Researcher biography

Anna is an ecological economist and sustainable development specialist. She has industry and academic experience including collaborative interdisciplinary research, technical consulting, and business development. Her current research themes and projects include:

  • Ocean plastic pollution, sustainable development and remote coastal communities
  • Circular economy, circular business models, recycling strategies and sustainable supply chains
  • Economics of plastic pollution, emerging plastic credit marketplace
  • Demand-led innovation to reduce, recover, and recycle plastics in the corporate sector

Dr Phelan leads one of the 2020 BEL Connect Grants and is the Principal Investigator for the Global Change Institute Flagship Project - Small Island Initiative for a Plastic Free Ocean - research project investigating factors contributing to ocean plastic pollution in Indonesia.

Anna is also the Director and academic coordinator of the UQ Global Change Scholars Program (GCSP), working with high-performing PhD students from across the university on issues of global change and research leadership. Anna has designed and delivered research studies and was part of the Business Development team for the Capturing Coral Reef & Related Ecosystem Services (CCRES) project, focused on alternative sustainable livelihoods that protect and enhance coastal ecosystem services. As part of the project, Anna developed the ecosystem-based business development (EbBD) approach and toolkit for low-resource coastal communities.