Associate Professor Carina Wyborn


Carina is an interdisciplinary social scientist with background in science and technology studies, and human ecology. She works at the intersection of science, policy, and practice, where she is interested in understanding how decisions are made in complex and contested environmental management challenges.

Carina is particularly interested in the capacities that enable future-oriented decision making, and the methods and practice that are used to support decision-making in the context of uncertainty. After completing her PhD at the ANU in 2012, Carina has worked internationally, in the United States, Colombia and Switzerland, working with government and non-government organisations on climate adaptation, wildfire governance, and biodiversity conservation.

Carina holds an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award, which involves research on foresight practices and anticipatory governance to identify methods that enable stakeholders to negotiate shared pathways for action in water reform in the Murray Darling Basin.

Research interests

Areas of expertise

  • Environmental governance
  • Participatory and qualitative research methods
  • Conservation social science
  • Foresight, futures thinking
  • Science and technology studies

Research interests:

  • Science, politics and policy of environmental futures
  • Co-production of science, policy and society
  • Decision making under uncertainty
  • Adaptive and anticipatory governance

Wyborn, C. Davila, F. Pereira, L. Lim, M. Alvarez, I. Henderson, G. Luers, A. Martinez-Harms, M.J. Montana, J. Ryan, M. Sandbrook, S. Shaw, R. Woods, E. (2020) Imagining transformative biodiversity futures. Nature Sustainability. 10.1038/s41893-020-0587-5

Jagannathan, K., Arrnot, J., Wyborn, C., Klenk, K., Mach, K., Moss, R., and Sjostrom, R. (2020) Great expectations? Reconciling the aspiration, outcome, and possibility of co-production. Current Opinions in Environment and Sustainability. 42:22-29

Mach, K., Lemos, M.C., Meadow, A., Wyborn, C., Klenk, K., Arnott, J., Adoin, N., Fiesler, C., Moss, R., Nichols, L., Stults, M., Vaughan, C., and Wong-Parodi, G., (2020) Actionable knowledge and the art of engagement. Current Opinions in Environment and Sustainability. 42:30-37

Norström, A., Cvitanovic, C., Löf, M., West, S., Wyborn, C., et al. (2020) Co-produced global sustainability research: when, why, how? Nature Sustainability. 3:182-190

Turnhout, E., Metze T., Wyborn, C., Louder, E., and Klenk, N. (2020) The politics of co-production: participation, power, and transformation. Current Opinions in Environment and Sustainability. 42:15-21

Dewulf, A., Klenk, K., Wyborn, C., Fieseler, C., and Lemos, M.C. (2020) Usable environmental knowledge from the perspective of decision-making: the logics of consequentiality, appropriateness, and meaningfulness. Current Opinions in Environment and Sustainability, 42:1-6.

Mansourinan, S., Parrotta, J., Balaji, P., Bellwoord-Howard, I., Bhasme, S., Bixler, P., Boedhihartono, A., Carmenta, R., Jedd, T., de Jon, W., Lake, F., Latawiec, A., Lippe, M., Rai, N., Sayer, J., van Dexter, K., Vira, B., Visseren-Hamakers, I., Wyborn, C., and Yang, A. (2019) Putting the pieces together: Integration of forest landscape restoration implementation. Land Degradation & Development. 1-11. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.3448

Wyborn, C., Datta, A., Leith, P., Miller, C., van Kerkhoff, L., Chaffin, B., Montana, J., and Ryan, M. (2019) Co-producing sustainability: Reordering the governance of science, policy, and practice.  Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources 2019, 44: 319-346. doi/10.1146/annurev-environ-101718-033103

Clement, S., Gurrero Gonzalez, A., and Wyborn, C. (2019) Understanding effectiveness in its broader context: methodologies for evaluating collaborative conservation governance. Society and Natural Resources. 

van Kerkhoff, L., Múnera, C., Dudley, N., Guevara, O., Wyborn, C., Figueroa, C., Dunlop, M., Abud Hoyos, M., Castiblanco, J., and Beccera, L. (2019) Towards future-oriented conservation: managing protected areas in an era of climate change. Ambio, 48 (7): 699-713. doi: 10.1007//s13280-018-1121-0

Yung, L., Louder, E., Gallagher, L., Jones, K., and Wyborn, C. (2019) How methods for navigating uncertainty connect science and policy at the water-energy-food nexus. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 7:37.

Moon, K., Blackman, D., Adams, V., Colvin, R., Davila, F., Evans, M., Januchowski-Hartley, S., Bennett, N., Dickinson, H., Sandbrook, C., Sherren, K., St. John, F., van Kerkoff, L., and Wyborn, C. (2019) How an understanding of philosophy and methodology increases the choices of qualitative research methods: a response to Sutherland et al. (2018). Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 1-9.

Lemos, M., Arnott, J., Ardoin, N., Baja, K., Bednarek, A., Dewulf, A., Fieseler, C., Goodrich, K., Jagannathan, K., Klenk, N., Mach, K., Meadow, A., Meyer, R., Moss, R., Nichols, L., Sjostrom, D., Stults, M., Turnhout, E., Vaughan, C., Wong-parodi, G., and Wyborn, C., (2018) To engage or not to engage: co-production and the science of knowledge use. Nature Sustainability. 12(1):722-724.

Wyborn, C., Louder, E., Harrison, J., Montambault, J., Montana, J., Ryan, M., … Hutton, J. (2018) Understanding the Impacts of Research Synthesis. Environmental Science and Policy, 86 (April):72–84.

Bednarek, A., Wyborn, C., Cvitanovic, C., Meyer, R., Colvin, R., Addison, P., Close, S., Curran, K., Farooque, M., Goldman, E., Hart, D., Mannix, H., McGreavy, B., Parris, A., Posner, S., Ryan, M., and Leith, P. (2018) Boundary spanning at the science–policy interface: the practitioners’ perspectives. Sustainability Science, 13 (4): 1175-1183.

Miller, C. A., and Wyborn, C. (in press) Co-production in global sustainability: Histories and theories. Environmental Science and Policy, (October 2017).

Pitt, R., Wyborn, C., Page, G., Ryan, M., Virah Swamy, M., and Gallagher, L. (2018) Wrestling with the complexity of evaluation for organisations at the boundary of science, policy and practice. Conservation Biology, 32(5): 998-1006.

Elliott, L., Ryan, M., and Wyborn, C. (2018) Global patterns in conservation capacity development. Biological Conservation, 221 (October 2017): 261–269.

Barnes, M., Glew, L., Wyborn, C., and Craigie, I. (2018) Prevent perverse outcomes from global protected area policy. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2(5):759-762. doi:10.1038/s41559-018-0501-y

Lim, M., Søgaard Jørgensen, P., and Wyborn. C. (2018) Reframing the sustainable development goals to achieve sustainable development in the Anthropocene; a systems approach. Ecology and Society, 23 (3): 22. [online] URL:

Guerrero, A., Bennett, N., Wilson, K., Carter, N., Gill, D., Mills, M., Ives, C., Selinske, M., Larrosa, C., Bekessy, S., Januchowski-Hartley, F.,Travers, H., Wyborn, C., and Nuno, A. (2018) Achieving the promise of integration in social-ecological research: a review and prospectus. Ecology and Society, 23 (3): 38. [online] URL:

Pettibone, L., Blättel-mink, B., Balázs, B., Giulio, A. Di, Göbel, C., Heubach, K., Hummel, D., Lundershausen, J., Lux, A., Potthast, T., Vohland, K., and Wyborn, C. (2018). Transdisciplinary sustainability research and citizen science: Options for mutual learning. GAIA, 27(2): 222–225.

Fazey, I., Schäpke, N., Caniglia, G., Patterson, J., Hultman, J., van Mierlo, B., … Wyborn, C. (2018) Ten essentials for action-oriented and second order energy transitions, transformations and climate change research. Energy Research and Social Science, 40(April 2017): 54–70.

Dudley, N., Hockings, M., Stolton, S., Amend, T., Badhola, R., Bianco, M., … Wyborn, C. (2018) Priorities for protected area research. Parks, 24(1): 35-50.

Evans, M., Davila, F., Toomey, A., and Wyborn, C. (2017) Embrace complexity to improve conservation decision making. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1(11): 1588.

Murphy, D., Yung, L., Wyborn, C., and Williams, D. (2017) Rethinking Climate Change Adaptation and Place through a Situated Pathways Framework: A Case Study from the Big Hole Valley, USA. Landuse and Urban Planning, 167: 441-450.

Colloff, M., Lavorel, S., Van Kerkhoff, L., Wyborn, C., Fazey I., Gorddard, R., Foden, W., Mace, G., Prentice C., Crowley, J., Leadley, L., and Degeorges, P. (2017) Transforming conservation science and practice for a post-normal world. Conservation Biology, 31(5): 1008-1017.

Bennett, N., Roth, R., Klain, S., Chan, K., Christie, P., Clark, D., Cullman, G., Curran, D., Durbin, T., Epstein, G., Greenberg, A., Nelson, P., Sandlos, J., Stedman, R., Teel, T., Thomas, R., Verissimo, D., and Wyborn, C. (2017) Conservation social science: Understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve conservation. Biological Conservation, 205: 93-108.

Wyborn, C., van Kerkhoff, L., Dunlop, M., Dudley, N., and Guevara, O. (2016) Future Oriented Conservation: Knowledge Governance, Uncertainty and Learning. Biology and Conservation, 25(7): 1401-1408.

Murphy, D., Wyborn, C., Yung, L., Williams, D., Towler, E., Dobrowski, S., Eby, L., and Cleveland, C. (2016) Engaging Communities and Climate Futures with Multi-Scale, Iterative Scenario Building (MISB) in the Western US. Human Organisation, 75 (1): 33-46.

Colloff, M., Martín-López, B., Lavorel S., Locatelli, B., Gorddard, R., Longaretti, P., Walters, G., Van Kerkhoff, L., Wyborn, C., Coreau, A., Wise, R., Dunlop, M., Degeorges, P., Grantham, H., Overton, I., Williams, R., Doherty, M., Capon, T., Sanderson, T., and Murphy, H. (2016) Enabling transformative adaptation. Environmental Science and Policy, 68:87-96.

Page, G., Fazey, I., Wise, R., Lidenfeld, L., Moug, P., Hodgson, A., and Wyborn, C. (2016) Co-designing transformation research: lessons learned from research on deliberate practices for transformation. Current Opinion in Environment and Sustainability, 20: 86-92.

Bennett, N., Roth, R., Klain, S., Chan, K., Clark, D., Cullman, G., Epstein, G., Nelson, P., Stedman, R., Teel, T., Thomas, R., Wyborn, C., Curran, D., Greenberg, A., Sandlos, J., and Verissimo, D. (2016) Mainstreaming the social sciences in conservation. Conservation Biology, 31(1): 56-66.

Londono, J. M., Prieto Albuja, F. J., Gamboa, P., Gorricho, J., Vergara, A., Welling, L., Wyborn, C., and Dudley, N. (2016) Protected areas as natural solutions to climate change. Parks, 22(1): 7-12.

Wyborn, C. (2015) Connectivity Conservation: Boundary Objects, Science Narratives and the Co-production of Science and Practice. Environmental Science and Policy, 51: 292-303.

Wyborn, C. (2015) Connecting knowledge with action through co-productive capacities: adaptive governance and connectivity conservation. Ecology and Society, 20(1): 11.

Wyborn, C. (2015) Co-productive governance: Building relationships between science and governance to connect knowledge with action. Global Environmental Change, 30: 56-67.

Barns, M., Glew, L., Craigie, I., and Wyborn, C. (2015) Protect biodiversity, not just area. Nature, 536: 195.

Wyborn, C. (2014) Cross-scale linkages in connectivity conservation: Adaptive governance challenges in spatially distributed networks. Environmental Policy and Governance, 25: 1-15.

Wyborn, C., Yung, L., Murphy, D., and Williams, D. (2014) Situating adaptation: How governance challenges and perceptions of uncertainty influence adaptation in the Rocky Mountains. Regional Environmental Change, 15(4): 669-682.

Wyborn, C., and Dovers, S. (2014) Prescribing adaptiveness in agencies of the state. Global Environmental Change, 24: 5-7.

Shiue I, Samberg L, Kulohoma B, Dogaru D, Wyborn C, et al. (2014) 2014 Future Earth young scientists conference on Integrated science and knowledge co-production for ecosystems and human well-being. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 11:11553–58.

Wyborn, C., and Bixler, P. (2013) Collaboration and nested environmental governance: Scale dependency, scale framing, and cross-scale interactions in collaborative conservation. Journal of Environmental Management, 123: 58-67.

Wyborn, C., Jellinek, S., and Cooke, B. (2012) Negotiating multiple motivations in the science and practice of ecological restoration. Ecological Management and Restoration, 13(3): 1-5.

Wyborn C. (2011) Landscape scale ecological connectivity in Australia: Survey and analysis. Pacific Conservation Biology, 17(2): 121-130.

Cleland, D., and Wyborn, C. (2010) A reflective lens: applying critical systems thinking and visual methods to ecohealth research. Ecohealth, 7(4): 414-424.

Wyborn, C. (2009) Managing change or changing management: Climate change and human use in Kosciuszko National Park. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 16(4): 35-44.

Holdsworth, S., Wyborn, C., Bekessy, S., and Thomas I. (2008) Professional development for education for sustainability: How advanced are Australian Universities? International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9(2): 131-146.