Phillipa McCormack

Phillipa McCormack

Adelaide Law School

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics


Phillipa McCormack is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Adelaide Law School. Her research focuses on climate change adaptation in Australia, including the effects of climate change on biodiversity and on intensifying bushfire regimes, and the role of law and policy in facilitating climate adaptation. She has published widely on the challenges and opportunities for legal and policy reform in Australia with the goal of improving nature conservation in a rapidly changing world. She is currently co-editing a handbook on biodiversity and climate change law.

Phillipa researches Australian law and policy for climate change adaptation. She has focused in particular on the effects of climate change on biodiversity and the role of legal frameworks for facilitating biodiversity adaptation; and on climate-driven changes to wildfire regimes and the laws, policies and institutions for bushfire governance in Australia. Phillipa has published widely on the challenges and opportunities that climate change represents for legal and policy reform, with the goal of improving our capacity to adapt in a rapidly changing world.

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2022 Ward, D., Melbourne-Thomas, J., Pecl, G. T., Evans, K., Green, M., McCormack, P. C., . . . Layton, C. (2022). Safeguarding marine life: conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 32(1), 65-100.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1
    2022 McDonald, J., & McCormack, P. C. (2022). Responsibility and Risk-Sharing in Climate Adaptation: a Case Study of Bushfire Risk in Australia. Climate Law, 12(2), 128-161.
    DOI
    2022 Melbourne-Thomas, J., Audzijonyte, A., Brasier, M. J., Cresswell, K. A., Fogarty, H. E., Haward, M., . . . Pecl, G. T. (2022). Poleward bound: adapting to climate-driven species redistribution. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 32(1), 231-251.
    DOI Scopus12
    2021 McDonald, J., & McCormack, P. C. (2021). Rethinking the role of law in adapting to climate change. WIREs Climate Change, 12(5), 1-21.
    DOI Scopus2
    2021 McCormack, P., Richardson, B. J., Takacs, D., & Bastmeijer, K. (2021). Wilderness law in the Anthropocene: pragmatism and purism. Environmental Law, 51(2), 383-435.
    2021 Haas, B., Mackay, M., Novaglio, C., Fullbrook, L., Murunga, M., Sbrocchi, C., . . . Haward, M. (2021). The future of ocean governance. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 32(1), 253-270.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS14 Europe PMC3
    2021 Trebilco, R., Fleming, A., Hobday, A. J., Melbourne-Thomas, J., Meyer, A., McDonald, J., . . . Pecl, G. T. (2021). Warming world, changing ocean: mitigation and adaptation to support resilient marine systems. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 32(1), 39-63.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS3 Europe PMC1
    2020 McCormack, P. (2020). Reflections on the interim observations of the bushfires Royal Commission notable omissions and missed opportunities. Australian Environment Review, 35(5 & 6).
    2020 Brent, K. A. (2020). Governance of Land-based Negative-emission Technologies to Promote Biodiversity Conservation: Lessons from Australia. Climate Law, 10(2), 123-150.
    DOI
    2020 McCormack, P. (2020). Charting Environmental Law Futures in the Anthropocene. TRANSNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, 9(3), 617-621.
    DOI
    2020 Trouwborst, A., McCormack, P. C., & Martínez Camacho, E. (2020). Domestic cats and their impacts on biodiversity: A blind spot in the application of nature conservation law. People and Nature, 2(1), 235-250.
    DOI Scopus20
    2019 McDonald, J., McCormack, P. C., Dunlop, M., Farrier, D., Feehely, J., Gilfedder, L., . . . Reside, A. E. (2019). Adaptation pathways for conservation law and policy. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 10(1), 1-12.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS9
    2018 Bonebrake, T. C., Brown, C. J., Bell, J. D., Blanchard, J. L., Chauvenet, A., Champion, C., . . . Pecl, G. T. (2018). Managing consequences of climate-driven species redistribution requires integration of ecology, conservation and social science. Biological Reviews, 93(1), 284-305.
    DOI Scopus95 WoS99 Europe PMC18
    2018 Gogarty, B., Kirkpatrick, J., Fitzgerald, N., Jarman, S., McCormack, P., & Marthick, J. (2018). Commercial tourism in Tasmania’s wilderness threatens the attraction it exploits. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2(12), 1826.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2
    2018 McCormack, P. (2018). The legislative challenge of facilitating climate change adaptation for biodiversity. Australian Law Journal, 92(7), 546-562.
    2018 McCormack, P. (2018). Biodiversity conservation law and climate change adaptation. Australian Law Journal, 92(10), 839-845.
    2018 McCormack, P. C. (2018). Conservation introductions for biodiversity adaptation under climate change. Transnational Environmental Law, 7(2), 323-345.
    DOI Scopus7 WoS11
    2017 Pecl, G. T., Araújo, M. B., Bell, J. D., Blanchard, J., Bonebrake, T. C., Chen, I. C., . . . Williams, S. E. (2017). Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being. Science, 355(6332), 1-11.
    DOI Scopus1260 WoS1211 Europe PMC247
    2017 Runge, C. A., Gallo-Cajiao, E., Carey, M. J., Garnett, S. T., Fuller, R. A., & McCormack, P. C. (2017). Coordinating domestic legislation and international agreements to conserve migratory species: a case study from Australia. Conservation Letters, 10(6), 765-772.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS11
    2016 McDonald, J., McCormack, P. C., Fleming, A. J., Harris, R. M. B., & Lockwood, M. (2016). Rethinking legal objectives for climate-adaptive conservation. Ecology and Society, 21(2), 1-10.
    DOI Scopus12 WoS13
    2016 McDonald, J., McCormack, P., & Foerster, A. (2016). Promoting resilience to climate change in Australian conservation law: the case of biodiversity offsets. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 39(4), 1612-1651.
    2014 McCormack, P., & McDonald, J. (2014). Adaptation strategies for biodiversity conservation: Has australian law got what it takes?. Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 31(PART 2), 114-136.
    Scopus12
    C McCormack, P. (n.d.). Climate Change, Wildfires and Wetland Ecosystem Services. The University of Queensland Law Journal, 39(3), 417-447.
    DOI
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2021 McCormack, P., & Hansen-Lohrey, C. (2021). Accountability, government decisions and future generations: lessons from the Australian Ombudsman. In J. Linehan, & P. Lawrence (Eds.), Giving Future Generations a Voice: Normative Frameworks, Institutions and Practice (pp. 128-148). Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing.
    DOI
    2019 McCormack, P. C. (2019). Reforming restoration law to support climate change adaptation. In Ecological Restoration Law (pp. 265-287). Routledge.
    DOI
  • Theses

    Year Citation
    2018 McCormack, P. (2018). Australia's legal frameworks for biodiversity conservation: facilitating adaptation in a rapidly changing world. (PhD Thesis, University of Tasmania).
  • Internet Publications

    Year Citation
    2018 Gogarty, B., Fitzgerald, N., & McCormack, P. (2018). Green light for Tasmanian wilderness tourism development defied expert advice. The Conversation.
    2016 Lee, E., McCormack, P., Michael, P., Molloy, S. W., Mustonen, T., & Possingham, H. (2016). The language of science: Essential ingredients for indigenous participation. [square brackets], Convention on Biological Diversity.
    2016 McCormack, P., & McDonald, J. (2016). We can't save all wildlife, so conservation laws need to change. The Conversation.
    2016 McCormack, P. (2016). Negotiating 'one-stop shop' reforms: Commonwealth-state relations and the public interest. LexisNexis Australian Environment Review.
  • 2022, Natural Hazards Research Australia, awarded an inaugural Early Career Research Fellowship ($15,000)
  • 2021, The University of Adelaide, Digi+ FAME Strategy Initiate Grant, 'The role of law in advancing carbon abatement technologies and markets to support Australia's transition to net-zero emissions' ($14,702)
  • 2019, Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy consultancy, 'Negative Emissions: Survey and Outlook' ($80,000)
  • 2019, UTAS College of Arts, Law and Education Hothouse Grant for a project titled, 'Governing Bushfire in Australia' ($6,275)(Project leader)
  • 2018, Institute for the Study of Social Change Write-Up Fellowship ($3,000)
  • 2017, Winner of the Australian Academy of Law essay competition ($10,000)
  • 2017, Sun Foundation Women in Science Prize competition, Earth, Environment & Space Category ($20,000), drawing on papers Phillipa co-authored in Science and Biological Reviews
  • 2016, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility grant to research climate-adaptive conservation objectives in law ($5,000)(Project leader)
  • 2015, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists Scholarship and participant in Scholarship Masterclass Program
  • 2015, Neasy Faculty of Law Postgraduate Scholarship, University of Tasmania
  • 2015, University of Tasmania, Arts, Business and Law Hub cross-disciplinary grant for research project into conservation objectives in law ($6,000).
  • 2014, McDougall Faculty of Law Postgraduate Scholarship
  • 2013-2018, Australian Postgraduate Award, PhD Scholarship, University of Tasmania
  • 2013-2018, University of Tasmania Faculty of Law Top-Up Scholarship

Phillipa has taught Administrative Law, Parliamentary Law, Practice and Procedure, and Law Honours Research Methods; and guest lectured on climate adaptation and biodiversity conservation, bushfire laws and climate litigation.

  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - ongoing External Supervisor Adaptation to the Public Health Impacts of Climate Change through Law University of Tasmania Doctorate Jennifer Brown

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