Features Overview

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Dr Rebecca Weeks is an expert in conservation planning and natural resource management, with more than a decade of experience providing decision-support for the conservation and management of marine and coastal ecosystems, primarily in developing countries. 

Resource use map drawn at a community consultation workshop in Siquijor, Philippines.

Rebecca’s primary expertise is in the design of marine protected area networks and complementary natural resource management strategies, particularly where these require incorporating customary management practices and local ecological knowledge into conservation planning processes. She has partnered with local collaborators and stakeholders to develop conservation plans for numerous locations across the Asia-Pacific region, at scales ranging from the design of individual marine protected areas to drafting international marine protected areas policy. 

Conservation priorities being discussed at a stakeholder workshop in Fiji

Rebecca is also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, where she supervises Doctoral students and remains closely involved in applied conservation research. Working at the boundary between science and management, her research seeks to translate core and emerging scientific concepts in ecology, economics, and the social sciences into tangible management strategies that minimise the loss of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services while also maximising benefits to resource users. She has over 30 peer-reviewed publications on conservation planning theory and practice,which have attracted more than 1000 citations. Rebecca was awarded a PhD in Marine Conservation Biology from James Cook University in 2011. 

Research and Consultancy Services

  • Gap analysis

  • Spatial conservation prioritisation

  • Marine protected area network design

  • Marine spatial planning

  • Natural resource management planning

  • Spatial analysis and cartography using Geographic Information Systems (ESRI ArcGIS)

  • Training in decision support tools (e.g. Marxan)

  • Facilitation of stakeholder workshops to elicit conservation objectives, map resource use etc. (e.g. using Open Standards / Conservation Action Planning)

  • Community and stakeholder engagement

  • Social network analysis