Dr Michelle Voyer


Position: Vice-Chancellors Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Phone: +61 (0) 2 4221 4653
Office: UOW Innovation Campus, ITAMS Building 233, Room 107
Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia


Michelle joined ANCORS in 2016 as a Vice Chancellors Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. Before joining ANCORS she had worked with the University of Technology Sydney on research into the social and economic contributions of commercial fishing to NSW communities. She has worked on marine conservation issues for over 15 years firstly in NSW and Queensland State Government Departments, where she was employed in a number of roles relating to protected area and threatened species management as well as coastal planning and assessment. In 2014 she completed her PhD examining the social acceptability of marine protected areas, with a focus on two NSW marine parks. Since then she has been engaged in a range of projects investigating the human dimensions of marine conservation and resource management, including commercial and recreational fisheries. Her current research with ANCORS is a cross disciplinary investigation into social equity considerations in the Blue Economy.

Research interests:

Human dimensions of marine conservation and resource management.

Current research projects:

  • Advancing the Blue Economy: Social and equity dimensions (Post doctoral research project):
    The Blue Economy model is built around the principles of ‘triple bottom line’ decision making. This approach requires consideration of social, economic and environmental factors in an integrated way. While there are now established environmental assessment procedures and economic approaches to measuring contributions of the Blue Economy to global markets, there is at present no widely accepted approach to assessing social aspects. This is despite a wide recognition of the need for the Blue Economy to provide growth in social as well as economic benefits, particularly in relation to issues around equity and poverty alleviation. Michelle’s post doctoral project will critically appraise current approaches to considering social equity within the Blue Economy model. It will also seek to develop new, innovative approaches to incorporating social equity considerations into established Blue Economy frameworks.
  • A Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Commercial Wild-Catch Fisheries and NSW Coastal Aquaculture (Fisheries Research and Development Corporation):
    This project is investigating the role that the professional fishing industry plays in NSW regional and coastal communities from the perspective of community wellbeing. It is due to be completed in July 2016.
  • Improving our understanding of the values, beliefs, motivations and attitudes of recreational fishers in NSW. (NSW Recreational Fishing Trust):
    This project is a multidisciplinary examination of the reasons why NSW recreational fishers fish – their motivations, attitudes towards fisheries management and beliefs round the personal importance of catching and keeping fish. It is due for completion in July 2016.

Potential topics for HDR & Honours Supervision:

  • Projects relating to the application of social sciences in the field of marine conservation and management.
  • Projects which wish to investigate how social values/beliefs might influence conservation or resource management outcomes.

Recent awards and fellowships:

Vice Chancellors Post-doctoral Research Fellowships (2016)

Professional memberships:

Australian Marine Sciences Association
International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade

Competitive research funding:

  • FRDC2014/301 – Co-Investigator: Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Commercial Wild-Catch Fisheries (Fisheries Research and Development Corporation)
  • FRDC2015/302 – Co-Investigator: Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Aquaculture (Fisheries Research and Development Corporation)
  • Co-investigator: Motivations and attitudes of recreational fishers (NSW Recreational Fishing Trust).

Recent Publications:

Kenchington, R & Voyer, M (in press) Marine Protected Areas in a Blue Economy – Challenges for Oceans Policy. Australian Environment Review

Voyer, M., Barclay, K., Mcilgorm, A. & Mazur, N. 2017. Connections or conflict? A social and economic analysis of the interconnections between the professional fishing industry, recreational fishing and marine tourism in coastal communities in NSW, Australia. Marine Policy, 76, 114-121.

Barclay, K., Voyer, M., Mazur, N., Payne, A. M., Mauli, S., Kinch, J., Fabinyi, M. & Smith, G. 2017. The importance of qualitative social research for effective fisheries management. Fisheries Research, 186, Part 2, 426-438.

Voyer, M., Barclay, K., Mcilgorm, A. & Mazur, N. 2016. Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries: Valuing Coastal Fisheries (FRDC 2014-301). Technical Report. Canberra, Australia: Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC).

McIlgorm, A., M.A. Voyer, C. Magee, J. Pepperell, E. O’Toole and O. Li .2016. Improving our understanding of the motivations and attitudes towards fisheries management of recreational fishers in NSW. Report to New South Wales Department of Primary Industry Recreational Fishing Trusts. Link to PDF.

Voyer, M., N. Gollan, K. Barclay, and W. Gladstone. 2015. ‘It’s part of me’; understanding the values, images and principles of coastal users and their influence on the social acceptability of MPAs. Marine Policy 52:93-102.

Voyer, M., W. Gladstone, and H. Goodall. 2015. Obtaining a social licence for MPAs – influences on social acceptability. Marine Policy 51:260-266.

Voyer, M., W. Gladstone, and H. Goodall. 2014. Understanding marine park opposition: the relationship between social impacts, environmental knowledge and motivation to fish. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 24:441-462.

Dreher, T., and M. Voyer. 2014. Climate Refugees or Migrants? Contesting Media Frames on Climate Justice in the Pacific. Environmental Communication 9:58-76.

Voyer, M., T. Dreher, W. Gladstone, and H. Goodall. 2013. Who cares wins: The role of local news and news sources in influencing community responses to marine protected areas. Ocean & Coastal Management 85, Part A:29-38.

Voyer, M., T. Dreher, W. Gladstone, and H. Goodall. 2013a. Carving the stake: dodgy science or global necessity? Local media reporting of marine S. Cottle, editor. Environmental Conflict and the Media. Peter Lang, New York.

Voyer, M., W. Gladstone, and H. Goodall. 2012. Methods of social assessment in Marine Protected Area planning: Is public participation enough? Marine Policy 36:432-439.

Gill, N., Osman P., Head, L., Voyer, M., Waitt, G., Gibson, C. Harada, T. (2015) Looking Beyond Installation: Why households struggle to make the most of solar hot water systems, Energy Policy, 87, 83-94. DOI:10.1016/j.enpol.2015.08.038 – Open Access. ISI 14/100, Environmental Studies; 34/88 Energy and Fuels, IF2.575.

Voyer, M & Gladstone,W., Human social considerations in the use of marine protected areas for biodiversity conservation (in press), Australian Zoologist DOI:



Last reviewed: 18 January, 2017