Associate Professor Lorrae Van Kerkhoff


Research interests

Science, culture and community-based environmental governance: a pilot study of Palau

This pilot study aimed to develop, test, and refine a new approach to understanding the role of science and research based knowledge in conservation decision-making, where decision-making institutions reflect both formal, techno-rational approaches to management alongside more customary and traditional approaches. We found that Palauans were adept at applying different formal and informal rules to the governance of knowledge depending upon whether they were addressing local Palauan audiences, or external, international audiences. The study suggests that the knowledge governance framework developed in the project is a useful guide for understanding the interplay between culture, society, politics, and the application of science and research based knowledge. The final report can be found HERE.  
Timeframe: 2015 (completed)
Funding: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) AUD 15 000

Conservation Futures

The Conservation Futures project is a collaboration between ANU, the Luc Hoffmann Institute, the World Wildlife Fund and CSIRO. It aims to increase stakeholders’ capacities to anticipate the long-term social and ecological implications of climate change, and incorporate them into conservation planning processes. Starting with a pilot project in collaboration with WWF Colombia, we are designing workshop based methodologies focused on protected areas governance and decision-making, that will enable participants to deal with the uncertainties of ecosystem and landscape transformation under climate change.
Timeframe: 2016-2018    
Funding: Luc Hoffmann Institute AUD 351 920


Teaching awards

  • Top Supervisor Award, 2011
  • ANU College of Science Teaching Awards for Excellence in Teaching, 2010


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