Tom Brewer

Position: Research FellowTom_Brewer
Phone: +61 2 4298 1193
Office: UOW Innovation Campus, ITAMS Building 233, Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia


My broad career focus is to understand links between society (including demographic, cultural and economic dimensions) and the natural environment, with a focus on coastal marine resources in the Pacific region. My background is primarily in environmental sociology, statistics, ecology, and natural resource management socioeconomics. Through determining, and making clear for policy, important social and environmental dynamics, I hope to contribute to the advancement of human wellbeing and the preservation and regeneration of natural resource systems.

The majority of my research to date has focused on coral reef fishery sustainability, including understanding contextual factors that drive both resource depletion and resource management. I have also worked on diverse, yet allied, topics ranging from understanding and mapping landscape values to developing climate adaptation policy. My role within ANCORS is to analyse national trade data and census data to inform community-based fisheries management across geopolitical scales with a primary focus on Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati. I am also assisting with methods relating to scaling of community-based fisheries management and developing fisheries assessment protocols.

Research interests/Areas of expertise:

  • Small scale fisheries
  • Development Research
  • Environmental Sociology
  • Natural Resource Governance

Current research projects:

Pathways to change: Strengthening and scaling community-based approaches to Pacific coastal fisheries management in support of the New Song’ in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, WorldFish and funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

Publications (last 5 years):

Peer Reviewed Publications:
Duong, T., Brewer, T.D., Luck, J., Zander, K. (In Press). Farmers’ assessment of plant biosecurity risk management strategies and influencing factors: a study of smallholder farmers in Australia. Outlook on Agriculture.

Duong, T., Brewer, T.D., Luck, J., Zander, K. 2019. A Global Review of Farmers’ Perceptions of Agricultural Risks and Risk Management Strategies. Agriculture.  doi:10.3390/agriculture9010010

Duong, T., Brewer, T.D., Luck, J., Zander, K. 2019. Understanding biosecurity threat perceptions across Vietnamese smallholder farmers in Australia. Crop Protection. 117: 147-155

Friedman, M.A., Fernandez, M., Backer, L.C., Dickey, R.W., Bernstein, J., Schrank, K., Kibler, S., Stephan, W., Gribble, M.O., Bienfang, P., Bowen, R.E., Degrasse, S., Flores Quintana, H.A., Loeffler, C.R., Weisman, R., Blythe, D., Berdalet, E., Ayyar, R., Clarkson-Townsend, D.,

Swajian, K., Benner, R., Brewer, T., Fleming, L.E. 2017. An Updated Review of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning: Clinical, Epidemiological, Environmental, and Public Health Management. Marine Drugs 15: 3

Moon, K., Blackman, D., Brewer, T.D., Sarre, S. 2017. Environmental governance for urgent and uncertain problems. Biological Invasions 19: 785-797

Moon, K. Brewer, T.D., Januchowski-Hartley, S., Adams, V., Blackman, D. 2016. A guideline to improve qualitative social science publishing in ecology and conservation journals. Ecology and Society 21: 3

Moon, K.A., Blackman, D., Brewer, T.D. 2015. Understanding and integrating knowledge to improve invasive species management. Biological Invasions. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-015-0904-5

Stephens, A., Oppermann, E., Turnour, J., Brewer, T.D., O’Brien, C., Rayner, T., Blackwood, G., Dale, A.P. 2015. Identifying Tensions in the Development of Northern Australia: Implications for Governance. Journal of Economic and Social Policy 17:5

Brewer, T. D. Moon, K. 2015. Towards a functional typology of small-scale fisheries co-management informed by stakeholder perceptions: a coral reef case study. Marine Policy 51: 48-56

Wamukota, A., Brewer, T.D., Crona, B. 2014. Market integration and its relation to income distribution and inequality among fishers and traders: The case of two small-scale Kenyan reef fisheries. Marine Policy 48: 93-101

Albert, S., Love, M., Brewer, T.D. 2013. Contrasts in social and ecological assessments of coral reef health in Melanesia. Pacific Science 67: 409-424

Brewer, T.D., Cinner, J.E., Green, A., Pressey, R.L. 2013. Local human population density and market proximity explain patterns of exploitation of vulnerable coral reef fishes. Conservation Biology 27: 443-452

Brewer, T.D. 2013. Dominant discourses, among fishers’ and middlemen, of the factors affecting coral reef fish stocks in Solomon Islands. Marine Policy 37: 246-253

Wallace, R., Brewer, T. D. et al. (In Press). Rethinking Northern Australia Development. Canberra, e-ANU Press.

Book Chapters:
Brewer, T.D., Harwood, S., Archer, A., Williams, D. Dale, A.P. (In press) A case-based discussion on the disjuncture between local values and federal, state and territory development policy in Northern Australia. In Brewer, T.D. (Ed). Northern Australian Futures. Canberra, e-ANU Press.

Dale, A., Crowley, G., Brewer, T.D., Andrews, K., Warren, B., Vella, K., Potts, R. In Press. Governing the Community Based NRM System in Northern Australia: Challenges and Opportunities. In Wallace, R., Brewer, T.D. et al.(Ed). Rethinking Northern Australia Development. Canberra, e-ANU Press.

Other Publications:
Brewer, T. D. (2017) Climate-adaptive Northern Development. Policy Guidance Brief written on behalf of National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF).

Research students:
Thi Tam Duong (Ph. D. student): Perceptions and behaviours of Vietnamese farmers towards biosecurity threats in Australia

Potential topics for HDR & Honours Supervision:
Predicting community receptiveness to community-based fisheries management initiatives using large data sets and modelling techniques.

Competitive research funding:
$4,000 Darwin City Council Climate Change and Environment Grant (2014)
$10,000 Darwin Harbour values project investigator co-contribution


Last reviewed: 23 January, 2019