Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

As a community-engaged political ecologist and development geographer, my research lies at the intersection of the politics of Indigenous knowledge, inter-cultural adult education, rural development policy, planning, and practice, and environmental governance. 

Current research projects include:

1. Indigenous Water Futures: a parternship research project focusing on Indigenous leadership in water governance, and exploring opportunities for co-learning across contexts in British Columbia (Canada) and the Northern Territory (Australia).  Funded by an Australia Research Council Discovery Early Career Reseasrch Award (DECRA).

2. Animating knowledges, shaping neo-extractivist interventions: Building on ongoing work in the Peruvian Andes (2010-), this project continues my collaborative research with a network of knowledge-sharers and inter-cultural adult educators known as kamayoq. This project explores how kamayoq intersect with mining-related community-based development projects.

3. Mapping the contributions of community reuse organizations to the circular economy: Led by Dr. Ruth Lane (Human Geography) and in collaboration with Prof. Carl Grodach (Urban Planning and Design), this project seeks to build our understanding of circular economies by detailing processes of re-valuation and re-acquisition. My component focuses on the nature of labour, training, and employment in community reuse organisations. The project is based on collaborative agreements with members of the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations.

Methodologically, I approach my research through community-engaged scholarship, meaning that my work addresses the ethical entanglements of conducting research in communities that are variably geopolitically positioned and often characterized by inequality and power imbalances. This approach is based on a variety of forms of engagement, from grounded participatory methods (e.g. previous work in Brazil and Nepal) and in-depth ethnographies (Peru), to ongoing collaborations and partnership research projects in (Canada, Peru, Australia). 

Supervision interests

I welcome applications from anyone interested in issues of: international development, poverty and inequality; political ecology and environmental justice. This might include research topics in areas such as:

  • Indigenous leadership in water governance. 
  • Political economy and political ecology of development in Latin America.
  • Indigenous knowledges and practices in development and environmental governance.
  • Adult education in rural development and/or environmental management contexts.
  • Indigenous societies, mining, and water.
  • Livelihood adaptation, resilience, and transformation.
  • Alternative economies. 
  • Agrarian knowledge systems and rural productivity.

Current supervision:

  • Kavindra (Ravi) Paranage: The Regulation of Natural Resources in Sri Lanka's Irrigation Development Projects
  • Souvik Chakraborty: Democracy, Tribal Rights and Social Movements: Selective case studies from Odisha, India
  • Perdita Sonntag: Challenging Traditional Models of Youth Economic Empowerment Programming
  • Zheng Chin: Agonistic Planning in the Post-Political City
  • Rhoda Darkwah: Urban political ecology of water management in Melbourne

Monash teaching commitment

APG5628 Deconstructing Development (Master of International Development Practice and Master of Environment and Sustainability) - semester 1

APG5627 Political ecology: critical explanations for socio-environmental problems (Master of Envrionment and Sustainability and Master of International Development Practice) - semester 2. 

ENS5920 - Sustainability Research Project (Master of Envrionment and Sustainability) - semesters 1 and 2


I am a temporary settler of European origin on the traditional and unceded lands of the Kulin Nations, in the Melbourne area of Victoria, Australia. I moved to Melbourne in 2017, by way of Vancouver in British Columbia (Canada), where I was most recently a post-doctoral fellow in the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. Before that I compelted my PhD and MA in geography at UBC and the University of Victoria, respectively.

In conducting my research, I have worked in places as varied as the urban 'favelas' of São Paulo, the foothills of Nepal's Himalayas, the Sierra Sur of the Peruvian Andes, and rural communities in British Columbia, Canada.  I am grateful to have been invited by those communities to conduct collaborative research for mutual benefit.

Research area keywords

  • Indigenous knowledges
  • Rural development
  • Critical development studies
  • Water governance
  • Environmental governance
  • Agrarian studies
  • Intercultural education
  • Livelihoods
  • Social mobilisation
  • Collective socio-economic organization
  • Collaborative planning
  • Community-based research

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.


Research Output

Hybrid regulatory landscapes: The human right to water, variegated neoliberal water governance, and policy transfer in Cape Town, South Africa, and Accra, Ghana

Yates, J. S. & Harris, L. M., 1 Oct 2018, In : World Development. 110, p. 75-87 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Feedbacks as a bridging concept for advancing transdisciplinary sustainability research

Blythe, J., Nash, K., Yates, J. & Cumming, G., 1 Jun 2017, In : Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 26-27, p. 114-119 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Introduction: Rendering land investable

Goldstein, J. E. & Yates, J. S., 1 Jun 2017, In : Geoforum. 82, p. 209-211 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialOtherpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Multiple ontologies of water: Politics, conflict and implications for governance

Yates, J. S., Harris, L. M. & Wilson, N. J., 2017, In : Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 35, 5, p. 797-815 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Stephen Graham (2016), 'Vertical: The City from Satellites to Bunkers'

Yates, J. S., 2017, In : Reinvention: A Journal of Undergraduate Research. 10, 2, p. 1-2 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalShort ReviewOther


ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) 2020-2023

Julian Yates (Recipient), 2020

Prize: Competitive Fellowships

Four Year Fellowship 2010-2014

Julian Yates (Recipient), 2010

Prize: Competitive Fellowships

Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Doctoral Fellowship 2011-2014

Julian Yates (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Competitive Fellowships

Vanier Canada Graduate Fellowship 2011-2014

Julian Yates (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Competitive Fellowships


Submission on the Victorian Circular Economy Discussion Paper

Ruth Lane (Fellow), Julian Yates (Contributor), Carl Grodach (Contributor)
31 Aug 2019

Activity: External Academic EngagementSubmissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries

Annual Conference of the Association-of-American-Geographers

Julian Yates (Speaker)
10 Apr 201814 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference

New Zealand Geographical Society and the Institute of Australian Geographers

Julian Yates (Speaker)
10 Jul 201814 Jul 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference

Presentation for the Sistema Nacional de Evaluación, Acreditación, y Certificación de la Calidad Educativa (SINEACE), Gobierno del Perú

Julian Yates (Advisor)
19 Jun 2018

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic outreach

Presentation of research findings for Soluciones Prácticas, Lima

Julian Yates (Advisor)
15 Jun 2018

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic outreach

Press / Media

Why do Australia’s environmental laws fail to save our species from extinction?

Afshin Akhtar-Khavari, Julian Yates, Elizabeth MacPherson, Erin O'Donnell, Katie Woolaston, Alessandro Pelizzon & Rebecca Nelson


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Article/Feature