Assoc Prof Natasha Stacey

Assoc Prof Natasha Stacey
Assoc Prof Natasha Stacey's picture
Natural resources-based livelihoods, Associate Professor
Primary research group: 
Natural Resources-Based Livelihoods
Doctor of Philosophy (Anthropology), Northern Territory University. Graduate Diploma of Museum Curatorship (Distinction), James Cook University. Bachelor of Arts, University of Melbourne.


 I hold a PhD in anthropology and two decades of experience in research and development projects in natural resource management across the Pacific Islands, Indonesia, Timor Leste and more recently northern Australia and Malaysia.

During 2000-2005 I was employed as a Community Assessment and Participation Specialist on the GEF-funded Pacific International Waters Project based at the headquarters of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme in Samoa. I spent most of the 1990s conducting research for my PhD  into the social, cultural and economic drivers of Bajo and other Indonesian traditional fishing activity in Australian waters (MOU Box area)(see Stacey 2007).

For the last ten years I have worked in the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (Previously the School for Environmental Research), at Charles Darwin University (CDU). In my current role I lead a multidisciplinary group of scientists and postgraduate scholars working on resource management and livelihoods projects in northern Australia, Southeast and mainland Asia including Indonesia, Timor Leste, and Bangladesh.

I also contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate units in environmental management, indigenous livelihoods and natural resources in the School of Environment at CDU.

My current research projects include the Bajo migratory livelihoods and MPAs; social impacts of artisanal and small-scale mining in eastern Indonesia; small-scale fisheries, the roles of women and opportunities for improving livelihoods in eastern Indonesia; rehabilitating blue carbon habitats and livelihoods in Indonesia, and improving coastal and marine livelihoods, and fisheries management in the cross –border regions of the  Arafura-Timor Seas region.

Recent projects and consultancies have included: knowledge exchange as a tool for transboundary and coastal management of the Arafura and Timor Seas; social impact assessment of the Bradshaw Field Training Area in the NOrthern Territory (NT); Indigenous perceptions of climate change and aquaculture enterprise development; building local capacity for whale shark conservation and participatory monitoring and evaluation framework to support joint management of protected areas in the NT.  

More information on my proj ects and publications can be found at



  • Indigenous livelihoods, natural resource management and ecological knowledge
  • Socio-economics of natural resource use  and traditional food systems
  • Small-scale fisheries, marine conservation  and food security in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Maritime anthropology of peoples in Southeast Asia and Eastern Indonesia
  • Indigenous peoples, rights, conservation and protected areas
  • Sea nomads  in Southeast Asia and livelihood mobility


Australia, Bangladesh,Cambodia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Palau, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Niue, Tonga, Kiribati, Samoa, Timor Leste, Tuvalu, Vietnam.


2016 Charles Darwin University: Faculty Research Grant. Understanding Coastal Livelihoods in the Arafura and Timor Seas:  Impacts and opportunities of contemporary approaches to development, conservation and resource governance.  with Dr D Steenbergen.  

2015 North Australia Marine Alliance. Evaluation of ‘Developing Indigenous capacity to conduct research and monitoring to support marine based enterprises’ DAC/NT Fisheries and Yagbani Aboriginal Corporation, Goulburn Island, CDU VET.  and  S. Noland (DAC) and J. Funk, (NI).

2015    Crawford Fund Training Grant Award: Critical capacity building in context of Natural Resources and Indigenous Livelihoods for marine resource management practitioners from Eastern Indonesia. With D. Steenbergen (CDU) and Indonesia Locally Managed Marine Areas Network Program.

2015 ACIAR Small-scale fisheries in Indonesia: benefits to households, the roles of women and improving livelihoods with N. Lonergan and C. Warren of Murdoch University and IPB, Indonesia.

2014    DFAT GPFD: Artisanal and Small-scale mining for development (eastern Indonesia) B. Myers, R. Fischer, N. Stacey (CDU), & A. McWilliam (ANU) with UNDANA and HALULEO.

2013    Coordinator for the Arafura and Timor Seas Ecosystem Action (ATSEA) Program Regional Demonstration Project (Indonesia and Timor Leste exchange/study tour to Northern Australia), with Johanna Karam (CDU) and NAILSMA. Funded by Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPAC).

2012    Understanding how the use of intertidal marine resources by Indigenous women in the Northern Territory will be affected by climate change and their preferred adaptation options. CDU with collaborators from NTG, ANU, University of East Anglia/World Fish Centre. Funded by National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.

2011    Bradshaw Social Impact Assessment Review and Baseline Community Study. RIEL/CDU with ANU. Funded by the Commonwealth Department of  Defence.

2011    Quantification of blue carbon stocks and flows in Darwin Habou and development of the Rehabilitating Blue Carbon Habitats Program: Indonesia. CDU with NTG. Funded by the Northern Territory Research Innovation Board Grant.

2011-2012    International Consultant – for the United Nations Global Environment Facility Arafura and Timor Seas Ecosystem Action (ATSEA) Program. UNOPS.

2008    Dugong and Marine Turtle Project Partner Feedback Survey Funded by NAILSMA.

2007-2012    Does monitoring and evaluation improve joint management? The case of national parks in the Northern Territory. CDU with NTG and Northern and Central Land Councils. Funded by ARC Linkage Grant.

2007-2011    Natural resource management and enterprise development: can they improve Indigenous livelihoods? CDU, with CIFOR and Raminginging Homelands Centre. Funded by ARC Linkage Grant.


  • Research Member, Torres Strait Scientific Advisory Committee, AFMA (2016-2018)
  • HDR Coordinator, School of Environment/RIEL, CDU (2015- ongoing)


  • Kimberley Hunnam (PhD) Principal Supervisor. Ecological, social and food security dimensions of Timor Leste's sardine fishery. Co-supervisors: C Fulton (ANU) and D Mills (WFC/JCU).
  • Gianna Boris-Profumo (PhD) Principal Supervisor. Animal-source food and vegetable garden programmes for food and nutrition security in Timor-Leste: evaluation through a gender lens. Co-supervisors Dr  J Brimblecombe (Menzies School of Health Research) and A/Prof R Alders (University of Sydney).
  • Emily Gibson. (PhD) Principal Supervisor, Gendered dimensions and vulnerability of livelihood strategies in mangrove dwelling communities in Indonesia. Co-supervisor Terry Sunderland (CIFOR). 
  • Benjamin Brown (PhD) Principal Supervisor.  An evaluation of participatory approaches to community empowerment for management of mangrove-aquaculture agroecosystems in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Co-supervisors: Hutley and Campbell (CDU).
  • Hannah Ling (PhD) Principal Supervisor. Investigating community knowledge and perception of the social and environmental impacts of artisanal small-scale mining. With B Myers & R Fischer (CDU) and I- Wayan Mudiati (UNDANA).
  • Ronju Ahammad  (PhD) Principal Supervisor. Forests and Livelihood Linkage in Transforming Social-Ecological Regime. Co supervisor Sunderland (CIFOR).
  • Pia Harkness (PhD) Principal Supervisor. A study of livelihood resource use, dependence and impacts within the Savu Sea MPA, eastern Indonesia. With A. McWilliam (ANU) and D. Steenbergen (CDU).


  • Frances Every (MSc). 2016 Principal supervisor. Livelihoods, Vulnerability and Marginalisation of a Bajo community in Wuring Laut, eastern Indonesia.
  • Ria Fitriana (PhD). 2015. Principal supervisor. The contribution of a Sustainable Livelihoods Approach to Coastal Natural Resource Management in Pantar Strait, NTT, Indonesia. Co supervisors: Stanley and Cunningham (CDU)
  • Nick Hogarth (PhD). 2014. Principal supervisor. Bamboo based economic development and poverty alleviation in Guangxi Province China. Co-supervisors: Campbell (CIFOR) and Belcher  (CIFOR and Royal Roads University, Canada)
  • Abu Nasar Mohammad Abdullah (PhD). (2014) Survival Strategies of the people surrounding the Sundarbans mangrove forest, Bangladesh.
  • Nicholas Smith (PhD). (2014) Contested Discourses: Aboriginal Attitudes towards non-native plants and engagement in weed management in Cape York, Northern Australia 2013.
  • Luke Preece (PhD). (2012) Integrated Conservation and Development Projects: Synergies and tradeoffs between development and biodiversity conservation in the Lower Mekong countries.
  • Lisa Petheram (PhD). (2011) Roles of visual techniques in facilitating learning, building knowledge and linking knowledge to action.
  • Kristal Coe (MSc). (2009) Impediments to gender-based program delivery in aid projects.


2016  Natural Resources and Indigenous Livelihoods (ENV317/517), Unit in Masters of Environmental Management and Bachelor of Environment, CDU, Co- lecturer. Run as an intensive, 19-23 September 2016.

2016  Community Engagement in NRM and Biosecurity, (ENV 521). Unit in Masters of  Environmental Management, CDU, Co- coordinator/lecturer.

People I work with

Dr. Abu Nasar Abdullah's picture
Dr. Abu Nasar Abdullah
Frances Every's picture
Frances Every
Alumni - PhD Student
Julian Gorman's picture
Julian Gorman
Research Fellow
Indrawati Y. Asmara's picture
Indrawati Y. Asmara
Luke Preece's picture
Luke Preece
Nick Hogarth's picture
Nick Hogarth
Nick Smith's picture
Nick Smith
Ria Fitriana's picture
Ria Fitriana
Dr Sarah Hobgen's picture
Dr Sarah Hobgen
Research Associate
Prof. Owen Stanley's picture
Prof. Owen Stanley
Kamal Melvani's picture
Kamal Melvani
PhD Student
Ronju Ahammad's picture
Ronju Ahammad
Casual Researcher
Dirk Steenbergen's picture
Dirk Steenbergen
Post-doctoral Fellow (NAMRA)
Pia Harkness's picture
Pia Harkness
PhD Student
Frederika Rambu Ngana's picture
Frederika Rambu Ngana
PhD student
Hannah Ling's picture
Hannah Ling
PhD Student
Dr Lisa Petheram's picture
Dr Lisa Petheram
Sam Pickering's picture
Sam Pickering
Research Associate
Kim Hunnam's picture
Kim Hunnam
PhD Student
Gianna Bonis-Profumo's picture
Gianna Bonis-Profumo
PhD Candidate
Emily Gibson's picture
Emily Gibson
PhD Student

My blog posts

Assoc Prof Natasha Stacey's picture

RIEL researchers attend CIFOR workshop on Agrarian change

Assoc Prof Natasha Stacey's picture

Lead researcher Dr Lisa Petheram of ANU (and formerly RIEL), along with RIEL’s Dr Natasha Stacey and the NT Government’s Aquaculture Manager Dr Ann Fleming, discuss an NCCARF-funded report on a remote Arnhem Land community’s preferred adaptation strategies to climate change in the lead up to the NCCARF research portfolio launch at Parliament House.

My Places