Michael Douglas
The University of Western Australia

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Professor Michael Douglas

Hub leader

Professor of environmental science, The University of Western Australia

See Professor Douglas’ full research profile here.



Michael Douglas is a professor of environmental science at The University of Western Australia. As hub leader for the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (CERF), National Environmental Research Programme (NERP) and National Environmental Science Program (NESP), he has led some of the largest and most successful interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research initiatives ever undertaken in northern Australia. Under his leadership, these hubs have delivered applied outcomes for major environmental issues across northern Australia and have set new standards in Indigenous collaboration. His research on catchment management has directly influenced policy and planning across the region and globally.

Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making

  • served on 7 Australian and 5 Northern Territory (NT) government committees in the past 5 years. Currently on Kakadu board of management (2014–present), Kakadu research advisory committee (chair) (2011–present) and NT catchment advisory committee (2014–present)
  • contributed to development and implementation of weed risk-management framework to ensure there was a policy mechanism to take up research outcomes on invasive species – this was formally adopted in 2008 by the NT Government
  • led the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge (TRaCK) research program that has been used to underpin water-planning decisions by NT and Qld governments
  • led collaborative research with Traditional Owners in the Daly River that pioneered the use of Indigenous knowledge and western science in determining environmental flows – this research approach has been applied in NSW
  • co-leader of research in Kakadu National Park on fire management, weed management and climate change that has influenced management plans and policies in the park
  • developed Indigenous engagement protocols that were adopted by the NERP Northern Australia Hub and Kakadu National Park and modified for use by NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub.
  • NESP Northern Australia Hub projects: Environmental water needs for the Fitzroy River, Bininj/Mungguy healthy country indicators, Indigenous NRM in Kakadu National Park, Indigenous water needs for the Fitzroy River, Integrated environmental assessment to inform environmental decisions and Transdisciplinary environmental research.

Current academic employment and positions

  • 2015–present: hub leader, NESP Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub
  • 2015–present: professor of environmental science, the University of Western Australia
  • 2015–present: university professorial fellow, Charles Darwin University.

Major prizes, medals and honours

  • 2014: Territory Natural Resource Management Research Award
  • 2013: Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research Performance, Charles Darwin University
  • 2012: Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, Australian–American Fulbright Commission
  • 2009: Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence, Charles Darwin University
  • 2005: Biosecure Australia Award, Invasive Species Council of Australia.

My Projects

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