Dr Kirsten Maclean

Senior Research Scientist (Human Geographer)

Contact details:

  • GPO BOX 2583


Kirsten Maclean is a Senior Research Scientist (Human Geographer) working as part of the Sustainable Pathways program based in Brisbane, Australia. She uses co-research practice and participatory methodologies to investigate the role of diverse people, their knowledge and values in relation to their natural and cultural resource management and planning interests and aspirations in regional and rural Australia.

Much of this work is developed in partnership with relevant government agencies, industry bodies and community and Indigenous organisations to ensure it responds to relevant national, state and place-based challenges. Importantly and as appropriate, research is often conducted with Indigenous co-research partners who actively care for their traditional country via diverse governance strategies. Such work also aims to address the challenges of, and harness future opportunities for Reconciliation, to support Indigenous leaders and their research and innovation agendas, and to ‘Close the Gap’, all identified as areas of great importance by CSIRO.

Past research has developed processes and methods to integrate diverse knowledge, values and interests for improved planning and management in the domains of agriculture (in relation to: biosecurity; and the development of the Indigenous-led Bush Products sector, northern Australia), water, and biodiversity (including co-benefits of Indigenous cultural fire management). The outcomes of such research have been used by state and federal governments, peak industry organisations, non-government organisations and Indigenous and community organisations operating across these domains.

Current Roles

  • Project Leader
    Guiding non-government investment in Indigenous cultural and natural resource management enterprises: performance and impact assessment needs (NESP 5.6 Northern)

  • Project Leader
    Research to support Girringun Aboriginal Corporation to turn their Biodiversity Nursery into a viable on-country bush products enterprise

  • Team Member
    Indigenous Futures Strategic Intiaitive

Academic Qualifications

  • 2007

    Doctor of Philosophy (Human Geography)
    The Australian National University

  • 2001

    Masters of Philosophy (Geography: Environment and Development)
    The University of Cambridge

  • 1999

    Bachelor of Arts (Human Geography, Sociology)
    Monash University

  • 1999

    Bachelor of Science (Physical Geography, Conservation Biology)
    Monash University

Professional Experiences

  • 2015-Pres

    Senior Research Scientist

  • 2009-2015

    Research Scientist

  • 2007-2009

    Post Doctoral Research Fellow
    The University of Queensland

  • 2006-2007

    Fisheries Management Officer
    The Australian Fisheries Management Authority

Achievements and Awards

  • 2018-2021

    Julius Career Award

  • 2017-2018

    Ruby Payne Scott Award

  • 2008-2008

    Desert Knowledge Innovation Award (Team Member)
    Northern Territory Government


  • 2019-2020

    CSIRO Land and Water Acorn Grant (Girringun Biodiversity Nursery Project)

  • 2018-2019

    CRC for Developing Northern Australia (Building the Traditional Owner-led Bush Products industry across northern Australia)

  • 2008-2009

    New Staff Research Grant, The University of Queensland

  • 2008-2009

    Q150 Grant, Queensland Government

  • 2004-2006

    Post-Graduate Award (Ph.D), Australian National University

  • 2004-2006

    Ph.D stipend and Research budget, Desert Knowledge CRC


We have publications by Dr Kirsten Maclean