Dr Anya Phelan


School of Business
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law


Dr Anna (Anya) Phelan is a Lecturer within the Strategy and Entrepreneurship Discipline at the University of Queensland Business School. She teaches undergraduate and post-graduate courses in Social Entrepreneurship and Business Sustainability. Anya is also Entrepreneur in Residence with the CSIRO Plastics Innovation Hub.

Anya's ongoing research efforts are structured around the following streams: 1) circular economy and plastics 2) social entrepreneurship and small-scale enterprise development 3) decarbonisation and business sustainability

Dr Phelan's research portfolio includes working closely with stakeholders from government, industry, sustainability sector, not-for-profits, and community. She brings twenty-three years combined academic and industry experience in business development, technical consulting, and qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Previously, Dr Phelan was a Research Fellow at UQ Business School and the Academic Coordinator for the Global Change Scholars Program with the UQ Graduate School, where she worked with high-performing PhD students from across UQ on issues of global change and research leadership. In 2020 Anya led the Global Change Institute Flagship Project - Small Island Initiative for a Plastic Free Ocean - investigating factors contributing to ocean plastic pollution in Indonesia. Anya 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.

Research Impacts

Presented on the Circular Economy and Ocean Plastics at the UQ – Pearson India: Change makers Academic Bootcamp; invited speaker for the International Symposium on Microplastics organised by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI); presented for the DFAT Business Model Practitioners Course organised by UQ International Development

Panellist and guest speaker for Deloitte business meetup

Panellist and guest speaker for Australia New Zealand Produce Manufacturers Association

Policy brief to Indonesian government through Indonesian Insitute of Science on Managing Plastic Pollution in Indonesia

Featured in the Tackling Ocean Pollution UQ Business School media release Jan 2019

Science presenter at the 2018 Woodford Folk Music Festival – Ocean plastic pollution and sustainable livelihoods

Keynote for the UQ Centre of Marine Science (CMS) Talkfest 2020.

Quoted in Boomerang Alliance media release - Plastic Pollution: why helping our pacific neighbours is important

Invited keynote – State University of Makassar - Universitas negeri Makassar

Phelan, Anna (2018) Ecosystem-based business development approach for coastal communities, Capturing Coral Reef and Related Ecosystem Services Project, www.ccres.net

Collaborative projects / grants:

ARC ITTCE Training Centre in Bioplastics and Biocomposites

Global Strategy and Partnerships Seed Funding Scheme - Collaborative workshop and seminar on Wetland Ecosystem Services and Law and Policy Frameworks

Member of the UQ Business School Business Sustainability Initiative (IRT) - The IRT has recently been awarded the QUEX initiator grant award in partnership with the Centre for Circular Economy at the University of Exeter

Awarded 2020 BEL Connect Grant


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Qld. UT


View all Publications


View all Grants


Book Chapter

  • Phelan, Anna (Anya) and Setianto, Novie Andri (2022). Communities on Indonesian shorelines: ocean plastic through the eyes of local people. Rural development for sustainable social-ecological systems: Putting communities first. (pp. 54-68) edited by Claudia Baldwin and Severine van Bommel. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

  • Phelan, Anna (Anya), Ruhanen, Lisa, Murphy, Jamie and Bowles, Leonie (2022). Nature-based solutions: complementing ecotourism’s conservation, sustainability, and economic objectives. Transitioning towards the future of tourism destinations: resilient, smart, and green development. (pp. 23-30) edited by Aurkene Alzua-Sorzabal, Paco Femenia-Serra and Zheng (Phil) Xiang. Madrid, Spain: Thomson Reuters-Aranzadi .

  • Phelan, Anna and Ruhanen, Lisa (2022). Nature-based Solutions. Encyclopedia of Tourism Management and Marketing. (pp. xx-xx) edited by D. Buhalis. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing.

  • Prideaux, Bruce and Phelan, Anna (2022). The Circular Economy. Encyclopedia of Tourism Management and Marketing. (pp. 1-3) edited by D. Buhalis. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing.

  • Phelan, Anna (2020). Towards sustainable and equitable solutions through responsible innovation and the circular economy. Ecological economics: solutions for the future. (pp. 328-340) edited by Hayden Washington. Online: Independently published through Kindle Direct Publishing.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)