Transition and Transformation

Climate Disaster and Adaptation Cluster

Multi-disciplinary research to build community resilience to disasters and climate change.

Streets in Yeronga flooded during 2022 Brisbane flood. Image by Kgbo, via Wikicommons.

The SEI has established a focused research cluster that utilizes the University of Sydney’s depth of scholarship for multidisciplinary research in disasters, resilience, and climate adaptation. The work of the Climate Disaster and Adaptation Cluster concentrates on four main research areas: Disaster Governance & Emergency Management; Health & Wellbeing; Property & Places; and Vulnerability & Marginalisation.

Underlying all of the research of the cluster is a focus on justice – disaster justice and just adaptation. This includes an emphasis on equity, community engagement, and authentic inclusion in decision-making. Each research area will also approach the impact of disasters and climate change on human and more than human populations through the principles of prevention, response, recovery and rebuilding, and compensation and risk transfer.

The Climate Disaster and Adaptation Cluster will collaborate with other specialised research nodes across the University of Sydney, other universities in Australia and internationally, and government agencies, industry stakeholders and communities. Applied research outcomes will inform policies and practices on how to effectively build community resilience to disasters and climate change.


To date, over 50 academics from across the University (Architecture, Business, Engineering, Medicine & Health, Arts & Social Sciences, Law, and Science) make up this collaborative research cluster.

Co-Leaders

Prof. David Schlosberg (Department of Government and International Relations)

Prof. Rosemary Lyster (Sydney Law School)

Prof. Dale Dominey-Howes (School of Geosciences)

Climate Disaster and Adaptation Cluster researchers listed below have nominated a primary cluster however they may be involved in any of the four clusters depending on the needs of collaborative research projects.

Disaster Governance & Emergency Management

Prof. Rosemary Lyster (Sydney Law School (Climate and Disaster Law))
Dr Arianna Brambilla (Architecture (Architectural Technologies))
Hon. Prof. Deborah Bunker (Sydney Business School (Information Systems))
Dr Emma Calgaro (School of Geosciences)
Dr Derwent Coshott (Sydney Law School)
Hannah Della Bosca (Sydney Environment Institute)
Assoc. Prof. Daniel Gozman (Sydney Business School (Engaged Research))
Assoc. Prof. Kurt Iveson (School of Geosciences)
Ms Patricia Lane (Sydney Law School)
Assoc. Prof. Murray Lee (Sydney Law School (Criminology))
Nicholas McKay (Faculty of Medicine and Health, Researcher Enterprise)
Dr Nader Naderpajouh (Faculty of Engineering (Project Management and Civil))
Prof. Luke Nottage (Law (Comparative and Transnational Business Law))
Prof. Susan Park (Department of Government and International Relations)
Prof. Rita Shackel (Sydney Law School (Criminology))
Anthony Sleigh (Sydney Business School, Geospatial Engineering)
Prof Gregory Tolhurst (Sydney Law School (Commercial Law))
Prof Jakelin Troy (DVCR Indigenous Research)
Assoc. Prof. Jing Yu (Sydney Business School (Finance))

Health and Wellbeing

Dr Jo Longman (University Centre for Rural Health)
Assoc. Prof. Ying Zhang (Sydney School of Public Health)
Dr Edward Jegasothy (Sydney School of Public Health)
Dr Kate Owens   (Sydney Law School (Environmental Law))
Dr Danya Rose    (Brain and Mind Centre)
Dr Scott Webster (Department of Gender & Cultural Studies)

Property and Places

Dr Aaron Opdyke (School of Civil Engineering)
Dr Fady Aoun (Sydney Law School)
Assoc. Prof. Penelope Crossley        (Sydney Law School (Commercial Energy Law))
Dr Michael Davis (Law)
Dr Eugenia Gasparri (Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning (Architectural Technologies))
Assoc. Prof. Nicole Graham (Sydney Law School (Property Law))
Prof. Melissa Haswell (DVC Indigenous Strategy and Services)
Dr Dagmar Reinhardt (School of Architecture, Design and Planning)
Dr Christine Winter (Department of Government and International Relations)

Vulnerability and Marginalisation

Prof. David Schlosberg (Sydney Environment Institute, Department of Government and International Relations)
Prof. Danielle Celermajer (Sydney Environment Institute, Department of Sociology and Social Policy)
Prof. Dale Dominey-Howes (School of Geosciences)
Assoc. Prof. Ed Couzens (Sydney Law School (Environmental Law))
Prof. Mary Crock (Sydney Law School (Public Law))
Prof. Roland Fletcher (Department of Archaeology)
Prof. Ollie Jay (Sydney School of Health Sciences, Heat and Health Research Centre)
Dr Pam Joseph   (Sydney School of Education and Social Work)
Prof. Amanda Howard  (Sydney School of Education and Social Work)
Assoc. Prof. Petr Matous (Faculty of Engineering (Project Management))
Prof. Phil McManus (School of Geosciences)
Liberty Pascua (Sydney School of Education and Social Work)
Assoc. Prof. Margot Rawsthorne (Sydney School of Education and Social Work)
Dr Blanche Verlie (Department of Sociology and Social Policy)

A Researcher Contact List (RCL) has been developed for the Climate Disaster and Adaptation Cluster as a tool for academic staff across Faculties/Schools/Departments/Research Units to reach out to others for collaborative projects on adaptation, disasters and resilience.  Each researcher profile includes their role, department, research area, research projects, links to any industry and or government partners, and Disaster/Adapdation focus areas most relevant to their research expertise and interests. The RCL is a living document and is accessible via MS Teams to all researchers in the CDA.


To join the SEI Climate Disaster and Adaptation Cluster: