Dr Thong Tran

BSc (Can Tho University, Vietnam), MA (Eastern Mennonite University, the United States), PhD (The Australian National University, Australia)
Honorary Lecturer, Fenner School of Environment and Society
College of Science
T: +61 (0) 431 629 270

Areas of expertise

  • Social Change 160805
  • Environmental Sociology 160802
  • Natural Resource Management 050209
  • Human Geography 1604
  • Rural Sociology 160804

Research interests

  • (Transboundary) environmental governance
  • Human-environment relationships
  • Environment and development nexus
  • State-society interactions in environment and development
  • Social learning
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Institutional change
  • Rural livelihoods
  • Mainland Southeast Asia


Dr Thong Tran is an Honorary Lecturer at Fenner School of Environment and Society, College of Science, The Australian National University, where he obtained his PhD in Human Ecology in 2017. His research agenda focuses on the contested environment-development dynamics and their implications for sustainable development in mainland Southeast Asia. He is interested in the interdisciplinary areas of environmental governance with a particular focus on transboundary environmental challenges, rural innovations in climate change adaptation, social learning, rural livelihoods, environmental justice, and institutional change. From January 2018 to May 2021, he was a Research Fellow at Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. He is also a researcher of the Research Centre for Rural Development, An Giang University, Vietnam.

Dr Thong Tran serves as an Associate Editor for Society and Natural Resources. He is also a member of the Editorial Boards for (1) Journal of Flood Risk Management published by Wiley providing an international platform for knowledge sharing in all areas related to flood risk, and (2) International Journal of Water Resources Development by Taylor and Francis publishing developments in water management and policy-making for water resources.

Researcher's projects

Project partner to the EEKN (Estuarine Ecological Knowledge Network) research project endorsed by the United Nations Ocean Decade Program and the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, led by Associate Professor Grant S. McCall, Department of Anthropology at Tulane University, the U.S.

Consultant to the research project "To flood or to flee? A comparative study on flood-driven migration as a way to adapt to climate change in the Lower Mekong River Basin" funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan and led by Assistant Professor Mucahid Mustafa Bayrak, Department of Geography of National Taiwan Normal University, February 2020-February 2024.

Research fellow in the Singapore Ministry of Education’s Social Science Research Council (SSRC) grant titled "Sustainable governance of transboundary environmental commons in Southeast Asia" co-led by Professor David Taylor (Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, Singapore) and Professor Jonathan Rigg (School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, the UK), hosted at Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, January 2018-May 2021.

Co-investigator in the research project "Evaluating social and environmental impacts of intensive rice production and pesticide use on water quality in the Lower Mekong Region: Case studies of An Giang, Vietnam and Chiang Rai, Thailand" funded by SUMERNET (Sustainable Mekong Research Network), June 2020-December 2022.

Principal investigator in the research project “Freshening salinity areas: Implications of Ba Lai irrigation scheme for agro-ecosystems and household adaptation in Binh Dai district, Ben Tre province" funded by SEARCA's (Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture) Seed Fund for Research and Training Program, January-December 2020.

Principal investigator in the research project “Impacts of pesticides on hired applicators’ health in Chau Thanh district, An Giang Province, the Vietnamese Mekong Delta” funded by the Research Center for Rural Development, An Giang University, Vietnam, June 2011-June 2012.

Co-investigator in the research project “Implications of hydropower projects in the Mekong mainstream and the role of sediments and wild fish to rural households in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta: A case study in An Giang province" funded by VRN (Vietnam Rivers Network), Vietnam, June-December 2011.

Principal investigator in the research project “Impacts of saline intrusion on poor households’ livelihoods in the coastal areas of Ben Tre province, the Vietnamese Mekong Delta” funded by the SIDA/SAREC-funded project on sustainable rural development (RDViet) under the Department of Urban and Rural Development (SOL), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry (HUAF), Vietnam, January-December 2010.

Principal investigator in the research project “Women’s role in their livelihood activities in flood seasons – A case study in Tan Chau, An Giang, the Vietnamese Mekong Delta” funded by the Research Center for Rural Development, An Giang University, Vietnam, January-December 2010.


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Updated:  30 November 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers