Research Director, Producer


Tim started out as a marine ecologist, but soon realised he was more interested in human aspects of the environment. He now specialises in social research relating to environmental issues. As Imaginocean Productions' Research Director, Tim explores potential film ideas and works with contributors to get the most out of their stories. Tim also moonlights as a producer and presenter. Have a look around the website for more recent examples of Tim's work...

Some examples of Tim's past and present work include:

"Community risk perceptions and preparedness for bushfire threat"
Tim is currrently studying for a Doctorate at the University of Tasmania. He is investigating the factors that influence people's decisions to prepare for bushfires. The research is being undertaken through the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre.

Liaison/Extension Manager - Catchment to Reef Research Program, a joint program of the Co-operative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management and the Co-operative Research Centre for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The Catchment to Reef Program provides new, more effective tools for monitoring water quality in the Wet Tropics of North Queensland, Australia. Tim co-ordinated the development of these tools through extensive consultation with stakeholders in the region.

Producer/Sound/Camera - Sharing Country: Girringun Indigenous Rangers
Imaginocean Productions for Girringun Aboriginal Corporation
Tim co-ordinated liaison with all the contributors and worked closely with interviewees to draw the story together. He also recorded location sound and additional camera.

Producer/Presenter - Sharing Country Imaginocean Productions for ABC
Tim interviewed contributors and presented this series of five radio documentaries on the move away from Native Title to more co-operative approaches to Indigenous co-management.

Project Officer/Consultant - Herbert Resource Information Centre Evaluation
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems/James Cook University.
Tim conducted a social evaluation of the Herbert Resource Information Centre (HRIC). The consultancy identified the reasons for the HRIC's success, and developed tools to establish other resource information centres (RIC's) around Australia using the HRIC as a template.

Producer/Presenter - Making Waves Imaginocean Productions for ABC
Tim researched and interviewed marine scientists for a ten part radio series on current marine science research and issues.

Research Assistant - School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture (James Cook University) Townsville, Australia.
Tim assisted in the establishment of ex-situ experiments to examine the synergistic effects of temperature, light and sediment on bleaching of inshore coral species.

Fisheries Advisor - Leyte-Samar Rural Workers Development Association (LABRADOR), Leyte, Philippines.
Tim was employed as a Fisheries Advisor with a small rural development organization. His primary roles included managing a program of marine reserve establishment, and building the capacity of local fishermen to manage their own resource use.

Outcomes included:

  • Development of a public awareness and education program about the effectiveness of marine reserves for protecting the marine environment while maintaining sustainable marine resource use.

  • Identifying and implementing alternate livelihood sources for villagers who were displaced by the placement of reserves.

  • Providing technical and practical support to LABRADOR employees regarding maintenance and monitoring of the reserves once they had been established.

  • Helping local community members develop practical skills to accomplish their own sustainable resource management goals and to recognise how their own knowledge and experiences could contribute greatly to successful outcomes in marine resource management.


Master of Applied Science (High Distinction), School of Tropical Environment Studies and Geography, James Cook University/Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia.

Tim's Masters research examined how past experiences with natural resource management (NRM) programs influenced the involvement of community members in other NRM programs. The research was carried out with a sugar cane farming community in North Queensland and concentrated on issues associated with water quality protection.

Bachelor of Science (Honours), Tropical Environment Studies and Geography, James Cook University.

Tim's Honours research examined the impacts of tourist activities on the behaviour of nesting seabirds (Bridled tern, Sterna anaethetus). The results contributed essential information to management strategies for tourism on Coral Cays of the Great Barrier Reef . The research spurred new regulations for tourist visitation to islands where seabirds were nesting.

Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology), Department of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, James Cook University/University of Miami, Florida.


Connolly, N., Kelley, R., Pearson, R. and Prior, T.D. (2005) Catchment to Reef - An Interpretive Poster and Booklet. A publication from the Catchment to Reef Program, a joint initiative of the Rainforest CRC and CRC Reef Research Centre.

Prior, T.D., Walker, D. and Cottrell, A. (to be submitted). Participate or Collaborate? Seeking Mutual Benefit in Natural Resource Management. Society and Natural Resources.

Prior, T.D, D.H Walker and A. Cottrell (2004). Eight Years of Collaboration: Success of the Herbert Resource Information Centre. Technical Report prepared for the Herbert Resource Information Centre.

Prior, T.D (2003). Is it all in the Past? The Importance of Landholder Experiences from Natural Resource Management Programs. Masters Thesis, School of Tropical Environment Studies and Geography, JCU.

Alfonso D., T.D. Prior and B. Abenio (2002). Tools to Assist Managers and Villagers in the Establishment of Marine Reserves: Essential Components of the Fisheries Resource Management Project (FRMP) and the Coastal Resource Management Project (CRMP). Leyte-Samar Rural Workers Development Association, A Report to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Philippines.

Prior, T.D. (1998). The behavioural response of a population of breeding seabirds ( Sterna anaethetus ) to controlled human disturbance. Honours Thesis, School of Tropical Environmental Studies and Geography, James Cook University, Australia.

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