Research professor in urban resilience and climate change adaptation
I am a research professor in urban resilience and climate change adaptation based in the School of Engineering since 2009. I have 20 years of international experience in the field of climate change adaptation; working on projects in the UK, EU, Australia, and the Asia Pacific region. Focusing primarily in the Asia Pacific region in recent years, I currently lead a large multi-disciplinary research group engaged with multiple climate resilience projects in the Pacific. Of particular contemporary interest is the increasing convergence of development, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation agendas (and communities of practice), in the Asia Pacific region. Previously, I was leader of the Climate Change Adaptation Programme in the Global Cities Research Institute at RMIT, and Deputy Director of the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR, 2009 – 2014).
International expert roles:
Scientific adviser for the UN-Habitat ‘Cities and Climate Change Initiative’ in the Asia-Pacific.
Australian representative on the International Scientific Steering Committee for the Urbanisation and Global Environmental Change project (UGEC); an initiative of the IHDP (2010 – 2016; now merged into Future Earth).
Contributor to the IPCC expert group on human settlements and infrastructure (mitigation and adaptation, synergies and conflicts – AR5).
Reviewer of national programme proposals: Norwegian Environmental Research Programme, Netherlands Climate Change Research Programme, Czech Science Foundation.
The main active programme of research at the current time is ‘Climate Resilient Honiara:
Implementation of urban resilience actions in Honiara’s informal settlements, Solomon
Islands’, with UN-Habitat as the lead Implementing Entity (UNFCCC Adaptation Fund, 2018- 2022, US$4.4 million). I lead the large multi-disciplinary RMIT team providing scientific support across the programme (phase 1 - $750,000; phase 2 under negotiation); working closely with the local lead project partners: Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey; Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Management; and Honiara City Council. An MoU has also been signed with the Solomon Islands National University. Projects include:
Climate action plans for five informal settlements;
Local engineering solutions;
Climate resilient community development plans;
Urban gardens and organic farming best practice;
Communication of climate risks with women and youth groups;
Nature-based solutions and the development of an urban greening Masterplan;
Local disaster planning and evacuation centres;
Responsible land administration;
Gender, disaster planning, and food security (including short films for social media);
Cross-border governance arrangements for climate resilience planning;
Climate action planning training materials for SI Government officials;
Intermediate and advanced GIS training for Ministry staff;
Short professional course on climate resilient urbanisation (multiple schools, jointly with Uni of Melbourne).
New projects (starting May / June 2021):
Shelter needs of informal settlements and mapping the roles and responsibilities of Government and Non-Government organisations. Local partner: SINU (Habitat for Humanity, $65,000)
Unlocking the potential of urban gardens as a mechanism for sustainable, climate resilient, livelihoods in Greater Honiara. Local partners: Vois Blong Mere and Kastom Gaden (SPC, $32,000)
Other projects (in the last 5 years):
Climate resilient infrastructure in the Pacific (leading RMIT contributors to the national expert panel) (DFAT, 2019 - ongoing, $90,000).
ICLEI: Integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (2019, $6,000).
Strengthening urban climate governance for inclusive, resilient, and sustainable societies in Thailand (international expert role, with Thailand Environment Institute and Maastricht University) (EU, 2019 – ongoing).
International review of land tenure and climate vulnerability (UN Global Land Tool Network, 2017-2018).
Urban Resilience and Climate Action Plans for Honiara (2017) and Port Vila (unpublished) (UN-Habitat, $50,000).
Ecosystem and socio-economic resilience analysis and mapping for Port Vila in support of urban ecosystem-based adaptation (SPREP, 2016, $95,000).