Mila completed a MSc Marine Biology and Ecology at James Cook University in June 2018 with a minor project that explored the environmental stewardship of coastal communities in the Great Barrier Reef region. The project used data from the Social and Economic Long Term Monitoring Program (SELTMP) and illuminated barriers and temporal trends in environmental behaviour.
Mila's minor project was supervised by Claudia Benham and Nadine Marshall and uncovered the different levels of pro-environmental behaviour of local residents in different parts of the Great Barrier Reef region. It also tested if residents have become more environmentally friendly in their every-day behaviour over the past four years, possibly triggered by the coral mass bleaching events in 2016 and 2017. To answer these questions, she used the Social and Economic Long Term Monitoring Program for the Great Barrier Reef which gathers long-term data specific to Reef-users, industries and communities.
This project helped to better understand the spatial and temporal variability in environmental stewardship, a topic that hasn’t received much attention, but is becoming more and more important in environmental management. It can be used to understand what makes people good stewards and how their behaviour is influenced by declining ecosystem health and socio-economic challenges.
Generally, Mila is interested in socio-ecological systems in natural resource management and marine conservation specifically.