Protected areas face a new suite of impacts from anthropogenic climate change. Traditionally, protected area management has been based on values and conditions of the past and managed today to maintain those values in situ and current protected area management approaches may not conserve these areas adequately as climate alters. One of the issues faced by natural resource managers is how current management systems will deal with protected area values under future climate change. There are many tools available to assess and address climate change impacts however, most are either lacking in data or are very specialised making them impractical for natural resource managers with limited expertise. They don’t necessarily answer the questions managers need for practical application and only a limited number of tools bridge that gap between science and day to day management.

My project is about how climate change will affect protected area management at the site level. There is a need for methodology and guidelines to assist protected area managers in understanding how their parks and reserves will respond to future climate change, so they can make informed decisions, and devise possible management strategies.

The aim of this research is to investigate approaches to managing climate change impacts through understanding and addressing protected area management and planning through a socio-ecological model.

My research will use the Scenic Rim region in South East Queensland, as a case study. It incorporates a number of World Heritage listed mountainous protected areas (Gondwana Rainforests of Australia) with a wide range of valued ecosystems and species diversity. It has increasing human population and tourist pressures from South East Queensland; one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. It is one of Australia’s biodiversity hotspots and is important for the ecosystem services to support the rapid increasing human population.

Advisors: Prof Marc Hockings, Assoc Prof Jonathan Rhodes

Project members

Sherri Tanner-McAllister

Sherri Tanner-McAllister

PhD Graduate 2017