Human Dimensions Research Subprogram

The overall goal of the FRDC’s Human Dimensions Research Subprogram is to deliver world-class research into the human dimensions of fisheries and aquaculture to support these sectors in achieving sustainability and prosperity. 

To achieve this, the Subprogram aims to facilitate targeted and appropriate social science and economics RD&E  to inform industry and management responses to human dimensions challenges facing fisheries and aquaculture.  The Subprogram also aims to elevate awareness of the need for, and improve the use of, social science and economics research, as well as to enable such research to be better integrated with traditional fisheries science research.

By ‘human dimensions’we mean the social, economic and cultural factors that affect or are affected by Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture. This includes the attitudes, processes and behaviours of individual people, companies, management agencies, communities, organisations, consumers, and markets. Human dimensions research is the “science of human systems”.

The HDR Subprogram’s objectives are to: 
1. Identify human dimensions RD&E priorities annually, through review and consultation with key fisheries and aquaculture stakeholders (RACs, IPAs, Subprograms, AFMF) and develop projects to address those priorities 
2. Promote coordination and co-investment in human dimensions RD&E across RACs, IPAs and Subprograms 
3. Ensure quality and relevance of humans dimensions RD&E through review of applications and project reports 
4. Support the FRDC in the management of a portfolio of projects with significant human dimensions research components 
5. Facilitate extension and adoption of human dimensions R&D outputs 
6. Build and support capability in human dimensions research to meet the needs of fisheries and aquaculture 

Subprogram RD&E Goals and Priorities

The HDR Subprogram leads, collaborates and partners to achieve its five RD&E goals and priorities, as outline in its 2017-2020 RD&E Plan and below.


The HDR Subprogram’s currently portfolio supports the FRDC in achieving two of its three national priorities under the FRDC's RD&E Plan 2015–2020.

Priority 1 - Ensuring that Australian fishing and aquaculture products are sustainable and acknowledged to be so
The HDR Subprogram contributes through:
Improving social and economic sustainability through activities under HDR RD&E Goal 1 ‘Ensuring social and economic benefits’
Increasing community trust through activities under HDR RD&E Goal 4 ‘Effective engagement for social acceptability’

Priority 2 - Improving productivity and profitability of fishing and aquaculture
The HDR Subprogram contributes through:
Improving the effectiveness of a range of markets through activities under HDR’s RD&E Goal 3 ‘Understanding markets’

Improving adoption, adaptation and innovation through activities under HDR RD&E Goal 2 ‘Understanding behaviours’

Program Leaders

Dr Emily Ogier leads the Human Dimensions Research Subprogram. Emily is a social science researcher with the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (UTAS) and the Centre for Marine Socioecology in Hobart. She has a back ground in marine governance and social assessment of fisheries and aquaculture. Emily has been a continuing member of the Steering Committee of the Social Sciences Research Coordination Program since its inception in 2009. Emily can be contacted as follows: 0438 697 081 (work) or via email at Emily.Ogier@utas.edu.au.

Dr Sarah Jennings coordinates the Economics research activities of the Human Dimensions Research Subprogram. She previously led the FRDC 2008/306 project 'Building economic capability in fisheries economics' and is now a consultant economist and an Adjunct Senior Researcher at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics and a member of the Centre for Marine Socioecology at the University of Tasmania. Sarah can be contacted by email at Sarah.Jennings@utas.edu.au.

Steering Committee

The Human Dimensions Program Steering Committee was appointed in February 2018. In addition to providing expert advice for the review of social science and economics research project applications, the Steering Committee acts as a reference group for FRABs, other FRDC subprograms, industry associations and management agencies. Members are:

  • Dr Nicki Mazur
  • Dr Sean Pascoe (CSIRO/QUT)
  • Dr Nyree Stenekes / Dr Heleen Kruger (ABARES)
  • Bryan McDonald (Dept Primary and Fisheries, NT)
  • Dr Sarah Jennings
  • Alex Ogg (WAFIC)
  • Dr Julian Morison (Econsearch/BDO)

Contact and Program Manager

Christopher Izzo   M  0419852723

Reports available

Related projects are listed below