Dr Anna Phelan

Global Scholars Coordinator

Graduate School

Research Fellow

School of Business
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law

Principal Investigator - Strategy

School of Business
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law


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.

Research Impacts

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

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

Collaborative projects / grants:

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


Journal Article