Ms Emma Woodward

Research Scientist

Contact details:



I am an applied geographer in the Biodiversity, Ecosystem Knowledge and Services (BEKS) program of Land and Water. I am an expert in the use of co-research practice and participatory methodologies to investigate the role of diverse people, knowledges and values to inform regional natural and cultural resource planning and management in Australia. My research with Indigenous co-researchers and other Indigenous Australians also aims to address the challenges of, and harness future opportunities in relation to, reconciliation and ‘Closing the Gap’.

I have extensive research experience in northern Australian socio-ecological systems. I have a strong record in research practice (including Indigenous engagement), project delivery and on-ground impact. My past research has developed processes and methods to integrate diverse knowledge, values and interests for improved natural and cultural resource planning and management, and has been used by state and federal governments, peak industry organisations, non-government organisations and Indigenous and community organisations across the domains of agriculture, education, health, water and biodiversity. Over the past 15 years this has included working at the interface of Indigenous interests and water resources management as well as in the fields of Indigenous ecological knowledge systems, Indigenous natural resource management, knowledge networking & Indigenous livelihoods.

Other Interests

In 2016/17 I developed and led a CSIRO strategic project 'Critical success factors for Indigenous natural-resources based enterprises', which contributed to the formation of the CSIRO Indigenous Futures Business area. I now co-lead the Indigenous economic development theme within Indigenous Futures, and recently succeeded in securing funds from the CRC for Developing Northern Australia to support our Indigenous co-researchers in leading the project 'Building Traditional Owner led bush products enterprises with global supply chains from northern Australian'. I am also working on several other projects that closely engage with external clients and stakeholders including the Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment (NAWRA); the National Collection’s Atlas of Living Australia, the Northern Environmental Science Program (NESP) as well as other business development for Indigenous Futures. This suite of research work involves state and federal governments, industry and Indigenous groups in building best practice in resource management; knowledge management and stakeholder engagement and planning.

Current Roles

  • Project co-leader
    Building Traditional Owner led bush products enterprises with global supply chains from northern Australian, funded by the CRC for Developing Northern Australia

  • Section Lead
    Atlas of Living Australia’s Indigenous Ecological Knowledge platform - Seasonal calendars

  • Section Lead
    Our Knowledge, Our Way Guidelines, NESP funded

  • Team member
    Northern Australian Water Resources Assessment

Academic Qualifications

  • Submitted

    PhD -The critical role of network brokers in strengthening Indigenous land and sea management in Australia
    University of Western Australia

  • 2000

    BSc(Env) Hons (Class 1)
    University of Western Australia

Professional Experiences

  • 2008-2012

    College Fellow

Achievements and Awards

  • 2018

    Ruby Payne-Scott Award

  • 2014

    Chief Executive Study Award

  • 2012

    National Finalist
    Fresh Science Awards

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2008-2012

    NCCARF Climate College Fellow

  • 2012-current

    Member - Institute of Australian Geographers


We have publications by Ms Emma Woodward