Angela Dean
University of Queensland

Angela Dean profile imageDr Angela Dean

Research fellow, the University of Queensland

See Dr Dean’s full research profile here.

Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making

  • Building community support for sustainable urban water management. Dr Dean led research, supported by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, that benchmarked Australian’s water literacy, and this tool now informs community engagement practices of many state governments, water utilities, and local governments.
  • Promoting conservation citizenship for ‘less visible’ ecosystems. One challenge with promoting conservation citizenship for marine and aquatic ecosystems relates to poor issue visibility, which is a barrier to engagement. Dr Dean’s research shows that, while terrestrial recreation promotes conservation concern, marine and waterway recreation does not. Dr Dean leads a series of projects exploring how behavioural and experiential approaches promote conservation engagement, comparing effectiveness across marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Targeting psychological drivers of change. There is a common call for ‘increased community education’ to tackle conservation challenges. However, Dr Dean’s research (examples here and here) challenges this focus on factual learning – showing that values and emotions are central ingredients enabling (or constraining) community action. The research impact on management involves shifts in organisational practice, rather than specific policy changes. Dr Dean works with diverse organisations, providing advice and training on how incorporate such findings into their engagement practices.

Current academic employment and position

  • 2021–present: lecturer, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, the University of Queensland
  • 2019–2021: senior research fellow, conservation social scientist, Queensland University of Technology.

Highest qualification

  • 2003: PhD, The University of Queensland.

Roles on government or regional organisation committees

  • coordinator, social monitoring program and member, social science expert panel, Healthy Land and Water. Dr Dean leads the social monitoring program for Healthy Land and Water, an independent organisation that works to protect waterways in south-east Queensland. Social monitoring contributes to their annual report card, assessing both environmental condition and social benefits of local waterways.
  • member, human dimensions working group, Office of the Great Barrier Reef, Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government. Dr Dean provides advice about social dimensions of land use practices that influence water quality in Great Barrier Reef.
  • member, community reef protection working group, Reef Trust Partnership, Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Dr Dean provides advice on disbursement of federal reef-protection funding, fostering community involvement in reef conservation.

Links with non-government groups or networks

  • Healthy Land and Water
  • Cooks River Alliance
  • Australian Citizen Science Association
  • Nature Trackers, The Bookend Trust
  • Reef Citizen Science Alliance
  • ReefCheck Australia
  • Alluvium Consulting
  • co-coordinator, Network of Environmental Social Science: a Brisbane-based network of environmental social science researchers and practitioners

My Projects

Current projectCompleted project
NESP RLH, 2021-2027NESP, 2015-2021NERP, 2012-2015TRaCK, 2005-present