Dr Anna Phelan is the Director of the Global Change Scholars Program.

Researcher biography

Dr Anya Phelan is an ecological economist who specialises in social science research focused on sustainable livelihoods. Her work focuses on the interface between ecological and behavioural economics. Anya has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a PhD from Queensland University of Technology. For her PhD Anya developed a thematic structure for evaluating social externalities of major resource projects using mixed methods approach and structural equation modelling. The implications offered important insights into the extent quality of life has been influenced by coal seam gas projects in regional communities in South-east Queensland.

Dr Phelan has eighteen years professional experience with a strong mix of project management, technical consulting, and business development. As a sustainability project leader in the resource and energy sectors, Anya supported the integration of sustainability methodology and tools into the heart of engineering design and management processes.  In 2008, Anya led a multidisciplinary team for Green Cross Australia’s first flagship project addressing climate change, sea-level rise and population displacement in the Asia-Pacific region, the findings from which were presented to Australia’s Minister for Climate Change.

Currently, Anya is part of the business development team and a research officer for the Capturing Coral Reef & Related Ecosystem Services (CCRES) project, focused on alternative sustainable livelihoods that protect and enhance coastal ecosystem services. She is an active member of the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) - a worldwide network working to enhance the science and practical application of ecosystem services assessment.