Dr Michael Hughes
B. App.Sc., Grad Dip., MSc., PhD.

Senior Lecturer, Environmental Management

About me

My expertise is in the field of environmental management and nature based recreation and tourism.  My background includes environmental biology, natural resource management, protected area management and tourism and recreation policy and management.  My research generally focuses on reconciling policy and management of land for different values.  I am also interested in natural area visitor experiences and behaviour.  I am very interested in how people and the natural environment interact and how this can be managed for the benefit of both.

I teach units in Environmental Management at the undergraduate and post graduate levels and also make guest appearances in the realms of Protected Area Management, Environmental Restoration, Environmental Monitoring and Foundations of Environmental Science.

Teaching area

I Coordinate and Teach:
ENV 331 – Environmental Management

ENV 557 – Environmental Assessment and Management

I also teach in:

ENV102 – Foundations of the Environment

ENV334 – Environmental Restoration

ENV558  – Environmental Monitoring

Research areas

  • Protected natural area management
  • Nature based recreation and tourism
  • Value of nature and land uses
  • Urban green space
  • Strategic communication and environmental interpretation
  • Environmental sociology

Current projects

Some recent research projects include:

Project Title: Golden fish: evaluating and optimising the biological, social and economic returns of small-scale fisheries. This project focuses on social and economic dimensions of key small-scale multisector fisheries and estimates the potential cost and benefits of various release program scenarios.

Project Title: Pilbara Islands visitor survey.  This project helps understand who visits the numerous small, near shore islands along Western Australia’s Pilbara coast between Exmouth and Point Preston. Information gathered includes visitation patterns, perceived benefits of the islands and awareness of how the islands are managed.

Awards and grants

Loneragan, Tweedley, Hughes and Tull (2017-2020) Golden Fish: evaluating and optimising the biological, social and economic returns of small-scale fisheries. Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Recfish West.

Hughes and Rodger (2016-2018) Pilbara Islands visitor survey. WA Dept. of Parks and Wildlife.

Hughes, Smith and Tuffin (2014-15) Bibbulmun Track user survey. WA Dept. of Parks and Wildlife, Bibbulmun Track Foundation.
Hughes (2014) Recreation carrying capacity of the Swan-Canning Riverpark.  Swan River Trust, City of Melville, WA Dept. of Transport.
Boschetti, Lozano, Stelfox and Hughes (2013-2016) Knowledge integration: predicting biological and social response to climate change. Kimberley Marine Research Program, WAMSI.
Hughes (2012) Planning model needs analysis. WA Dept of Planning.
Hughes and Tye (2010 -13) The right to roam phase 2: recreational walking and trails access to land. WA Dept of Sport and Recreation.
Jones, Jones and Hughes (2011-2012) Community and Socioeconomic Impacts of the World Heritage Nominations of Shark Bay and Ningaloo. WA Dept Environment and Conservation.
Hughes (2011) Munda Biddi trail user survey analysis. WA Dept Environment and Conservation.
Hughes (2010) Broome and West Kimberley tourism: review of opportunities and threats. Wilderness Society (WA)
Hughes and Carlsen (2009 – 2010) Economic valuation of Riverpark, WA, Swan River Trust,
Hughes and Tye (2009 – 2010) The right to roam: review of policy on public recreation access to land. WA Dept of Sport and Recreation & Curtin University Linkage Grant
Hughes (2009) Mapping recreation use of the Southern Darling region, WA. WA Dept of Sport and Recreation
Hughes (2009) National Trust WA program valuation feasibility report. National Trust WA
Wood, Jones and Hughes (2008-2010) Development and sustainability in the Ningaloo Region of Western Australia. CSIRO, Sustainable Tourism CRC Curtin University.
Hughes (2008-2009) Using communication to influence domestic fertilizer use in the Swan Canning River system.  Swan River Trust, Swan Canning Innovation Program Grant.
Carlsen and Hughes (2008) Review of recreation in WA public drinking water catchments. WA Dept of Env.& Conservation, WA Dept of Sport and Recreation.
Hughes and Carlsen (2008) Valuation of heritage tourism to the City of Perth. City of Perth, Heritage Council WA, Perth Heritage Appeal.
Hughes (2008) Advisor for the Cape to Cape walking track user valuation project. WA Dept Environment and Conservation
Carlsen and Hughes (2007 – 2008) ATLAS project: valuing Australian protected areas Sustainable Tourism CRC, Australia
Hughes (2007- 2008) Wildlife tourism auditing in Western Australia.  Sustainable Tourism CRC, Australia
Hughes and Carlsen (2007) Valuing Queensland parks for tourism. Sustainable Tourism CRC, Australia
Hughes (2006 – 2007) Optimizing use of strategic communication in Australian protected areas to influence problem visitor behaviours. Sustainable Tourism CRC, Australia
Hughes, Jones and Wood (2006 – 2007) Cultural heritage community needs: developing a framework for a regional heritage tourism product. Sustainable Tourism CRC, Australia
Wood, Hughes and Jones (2006 – 2007) Estimating the social, economic and environmental values of Australian protected areas for tourism. Sustainable Tourism CRC, Australia.
Carlsen and Hughes (2006 – 2007) Best practice user pays systems in protected areas. Sustainable Tourism CRC, Australia
Carlsen and Hughes (2006) Critical success factors for cultural heritage tourism enterprises. Sustainable Tourism CRC , Australia
Carlsen and Hughes (2006) A review of guidelines for human interaction with wildlife in WA. WA Dept of Env.& Conservation.


Doctoral and masters supervisions

  • Clara Oberegon-Lafuente (2017- ) Social dimensions of restocking small-scale recreational and commercial fisheries in south-western Australian estuaries. (Murdoch University, with Dr James Tweedley & Prof Neil Loneragan), PhD
  • Megan Jones (2017- ) How much can we expect from the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process? (Murdoch University, with A/Prof Angus Morrison Saunders), PhD
  • Valeria Senigaglia (2017- ) Ecological and socio-economic aspects of dolphin tourism and food provisioning in Bunbury. (Murdoch University, with Prof Lars Bejder and Dr Frederik Christiansen), PhD
  • David Brawn (2017-2018) Key Success Factors and Challenges for Landscape-Scale Wildlife Corridor Governance: Informing Good Practice (Murdoch University) Masters Project.
  • Mia Pepper (2017 – ) The history of mines in care and maintenance in Western Australia. (Murdoch University, with Dr Yvonne Haigh), Masters
  • Sharon Kili (2015-2016) Reconciling elephant and local community wellbeing in Kenya: identifying good practice management. (Murdoch University, with Dr Kate Rodger), Masters Project
  • Isaac Middle (2012 – 2016) Planning public parks under resilience theory: a framework for negotiating ecosystem and sporting park services in outer suburbs. (Curtin University, with Prof Dave Hedgecock), PhD
  • Min Juan Deng-Westphal (2012 – 2015) Empirical investigation of tourism organisations’ decisions to adopt ecolabels: a mixed methods approach. (La Trobe University, with A/Prof Sue Beeton), PhD
  • Anna Lewis (2008 – 2013) Remote camping along the Ningaloo Coast, Western Australia: Relationship between management and the variables of camper preferences, resource use and environmental impacts. (Curtin University, With Prof Roy Jones and Dr Tod Jones), PhD


Access my publications at the Murdoch University Library Research Repository:


Publications (last 5 years)


Hughes, M., Pforr, C. & Weaver, D. (eds.) (2015). The practice of sustainable tourism: resolving the paradox. Routledge, UK.

Holmes, K., Hughes, M., Mair, J., & Carlsen, J. (2015). Events and sustainability. Routledge, UK.


Refereed Journal Articles (last 5 years)

Boschetti, F., Hughes, M., Jones, C. & Lozano-Montes, H. (In press 2018) on decision makers’ perceptions of what an ecological computer model is and what it does, and its impact on limiting model acceptance. Sustainability, in press.

Hughes, M. & Berengier, V. (2018) Are there conservation implications for kangaroos feeding on sea birds? Pacific Conservation Biology, 24, 98-99. https://doi.org/10.1071/PC17038

Newsome, D. & Hughes, M. (2017) The contemporary conservation reserve visitor phenomenon! Biodiversity Conservation, 27(2), 521-529. DOI 10.1007/s10531-017-1435-4

Newsome, D. and Hughes, M. (2017) Jurassic World as a contemporary wildlife theme park allegory. Current Issues in Tourism. 20(13), 1311-1319. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2016.1161013.

Hughes, M., Tye, M. and Chandler, P. (2016) Eroding the experience: bushwalking on the urban fringe. Society and Natural Resources, 29(11), 1311-1324. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2016.1185554

Hughes, M. and Jones, T.  and Phua, I. (2016) Local community perceptions of the World Heritage nomination process for the Ningaloo Coast region of Western Australia. Coastal Management, 44(2), 139-155.

Jones, T., Jones, R. and Hughes, M. (2016) Heritage designation and scale:  a world heritage case study of the Ningaloo Coast. International Journal of Heritage Studies. 22(3), 242-260.

Lee, S., Phau, I., Hughes, M., Li, YF. and Quintal, V. (2016) Heritage tourism in Singapore Chinatown: a perceived value approach to authenticity and satisfaction. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing. 33(7), 981-998. DOI: 10.1080/10548408.2015.107545.

Alkahtani, S.J.H, Xia J., Veenendaaland, B., Caulfield, C. and Hughes, M. (2015) Building a conceptual framework for determining individual differences of accessibility to tourist attractions. Tourism Management Perspectives, 16, 28-42.

Catlin, J., Hughes, M., Jones, T. and Jones, R. (2014) White sharks in Western Australia: threat or opportunity? Journal of Ecotourism, 13(2-3), 159-169.

Catlin, J., Campbell, R., Hughes, M., Jones, T. and Jones, R. (2013) Keeping perspective on using tourism values for conservation – reply to Vianna. Biological Conservation, 166, 303.

Catlin, J. Hughes, M. and Jones, T., Jones, R. and Campbell, R. (2013) Valuing individual animals through tourism: science or speculation? Biological Conservation, 157, 93-98.

Filep, S., Hughes, M., Mostafanezhad, M. and Wheeler, F. (2013) Generation Tourism: Towards a Common Identity. Current Issues in Tourism, 18(6), 511-523.

Hughes, M. and Bennett, D. (2013) Survival skills: the impact of change and the ERA on Australian researchers. Higher Education Research and Development Journal, 32, 1-15.

Hughes, M., Tye, M. and Jones, R. (2013) Whose Land is it Anyway? Contesting Urban Fringe Nature-based Tourism and Recreation in Western Australia. Tourism Recreation Research, 38(1), 29-42.

Book Chapters (last 5 years)

Hughes, M. & Morrison-Saunders, A. (in press 2018) Whose needs and what is to be sustained? In J. Liburd & D. Edwards, (eds), Collaborations for sustainable tourism development, Goodfellow Publishers, Oxford: UK.

Hughes, M. & Tye, M. (in press 2018) Masking tape, mats and imagination, in R. Creagh & McGann (eds), Visual Spatial Enquiry: diagrams and metaphors for architects and spatial thinkers.

Jones, T., Jones, R. & Hughes, M. (in press 2018) Heritage designation and scale: a World Heritage case study of the Ningaloo Coast, in  (eds.), Politics of Scale: New Directions in Critical Heritage Studies, New York: Berghah

Hughes, M., Newsome, D. & Rodger, K. (2018). Researching the nexus of protected natural area tourism management: milestones and future directions, in C. Cooper, B. Gartner, N. Scott & S. Volo (eds.), The Sage Handbook of Tourism Management, California, USA: Sage Publications.

Morrison-Saunders, A. & Hughes, M. (2018). Overcoming Sustainability Displacement – The challenge of making sustainability accessible in the here and now, in M. Brueckner, M. Paull & R. Spencer (eds.), Disciplining the undisciplined: Perspectives on responsible citizenship, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, New York: Springer.

Pforr, C., Hughes, M. & Locher, C. (2017). Forschungsevaluierungen im Australischen hochschulsektor – entwicklungen und implikationen [Research evaluation in the Australian higher education sector - developments and implications]. In: Pechlaner H. &  Zehrer, A. (eds.) Tourismus und wissenschaft: Wirtschaftliche, politische und gesellschaftliche Perspektiven, Erich Schmidt Verlag, Berlin. pp.155-166.

Newsome, D. and Hughes, M. (2016) Understanding the impacts of ecotourism on biodiversity: a multi-scale, cumulative issue influenced by perceptions and politics. In: Geneletti, D. (ed.) Handbook on biodiversity and ecosystem services in impact assessment. Edward Elgar Publishing, UK. pp. 276-298.

Hughes, M. and Morrison-Saunders, A. (2015) Promoting interdisciplinary sustainable tourism. In: Hughes, M., Pforr, C. and Weaver, D. (eds.) The practice of sustainable tourism: resolving the paradox. Routledge, UK. pp. 38- 51.

Hughes, M. Pforr, C. and Weaver, D (2015) Confronting the reality of paradox in sustainable tourism. In: Hughes, M., Pforr, C. and Weaver, D. (eds.) The practice of sustainable tourism: resolving the paradox. Routledge, UK. pp. 1-8.

Weaver, D.,  Hughes, M. and Pforr, C. (2015) Paradox as a pervasive characteristic of sustainable tourism: challenges, opportunities and trade-offs. In: Hughes, M., Pforr, C. and Weaver, D. (eds.) The practice of sustainable tourism: resolving the paradox. Routledge, UK. pp. 281-290.

Deery, M., Filep, S. and Hughes, M. (2014) Exploring visitor wellbeing in parks and nature reserves. In: Voigt, C. and Pforr, C. (eds.) Wellness tourism: a destination perspective. Routledge, UK. pp. 161-175.

Hughes, M. (2014) Researching the links between parklands and health. In: Voigt, C. and Pforr, C. (eds.) Wellness tourism: a destination perspective. Routledge, UK. pp. 147-160.

Hughes, M. (2014) Introducing oil and gas to a remote, iconic tourism destination: impacts on Broome and the West Kimberley. In: Brueckner, M. and Pforr, C. (eds.) Resource curse or cure? Springer, UK. pp. 137-152.

Pforr, C., Hughes, M., Dawkins, M. and Gaunt, E. (2014) Nature-Based Wellness Tourism: The Case of the Margaret River Region in Western Australia. In: Voigt, C. and Pforr, C. (eds.) Wellness tourism: a destination perspective. Routledge, UK. pp 176-187.

Hughes, M. (2013) Ecocean: conservation through technological innovation. In: Liburd, J., Carlsen, J. and Edwards, D. (eds.) Networks for sustainable tourism innovation: Case studies and cross-case analysis. Tilde University Press, Australia, pp 25-32

Hughes, M. (2013)  Ecotourists and views of nature. In: Ballantyne R. and Packer, J. (eds.) The international handbook on ecotourism. Edward Elgar Publishing, UK, pp.108-113.

Research and Technical Reports (last 5 years)

Hughes, M., Rodger, K. (2017).  Pilbara islands visitor survey. A report for the WA Parks and Wildlife Service. Perth, Western Australia.

Hughes, M., Smith, A. and Tuffin, M. (2016) Bibbulmun Track user survey. A report for WA Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Bibbulmun Track Foundation, WA.

Hughes, M. (2014) The Swan-Canning Riverpark commercial recreational activities management project Stage 3: review of visitor monitoring methods. A report for the Swan River Trust. Perth, Western Australia.

Hughes, M., Carlsen, J. and Smith, J. (2014) The Swan-Canning Riverpark commercial recreational activities management project Stage 2: Point Walter and Melville Beach pilot study. A report for the Swan River Trust, City of Melville and WA Department of Transport.

Hughes, M., Carlsen, C. and Smith, J. (2014) The Swan-Canning Riverpark commercial recreational activities management project Stage : Review of carrying capacity indicators and issues. A report for the Swan River Trust, City of Melville and WA Department of Transport.

Hughes, M. and Tye, M. (2013) Recreation access to land Phase 2b: Development of a hypothetical scenario workshop on managing recreation access to land in Western Australia. A report for the Department of Sport and Recreation WA, Perth.