Dr Pedro Fidelman

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Dr Pedro Fidelman


Research areas

  • environmental governance institutions
  • institutional and policy analysis
  • coastal and marine social-ecological systems
  • climate change adaptation


Before joining the University of the Sunshine Coast, Dr Pedro Fidelman was a Research Fellow with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (2008–2011). Prior to that, in Brazil, he held postdoc positions with the Centre for Sustainable Development of the University of Brasilia and ITA Institute of Technology (2007–2008).

Pedro's research focuses, in a broad sense, on the social and institutional dimensions of environmental change, with special focus on institutional and policy analysis. More specifically, Pedro is interested in the systems of regulations, norms, decision making processes and property rights (also known as institutions) that mediate human–environment interactions; and how these institutions may be designed and reformed to facilitate societal response to environmental change. He is also interested in examining the process of policy making and associated social and political actors and contextual factors. Particular areas of experience include coastal and marine social–ecological systems, climate change adaptation, natural resource management and common-pool resources. The geographic scope of his research includes Australia, Brazil and the Asia–Pacific region.

Professional memberships

  • International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC)
  • Political Ecology Society
  • Earth System Governance Project, International Human Dimension Program on Global Environment Change, Fellow since 2009


  • University of Tasmania Visiting Scholarship, 2012
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brazilian Research Council, 2007
  • Young Scientist award, the Global Change System for Analysis Research and Training Secretariat, 2003

Research grants

  • Supporting Governance Institutions for Adaptive Capacity to Environmental Change in Cambodia, Vietnam and Australia, Asia–Pacific Network for Global Change Research, 2013–2014
  • Understanding Multilevel Relations in Regional Governance, Research Futures Collaborative Research Network, 2013–2014
  • Understanding Policy Controversies over Australia's Network of Marine Reserves, Faculty of Arts and Business Seed Funding Scheme, 2013
  • Limits to Adaptation in the Great Barrier Reef, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, 2010–2011

Research students

  • George Freduah, Small-scale fisheries and climate change adaptation in Ghana (PhD)
  • Juana Lucini, Water management and climate adaptation (PhD)

Dr Pedro Fidelman welcomes enquiries from prospective students who wish to undertake a higher degree by research under his supervision.

Opportunities also exist from time to time for motivated undergraduate students interested in developing research skills.

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • multilevel/polycentric governance systems
  • institutional preparedness and adaptive capacity to environmental change
  • implications of governance and management efforts for social–ecological resilience
  • environmental politics, policy-making processes and stakeholder analysis
  • policy controversies over environmental issues
  • applying network theory to policy and institutional analysis
  • the role of technical and scientific information in policy processes

Further information on Pedro's research is available at Pedro Fidelman's website. *

* This is an external website and the University of the Sunshine Coast is not responsible for the content.

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