Professor David Brunckhorst

Emeritus Professor - Institute for Rural Futures (IRF)

David Brunckhorst

Phone: +61 2 6773 2220



Professor David Brunckhorst was foundation director of the Institute for Rural Futures and Chair in Rural Futures at the University of New England. Previously, David held various executive management roles within public, private and research sectors in Australia and internationally. His interdisciplinary interests include approaches to integrated ecological conservation and natural resources, ‘working landscape’ management.

He established the National Reserve System Program in Australia and was formerly principal advisor and Secretary to the Australian Parliament’s House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment. More recently, David advised NATO and Asia-Pacific leaders on future human security issues relating to changing landscapes, environment and climate.

David has written more than 130 scientific papers and 6 books, and was editor or co-editor of several others. In 2000 he was awarded a UNESCO medal, and in 2009, the George B Fell Award.


  • Bachelor of Science, University of Queensland.
  • Graduate Diploma, Computing, Queensland University of Technology.
  • Post Graduate Diploma, Management, University of Melbourne.
  • PhD, Zoology, University of Queensland.

Research Interests

  • landscape ecology;
  • bioregional planning and management;
  • biosphere reserves;
  • multi-scale conservation assessment and planning;
  • understanding complex social-ecological systems and nested institutional design for resource governance; and
  • local, national and international environmental policy.



Morley, P. and Brunckhorst, D. 2010. 'Sea-Change' and Landscape Change: A spatial examination of trend and alternative landscape futures for the Northern Rivers Region of New South Wales, Australia. Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrüken, Germany.

Williamson, S., Brunckhorst, D. and Kelly, G. 2003. Reinventing the Common: Cross-boundary farming for a sustainable future. The Federation Press, Sydney.

Brunckhorst, D.J. 2000. Bioregional Planning: Resource Management Beyond the New Millennium. Harwood Academic, Amsterdam.

Selected Journal Papers

Brunckhorst, D. 2010. 'Using context in novel community-based natural resource management: landscapes of property, policy and place'. Environmental Conservation. Thematic Section: 16-22.

Brunckhorst, D.J. 2010. 'Landscapes shaped by people and place institutions require a new conservation agenda'. BioScience. 60(8): 569-70.

Reeve, I. and Brunckhorst, D. 2007. 'Spatially bounded regions for resource governance'. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management. 14: 142-54.

Brunckhorst, D., Coop, P. and Reeve, I. 2006. ''Eco-civic' optimisation: A nested framework for planning and managing landscapes'. Landscape and Urban Planning. 75: 265-81.

Brunckhorst, D. and Reeve, I. 2006. 'A Geography of Place: principles and application for defining 'eco-civic' resource governance regions'. Australian Geographer. 37(2): 147-66.

Brunckhorst, D. 2005. 'Integration Research for Shaping Sustainable Regional Landscapes'. Journal of Research Practice. 1(2): 1-24.

Brunckhorst, D.J. 2003. 'Factors in the success of common property resource institutions'. Ecological Management & Restoration. 4(1): 72-3.

Brunckhorst, D.J and Coop, P. 2003. 'Tilbuster Commons: Synergies of theory and action in new agricultural commons on private land'. Ecological Management & Restoration. 4(1): 13-22.

Brunckhorst, D. 2002. 'Institutions to sustain ecological and social systems'. Ecological Management & Restoration. 3(2): 108-16.

Brunckhorst, D. 2001. 'Building capital through bioregional planning and biosphere reserves'. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics. 2001: 19-32.

Selected Reports

Morley, P., Trammell, J., Reeve, I., McNeill, J., Brunckhorst, D. and Bassett, S. 2013. Past, present and future landscapes: Understanding alternative futures for climate change adaptation of coastal settlements and communities. Final Report to the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.

Brunckhorst, D., Reeve, I., Morley, P., Coleman, M., Barclay, E., McNeill, J., Stayner, R., Glencross-Grant, R., Thompson, J. and Thompson, L. 2011. Hunter & Central Coasts New South Wales - Vulnerability to climate change impacts. Report to the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Australia.

Brunckhorst, D. and Morley, P. 2008. Alternative Landscape Futures: Understanding Alternate Landscape Design Options for Planning more Sustainable Regions. Report to Land & Water Australia.

Brunckhorst, D., Coop, P., Reeve, I. 2004. An Eco-Civic Regionalisation for Rural New South Wales. Final Report to the New South Wales Government.