat MJ, Clifton J (2017). ‘Living with our backs to the sea’: a critical analysis of marine and coastal governance in Guatemala. Marine Policy 81, 9-20

Simpson G, Clifton J (2017). Testing diffusion of innovations theory with data: financial incentives, early adopters, and distributed solar energy in Australia. Energy Research and Social Sciences 29, 12-22

Simpson G, Clifton J (2016). Subsidies for residential solar photovoltaic energy systems in Western Australia: distributional, procedural and outcome justice. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 65, 262-273

Simpson G, Clifton J (2016). Assessing postgraduate student perceptions and measures of learning in a peer review feedback process. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 41, 501-514

Vann-Sander S, Clifton J, Harvey E (2016). Can citizen science work? Perceptions of the role and utility of citizen science in a marine policy and management context. Marine Policy 72, 82-93

Abecasis RC, Afonso P, Colaço A, Longnecker N, Clifton J, Schmidt L and Santos RS (2015). Marine conservation in the Azores: Evaluating marine protected area development in a remote island context. Frontiers in Marine Science 2: 104. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2015.00104

von Heland F and Clifton J (2015). Whose threat counts? Conservation narratives in the Wakatobi National Park. Conservation and Society 13, 154-165.

Lopes M, Nesbitt H, Spyckerelle L, Pauli N, Clifton J and Erskine W (2015). Harnessing social capital for maize seed diffusion in Timor-Leste. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 35, 847-855.

Simpson G and Clifton J (2015). The emperor and the cowboys: the role of government policy and industry in the adoption of domestic solar microgeneration systems. Energy Policy 81, 141-151.

Clifton J, Cullen-Unsworth LC and Unsworth R (2014). Valuing and evaluating marine ecosystem services: putting the right price on marine environments? Environment and Society: Advances in Research 5, 66-85.

Coles T, Poland RHC and Clifton J (2014). Ecotourism in an educational context: promoting learning opportunities through travel. Journal of Biological Education 48(4), 1-7.

von Heland F, Clifton J and Olsson P (2014). Improving stewardship of marine resources: Linking strategy to opportunity. Sustainability 6, 4470-4496. Available for download at

Simpson G, Clifton J (2014). Consultation, participation and policy-making: evaluating Australia's Renewable Energy Target. Australian Journal of Public Administration 73, 29-33.

Simpson G, Clifton J (2014). Picking winners and policy uncertainty: stakeholder perceptions of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target. Renewable Energy 67, 128-135

Clifton J, Acciaioli G, Brunt H, Dressler W, Fabinyi M, Singh S (2014). Statelessness and conservation: exploring the implications of an international governance agenda. Tilburg Law Review 19, 81-89

Abecasis RC, Schmidt L, Longnecker N, Clifton J (2013). Implications of community and stakeholder perceptions of the marine environment and its conservation for MPA management in a small Azorean island. Ocean and Coastal Management 84 208-219

Clifton J (2013). Compensation, conservation and communities: an analysis of direct payments initiatives in an Indonesian marine protected area. Environmental Conservation 40 287-295

Clifton J. (2013) Refocusing conservation through a cultural lens: improving governance in the Wakatobi National Park, Indonesia. Marine Policy 41 80-86

Abecasis RC, Longnecker N, Schmidt L, Clifton J. (2013). Marine conservation in remote small island settings: factors influencing marine protected area establishment in the Azores. Marine Policy 40 1-9.

Campbell S, Kartawijaya T, Yulianto I, Prasetia R, Clifton J (2013). Co-management approaches and incentives improve management effectiveness in the Karimunjawa National Park, Indonesia. Marine Policy 41 70-79.

Clifton J, Majors C (2012). Culture, conservation and conflict: perspectives on marine protection amongst the Bajau of south-east Asia. Society and Natural Resources 25 716-725.

Clifton J, Etienne M, Barnes DKA, Barnes RSK, Suggett DJ, Smith DJ (2012). Marine conservation policy in Seychelles: current constraints and prospects for improvement. Marine Policy 36 823-831.

Clifton J, Cullen LC, Haapkylä J, Unsworth RKF (2010). Ensuring appropriate and proportionate responses to environmental threats: a response to Caras and Pasternak. Ocean and Coastal Management 53, 700-702.

Clifton J, Boruff B (2010). Assessing the potential for concentrated solar power development in rural Australia. Energy Policy 38, 5272-5280.

Simpson G, Clifton J (2010). Funding and facilitation: implications of changing Government policy for the future of voluntary Landcare Groups in Western Australia. Australian Geographer 41, 403-423.

Clifton J (2009). Science, funding and participation: key issues for marine protected area networks and the Coral Triangle Initiative. Environmental Conservation 36, 91-96.

Nunes M, Ferreira Ó, Schaefer M, Clifton J, Baily B, Moura D, Loureiro C (2009). Hazard assessment in sea cliffs at Central Algarve, Portugal: a tool for coastal management. Ocean and Coastal Management 52, 506-515.

Clifton J, Benson A (2006). Planning for sustainable ecotourism: the case for research ecotourism in developing country destinations. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 14, 238-254.

Galley G, Clifton J (2004). The motivations and demographic characteristics of research ecotourists: Operation Wallacea volunteers in south-east Sulawesi, Indonesia. Journal of Ecotourism 3, 69-82.

Clifton J (2003). Prospects for co-management in Indonesia’s marine protected areas. Marine Policy 27, 389-395.

Clifton J, McDonald P, Plater A, Oldfield F (1999). Derivation of a grain size proxy to aid the modelling and prediction of radionuclide activity in salt marshes and mudflats of the eastern Irish Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 48, 511-518.

Clifton J, McDonald P, Plater A, Oldfield F (1999). An investigation into the efficiency of particle size separation using Stokes’ Law. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 24, 735-740.

Clifton J, McDonald P, Plater A, Oldfield F (1997). Relationships between radionuclide content and textural properties in eastern Irish Sea intertidal sediments. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 99, 209-216.

Clifton J, McDonald P, Plater A, Oldfield F (1997). Radionuclide activity and sediment properties in eastern Irish Sea intertidal environments. Radioprotection 32, 287-292.

Hampton, M.P., Clifton, J. (2017). Tourism in Indonesia. In: The Routledge Handbook of Tourism in Asia, eds. C.M. Hall and S. Page, p. 181-190. Routledge, UK. ISBN: 978-1-138-78458-1.

Stacey N, Steenbergen DJ, Clifton J, Acciaioli G (2017). Understanding social wellbeing and values of small scale fishers amongst the Sama-Bajau of archipelagic Southeast Asia. In: The Values of Small-scale Fisheries, eds. D. Johnson, T.G. Acott, N. Stacey and J. Urquhart, p. 97-123. Springer, Berlin. ISBN: 978-3-319-60750-4.

Clifton J (2015). Maritime ecocultures: Bajau communities of eastern Indonesia. In: Ecocultures: Blueprints for Sustainable Communities, eds. S. Bohm, Z.P. Bharucha and J. Pretty p27-43. Earthscan, London. ISBN 978-0-415-81285-6.

Clifton J (2011). Agriculture, land use and conservation initiatives in Indonesia: implications for development and sustainability. In: Globalisation, Agriculture and Development: Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific, eds. M. Tonts and M.A.B. Siddique, p. 194-211. Edward Elgar, UK. ISBN: 978-1847208187.

Callow JN, Clifton J (2011). Globalised agriculture, development and the environment. In: Globalisation, Agriculture and Development: Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific, eds. M. Tonts and M.A.B. Siddique, p.212-234. Edward Elgar, UK.

Clifton J (2010). Achieving congruence between conservation and community: the Bajau ethnic group and marine management within the Wakatobi and south-east Asia. In: Marine research and conservation in the Coral Triangle: the Wakatobi National Park, eds. J. Clifton, R. Unsworth and D.J. Smith, p.171-192. Nova Science Publishers, New York.

Clifton J (2010). Marine protected area networks in the Coral Triangle: implications for conservation and communities. In: Marine research and conservation in the Coral Triangle: the Wakatobi National Park, eds. J. Clifton, R. Unsworth and D.J. Smith, p.237-250. Nova Science Publishers, New York.

Clifton J, Unsworth R (2010). Introduction: the Wakatobi and the surrounding region. In: Marine research and conservation in the Coral Triangle: the Wakatobi National Park, eds. J. Clifton, R. Unsworth and D.J. Smith, p.1-10. Nova Science Publishers, New York.

Clifton J, Unsworth R (2010). Future directions for marine conservation in south-east Asia. In: Marine research and conservation in the Coral Triangle: the Wakatobi National Park, eds. J. Clifton, R. Unsworth and D.J. Smith, p.251-258. Nova Science Publishers, New York.

Clifton J (2004). Evaluating contrasting approaches to marine ecotourism: ‘dive tourism’ and ‘research tourism’ in the Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia. In: Contesting the Foreshore: Tourism, Society and Politics on the Coast, eds. J. Boissevain and T. Selwyn, p.151-168. MARE Publication Series No. 2, Amsterdam University Press. ISBN: 978-9053566947.

Benson A, Clifton J (2004). Assessing tourism's impacts using local communities' attitudes towards the environment. In: Sustainable Tourism, eds. F.D. Pineda and C.A. Brebbia. WIT Press, UK. ISBN: 978-1853127243.

Clifton J, McDonald P, Plater A, Oldfield F (2000). Radionuclide concentration and sediment composition in Irish Sea intertidal sediments. In: British Salt Marshes, eds. B.R. Sherwood, B.G. Gardiner and T. Harris. Forrest Text, UK. ISBN: 0950620769.

Stacey N, Steenbergen DJ, Clifton J, Acciaioli G (2017). Impacts of marine protected areas on livelihoods and food security of the Bajau as an indigenous migratory people in maritime Southeast Asia. In: Marine Protected Areas: Interactions with Fishery Livelihoods and Food Security, eds. L. Westlund, A. Charles, S.M. Garcia, J. Sanders. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper 603, 113-126. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome. Available online at

Boruff B, Brinkman R, Clifton J, Falter J, Huang Z, Kench P, Kruger J, Lowe R, Monismith S, Pequignet C, Poerbandono, Pohler S, Reyns J, Roelvink D, Storlazzi C, Symonds G, van Dongeren A (2014). Vulnerability of coral reef protected coastlines in a changing environment. Asian Development Bank, Manila. Published online at

Clifton J (2011). The Wakatobi National Park – governance analysis. In: Governing Marine Protected Areas: getting the balance right – Volume 2, eds. P.J.S. Jones, W. Qiu and E.M. De Santo. Technical Report to Marine & Coastal Ecosystems Branch, UNEP, Nairobi. Published online at

Clifton J, Boruff B (2011). Potential for concentrated solar power generation in rural Australia. Wheatbelt Development Commission, Government of Western Australia. Published online at

Clifton J (2009). Foreshore environmental action plan. City of Stirling, Perth.

Clifton J, Maginn P (2009). Residents’ attitudes towards subdivision. City of Nedlands, Perth.

Clifton J, Tonts M, Boruff B (2007). A socio-economic overview of the coastal communities adjacent to the North-west Marine Region. Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Published online at

Clifton J, Olejnik M, Boruff B, Tonts M (2007a). The development, status and socio-economic linkages of key industries within and adjacent to the North-west Marine Region. Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Published online at

Clifton J, Olejnik M, Boruff B, Tonts M (2007b). Patterns of future development in the South-west Marine Region. Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Published online at
Future research
I would welcome applications for research supervision from students interested in analysing marine conservation policy and practice within Australia and overseas.
I would also welcome inquiries from students with a broad interest in natural resource management policies, institutions and processes.
Funding received
Australian Government New Colombo Plan: AUD65,000 awarded in 2016 via a consortium with Murdoch University to support student placements within Indonesia from 2017-2020.

Australian Government AsiaBound programme: AUD21,500 awarded to support undergraduate residential fieldwork in 2014.

UWA/UQ Bilateral Research Collaboration Award: AUD19,000 awarded October 2011 for project entitled 'Stateless stakeholders: facilitating participatory governance in the Coral Triangle', with Dr Wolfram Dressler (UQ); Dr Greg Acciaioli (UWA) and Dr Sarinda Singh (UQ)

Conversational French and beginners Indonesian
Member, Institute of Australian Geographers
Associate Editor, PLoS ONE
Associate Editor, Frontiers in Marine Affairs and Policy
Handling Editor, Conservation Biology
Honours and awards
School Prize (AUD2000) for highest student feedback scores 2016

Nominated for Faculty Teaching Award University of Western Australia (2009 and 2014)

National Finalist in ‘Australian Lecturer of the Year’ competition (2009)

Previous positions
2007-date: Lecturer / Senior Lecturer, University of Western Australia
1997-2007: Lecturer / Senior Lecturer, University of Portsmouth, UK
I co-ordinate and deliver material in the following units:
Geographies of a Global City (GEOG1103). This unit explores the cultural, environmental and economic aspects of coastal cities worldwide.
Coastal Conservation and Management (ENVT3306). This is a core unit for students enrolled in the Marine Science major and examines coastal habitats and ecosystems in the context of vulnerability and resilience.
Marine and Coastal Planning and Management (ENVT5502). This postgraduate unit focuses on understanding and analysing integrated coastal zone management, marine spatial planning, marine conservation and resource management within Australia and at the international level.
Climate Change Policy and Planning (PLNG5511). This postgraduate unit examines processes of policy formulation, negotiation and outcomes with respect to climate change. It focuses in particular on understanding how strategies of mitigation and adaptation are devised and implemented at the local, national and international scales.
Conservation, Development and Sustainability (GEOG5502). This is a unit in the Masters of International Development delivered with Greg Acciaoli from Anthropology and Sociology. It takes a critical look at conservation policy and practice with a particular focus on the consequences for local resource users.

In 2013, I delivered the Water, Sustainability and Development Semester 1 module in the Master of Integrated Water Management Program organised through the International Water Centre in collaboration with the University of Queensland, Griffith University and Monash University.

I co-ordinate an overseas residential fieldwork unit GEOG2204 titled International Fieldwork in Geography. This unit runs regular and varied fieldwork trips to explore aspects of development, urbanisation and conservation in contrasting settings. Eligible students can opt for this unit which in 2014 operated a three week visit to the Northwest USA and a week long trip to Bali. In June 2015 students enrolled in this unit visited Barcelona on a two week trip. In 2016, UWA staff and students went to Bali in collaboration with Professor Carol Warren and students from Murdoch University and in 2017, UWA students visited north-east Spain.
Current external positions
Lead investigator with University of Essex, UK, Earthwatch Institute and Mitsubishi Corporation examining adaptation to climate change within fishing communities of the Seychelles
Honorary Lecturer, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Queensland
Honorary Member, Centre for Tourism in Islands and Coastal Areas, University of Kent, UK
Useful links
Scopus ID: 35974931300
New and noteworthy
In June 2017 I delivered a presentation and conducted media interviews at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta with the theme of 'Managing for Conservation in the Coral Triangle'. This was part of the Year of Australian Lifestyle campaign organised by the Australian Government to promote collaboration and academic exchange between Australia and Indonesia. A video of the event is available at

In January 2017 I visited colleagues at the University of Yangon and University of Mandalay in Myanmar together with Dr Mark Hampton of the University of Kent, UK. This visit explored joint research and teaching opportunities with these academic institutions and relevant NGOs focusing on community-based tourism, ecotourism and rural sustainable livelihoods.

Together with colleagues from Charles Darwin University, the Australian National University and Wageningen University, I co-edited a Special Issue of Marine Policy entitled 'Sustainable Coastal Livelihoods in the Arafura Timor Seas Region' published in 2017.

In late 2015 I contributed to the inaugural event for Indonesian alumni in Jakarta. This also included talks designed to instigate long term Masters teaching and short course collaboration between UWA and the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries which resulted in the preparation of an MoU during a return visit by staff from the Ministry to UWA in December 2015.

I am working with staff at the University of Seychelles on developing their new undergraduate Environmental Science degree programme. I am also in discussion with the leaders of the Seychelles Blue Economy Research Institute ( with a view to enhancing the role of artisanal fishers and fish consumers in the Blue Economy.

I was part of a team comprising Greg Acciaioli (UWA), Natasha Stacey (Charles Darwin University) and Dirk Steenbergen (Charles Darwin University) presenting a panel discussion entitled Migratory Indigenous Peoples, Livelihoods and Protected Areas at the World Parks Congress in Sydney, November 2014. This built upon collaboration initiated through the UWA/UQ Bilateral Award and highlighted issues associated with ethnic minorities in marine areas of South-East Asia.

In collaboration with the Australian Tropical Marine Alliance, I prepared and delivered a training course for local managers on integrated coastal zone management in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea in 2013. All teaching materials used in this project can be downloaded at
Current projects
Current PhD supervision
Claudia Franca de Abreu: Belonging in postcolonial times: The Guarani revitalisation movement as a means of achieving resilience and wellbeing in indigenous communities
Maria Jose Gonzalez-Bernat: Marine governance and conservation policy in Guatemala
Harriet Davies: Planning for change in island seascapes: Considering the future of the social-ecological seascape within marine spatial planning
Gracie Jones: Evaluating the impacts of payments for ecosystem services: the ICMS-E programme in Brazil
Asha McNeill: Applying sustainable livelihood concepts to Australian marine protected areas
Rusianti Amat Sugio: Food security and marine resource management in Karimunjawa National Park, Indonesia
Kendra Travaille: The influence of fishery attributes on governing fishery social-ecological system transitions: insights from two Caribbean spiny lobster fishery improvement projects [in collaboration with Stanford University]

PhD completions
Michelle Walker Pyke: How can Indigenous customary knowledge inform understanding of ecological change and enhance the care of freshwater places on the Dampier Peninsula? PhD awarded September 2017.
Genevieve Simpson: Analysing social acceptance of renewable energy policy in Australia: community, industry and government perceptions of residential solar energy PhD awarded March 2017.
Andrew Hill: Factors contributing to the establishment of marine protected areas in Australia PhD awarded July 2014.
Rita Costa Abecasis: The human dimensions of marine protected area establishment in remote island settings: a case study in the Archipelago of the Azores. PhD awarded November 2013.
Emily Ogier: Island-based tourism: governance and use of natural resources at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. PhD awarded June 2013.

Together with colleagues from University College London and Dalhousie University, I have co-edited a Special Issue of Marine Policy entitled Governing marine protected areas: towards social-ecological resilience through institutional diversity. The Special Issue is available online at
Further details of this project are available at
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM