Dr Lauren Rickards

Lauren is a critical human geographer currently working as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Global Urban and Social Studies.

Lauren is co-leader of CUR’s Climate Change and Resilience research program, and a Senior Lecturer in the Sustainability and Urban Planning area of the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies.

Further afield, she is Deputy Chair of the federal Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network, an Associate of both the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (University of Melbourne), and the Institute of Livelihood and Environment (Charles Darwin University), and co-convenor of the Institute of Australian Geographers’ Hazards, Risk and Disasters study group.

With a background in human geography and ecology, Lauren researches and teaches about a wide range of “environmental” issues. Subjects she coordinates and delivers include Environmental Ideas – Thought and Action (undergraduate) and Climate Change Responses (undergrad. and postrgrad.). In terms of research students, Lauren currently has seven PhD students and one Honours student.

Lauren’s research uses qualitative approaches to unpick the bio-politics and environmental justice implications of climate change, the Anthropocene and responses to them, including the rise of resilience thinking. Projects include analyses of the official and unofficial narratives about the Hazelwood coal mine fire, how scenario planning is perceived and used for climate change adaptation within government, rural communities’ experiences of the Millennium Drought and subsequent floods, challenges raised by the implementation of resilience agendas, and questions prompted by the Tasmanian bushfires about which life forms we value in the Anthropocene and why.

Lauren has also empirically investigated the philosophical, political and practical challenges of doing interdisciplinary research, particularly for qualitative researchers. She has an extensive range of collaborators within and beyond Australia and was a contributing author to the 2014 IPCC Working Group Two Report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.

Before joining RMIT as a Senior Lecturer, Lauren was a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, a Senior Consultant and Associate Partner at RM Consulting Group, where she consulted mainly to government on sustainability and rural issues, and Vice-Principal of University of Melbourne academic college Janet Clark Hall. Lauren studied for a D.Phil. and MSc. at the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

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Related Content

News & Blog

Water or coal? The increasingly clear choice

Questions about the future of coal are often presented as a rational choice between energy sources with different economic costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and levels of reliability.

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Climate change – an opportunity to rethink, restore and reboot

While climatic changes can be hard to put a finger on, many farmers agree that their rules of thumb for how weather behaves and seasons unfold increasingly feels a bit wobbly.

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Global Forum for Urban and Regional Resilience

Lauren Rickards, co-leader of the Climate Change and Resilience (CCR) research program, and Raven Cretney, PhD student, represented the CUR at a recent workshop at the Global Forum for Urban and Regional Resilience (GFURR) at Virginia Tech, in Arlington, Virginia.

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Re-imagining Cities

Pushing up through the Earth, out through the dirt of the lower strata towards the bright stratosphere, cities are emerging out of the Earth’s surface like a voracious vine.

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Darebin Climate Forum 15 June 2016

In Darebin, for World Environment Day 2016, a panel of prominent climate change experts discussed the current climate situation, why we should be taking action, and what local governments, other levels of government and individuals can do to address climate change.

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‘The urban’: a concept under stress in an interconnected world

Are humans now an “urban species”? Do we now live in an “Urban Age”?

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World Environment Day in a shifting ‘environment’

What does World Environment Day mean in a world in which we are no longer sure what ‘environment’ means?

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CCR researchers look beyond the city boundary

This April, members of the CCR research program presented on the group and their research at a meeting of the Victorian Universities Rural and Regional Research Network hosted for the first time at RMIT.

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On the Frontline: Climate Change & Rural Communities

A new report reveals that climate change is likely to worsen the systemic disadvantages suffered by rural and regional communities, and further widen the gap between rural and urban areas.

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Urban studies after the age of the city.

Dr Lauren Rickards, Brendan Gleeson, Mark Boyle, Cian O'Callaghan

We organise the papers selected for inclusion into three bundles dealing respectively with complex urban systems, the hinterland problematic and governing cities in the age of flows.

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Keywords in planning: what do we mean by ‘community resilience’?

This paper offers a framework for ensuring that these important considerations are openly negotiated within transparent normative frameworks of planning policy and practice.

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Toward reflexive climate adaptation research

Preston, B, Rickards, L, Fuenfgeld, H and Keenan, R 2015, 'Toward reflexive climate adaptation research', Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, vol. 14, pp. 127-135.

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Understanding convergence and divergence in the framing of climate change responses: An analysis of two wine companies, Environmental Science & Policy

Fleming, A, Rickards, L and Dowd, A 2015, 'Understanding convergence and divergence in the framing of climate change responses: An analysis of two wine companies', Environmental Science & Policy, vol. 51, pp. 202-214.

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Neglected transformational responses: implications of excluding short lived emissions and near term projections in greenhouse gas accounting

Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop, Andrew Longmire, Dr Lauren Rickards

Wedderburn-Bisshop, G, Longmire, A and Rickards, L 2015, 'Neglected transformational responses: implications of excluding short lived emissions and near term projections in greenhouse gas accounting', The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 11-27.

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Opening and closing the future: climate change, adaptation and scenario planning

Rickards, L, Ison, R, Fuenfgeld, H and Wiseman, J 2014, 'Opening and closing the future: climate change, adaptation, and scenario planning', Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 587-602.

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