Anna specialises in sustainability through multidisciplinary integration to deliver a future for the minerals sector that uses less energy and water, produces fewer wastes and delivers shared value to communities

Anna Littleboy is an experienced research director at The University of Queensland Sustainable Minerals Institute. Her program develops systems and processes to share value from resource endowment through new business models, technological and environmental innovation and enhanced social performance from the minerals sector. 

Previously Anna led the Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organisation's (CSIRO) $17 million/year Resources and Sustainability program, integrating more than 80 multidisciplinary staff including technologists with environmental and social scientists.

With a background in earth and environmental science, Anna’s focus is on multidisciplinary integration to address the long term risks of disruptive technologies. For example, Anna led the establishment of a new cross-functional National Research Flagship (securing an additional $30 million investment from industry and government for minerals related research), delivered a major foresighting project about the future of the resources sector which underpinned the Queensland Government’s ResouresQ initiative and directed an interdisciplinary project to deliver strategies to the Chilean Government for managing water scarcity and the competing interests of the mining and agricultural sectors in the Copiapo basin in the Atacama desert. She and her team have developed systems for measuring and monitoring stakeholder perspectives around mining operations which are now being adopted by major mining companies as best practice for developing a social license to operate. Anna has worked on influential initiatives at the interface where science informs policy for a globally connected world and is experienced at working directly with industry, State and Federal Governments and International Institutions to deliver game changing technology and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate environmental impact from the resources sector and develop trusting relationships between mining operations and their communities. Anna also established CSIRO Futures: a strategic foresighting arm of CSIRO that now provides long term trend analysis and scenarios to industry and Governments.

Anna is a Fellow of the Minerals Institute, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Global Agenda Council on Responsible Minerals Development. She currently sits on the advisory board for a Federal Government growth initiative for the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector. She is a recipient of a CSIRO medal and a Strategic Award for Business Excellence and has authored several book chapters and articles in the field of global sustainability and mineral futures – including Our Future World, one of the most downloaded CSIRO reports of all time. 


Anna has worked with various industry organisations from the resources sector (including Newmont, XStrata, Anglo American, Rio Tinto Iron Ore and BHP) and the Mining Equipment and Services Sector (for example Northern Project Consulting, Gekko Systems, Virtual Curtain Limited, Futureye, Reflexivity) Additionally, she has informed policy through projects into all levels of Government including the State governments of Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, Federal Government Departments and the council of Australian Governments Land Access Working Group.


Annas academic collaborations range from working with Australian Research Institutions (for example the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney on the circular economy, Swinburne and Monash Universities on technology innovation to reduce energy and water and CSIRO on the environment and social impacts of mining). Internationally she works with the Universities of Cape Town and British Columbia, the University of Cambridge (centre for sustainability leadership), Yale University and the International Council for Mining and Metals in London.


Anna secured $30million to establish a national research flagship on minerals within CSIRO. Additionally, she has delivered two grants of order $3 million/year to develop collaboration clusters in Mineral Futures and Wealth from Wastes involving multiple institutions including The University of Queensland. She regularly undertakes small value contracts ($5k - $150k) for industry and or Governments.