• 211 Citations
  • 10 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr Michael Mitchell has a growing body of social research experience related to natural resources management. He is currently collaborating with Prof Max Finlayson, Assoc Prof Catherine Allan, and Dr Richard Culas and  Adjunct Prof Jay Punthakey on a four-year Australian government funded project that aims to ultimately improve the lives of millions of people by tackling groundwater over-extraction in Pakistan. He has also been collaborating with Murray Local Land Services on a number of projects, including a novel way to undertake capacity needs assessment among community-based NRM groups.

Michael previously held two post-doctoral research fellow positions. The most recent (2012-2015) was part of the National Environmental Research Program's Landscape and Policy Hub. It involved applying social science theories and methods to improve regional-scale biodiversity assessment and planning in two case study sites – the Australian Alps (covering ACT, NSW & Vic) and Tasmanian Midlands. The other (2009-2012) was with the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training exploring social dimensions of groundwater management. The position also involved a project working with rural agencies seeking to enable resource-dependent communities determine transformational strategies in the face of major changes to their resource base. Michael's doctoral dissertation (2005-2008) focused on sustainability reporting and the use of the 'triple bottom line' concept drawing on a case study with Murrumbidgee Irrigation.

Michael is interested in participatory action research and qualitative social research to support inter-disciplinary research related to rural NRM issues; in learning theories at organisational and social scales; in reporting as a strategy to enhance sustainability; and in applying social-ecological systems analysis to improve NRM outcomes.

Research Interests

  • Participatory/ transdisciplinary research and social learning
  • Resilience and social ecological systems analysis
  • Social dimensions of environmental management
  • Governance and NRM
  • Sustainability

Professional Information

External Appointments & Memberships:

  • Friends of Nail Can Hill (coordinator)

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Charles Sturt University


Graduate Certificate in Education (TESOL), University of NSW


Master of Philosophy, The University of Sydney


Thai I, II & III, Australian National University


Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Sydney


External positions

Friends of Nail Can Hill (coordinator)

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Research Output

Living with Salinity in the Indus Basin: SRA 2: Final report. (SRA Project No. WAC/2019/102)

Mitchell, M., Allan, C., Punthakey, J., Barrett-Lennard, E., Heaney-Mustafa, S., Lashari, B., Baig, I. A. & Hussain, I., Jan 2020, Canberra: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). 28 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

4 Downloads (Pure)

Using a resilience thinking approach to improve coastal governance responses to complexity and uncertainty: a Tasmanian case study, Australia

Jozaei, J., Mitchell, M. & Clement, S., 01 Jan 2020, In : Journal of Environmental Management. 253, p. 1-10 10 p., 109662.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Addressing research complexity: Analysing pathways to impact and using transdisciplinary approaches

    Christen, E. W., Mitchell, M., Roth, C. & Rowley, E., 2019, In : Agricultural Science. 30/31, 2/1, p. 32-43 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Community involvement in water management in Punjab, Pakistan: A strategy to sustainability of livelihoods of farmers

    Akhtar, S., Zeeshan, M., Allan, C. & Mitchell, M., Nov 2019, p. 55-56. 2 p.

    Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstract

  • Exploring options for improved groundwater management using a participatory research approach in Sindh, Pakistan

    Mangan, T., Nangraj, T., Mitchell, M., Allan, C. & Punthakey, J., Nov 2019, p. 133. 1 p.

    Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstract

  • Press / Media

    Experts stress on improving groundwater quality

    Richard Culas & Michael Mitchell


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Need to improve ground water quality stressed

    Richard Culas & Michael Mitchell


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Managing groundwater for farmers in Pakistan

    C. Max Finlayson, C Allan & Michael Mitchell


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Have your say on Landcare: Victorian survey

    Michael Mitchell & Allan Curtis


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media