Exploring interdisciplinary collaboration

It is widely accepted that interdisciplinary collaboration is critical for understanding and addressing complex environmental problems – but we don’t know much about collaborative behaviour among Australian ecosystem scientists and managers.

Lucy Keniger, a Master of Science candidate at the University of Queensland, is researching the factors associated with collaboration in interdisciplinary research in this diverse community. The project is sponsored by the Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (ACEAS) and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN).

Lucy’s objectives are to:

  • describe the ecosystem science and management community in Australia
  • understand community members’ collaborative behaviour and their attitudes to collaboration
  • identify the main factors that are associated with those attitudes and behaviours.

Lucy said TERN and ACEAS wanted to understand the perceived risks and benefits of collaborative behaviour in the context of ecosystem science, because of the importance of collaboration in research, analysis, synthesis and management.

She has developed a questionnaire for people who are directly involved with ecosystem studies or management in Australia, and encourages anyone from this community to complete it. Names and contact details are not required. The results of the research project will be made available on the ACEAS and TERN websites.

Lucy said the study adhered to the guidelines of the ethical review process of the University of Queensland. For more information on the study, contact Lucy Keniger or ACEAS Program Manager Alison Specht, or, for ethics matters, the university Ethics Officer on (07) 3365 3924.

Lucy Keniger

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