Dr Karyn Bosomworth's research focuses on the social-institutional dimensions of governance for transformative adaptation. Her work is policy-oriented and collaborative.
Karyn is a Vice Chancellor's Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Urban Research (CUR), and co-convener with Dr Lauren Rickards of CUR's Climate Change and Resilience group.
Karyn works with various government agencies on climate change adaptation challenges. In doing so, she is exploring social-institutional dimensions of governance that can enable or constrain transformative adaptation in different policy sectors, and the implications of practice for theories of adaptation, transformation and learning in public policy. She is interested in the role of politics, cultures and norms in adaptive management and adaptive governance, and thereby our ability to transform unsustainable trajectories such as GHG emissions, social inequalities, biodiversity degradation, etc.
Her research spans:
- Climate change adaptation
- Public policy, administration and governance
- Sustainable development
- Disaster risk reduction
- Urban and regional planning.
Before moving to academia, Karyn worked for many years in policy-relevant research and analysis within the government sector. Consequently she has significant interest and involvement in the “science–policy interface” in theory and practice.
Karyn's empirical research is predominantly in the policy sectors of natural resource management and disaster management, as well as adaptation planning more generally in local and State government. A major aspect of her work is using ‘Adaptation Pathways’ as a method for adaptation planning including through a serious game approach, and as a heuristic that can reveal (and possibly address) the aforementioned social-institutional dimensions of governance.
Karyn's most recent work involved the use of ‘Adaptation Pathways’ planning for coastal biodiversity. Funded by the Helen MacPherson-Smith Trust, the project involved Port Philip Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA), City West Water (CWW), the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA) and some of their stakeholders. That work stemmed from a major collaboration with the University of Tasmania, Monash University and a ‘cluster’ of nine Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) across Tasmania, coastal Victoria and the southern rivers region of New South Wales. That project has supported NRM planning for climate change. The extensive reports and outputs can be found at: https://terranova.org.au/repository/southern-slopes-nrm-collection.
She also recently completed development and trial of a Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (MERI) framework for assessing the contribution of research to policy. This framework was developed in collaboration with the Fire and Emergency Management Division of the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
Karyn has also been a co-investigator on projects such as:
- Implementing tools to increase adaptive capacity in the community and natural resource management sectors
- Developing a systematic approach for urban land managers to optimise Green Infrastructure (vegetation) in addressing Urban Heat Islands (with Melbourne and Monash Universities)
- Integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk management (with Griffith University); and
- Future challenges facing Australia's emergency management sector (with the University Tasmania and the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre)
- PhD, RMIT (2012)
- BAppSci (Hons), Deakin University (2000)
- Diploma of Photography, Photography Studies College (1991)
- 2004 – 2011 Victorian Government Senior Policy Officer in what is currently the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (previously DEPI and DSE)
- 1997 – 2004 Natural Environment Research Co-ordinator, Country Fire Authority
- Walton, R.,Bosomworth, K. (2017). Innovative or unrealistic: reflections on the use of landscape architecture visualisations in climate change planning In: Australian Journal of Maritime andOcean Affairs, 9, 95 - 106
- Nicholls, L.,McCann, H.,Strengers, Y.,Bosomworth, K. (2017). Electricity pricing, heatwaves and household vulnerability in Australia In: Energy Consumers Australia Melbourne, Australia
- Scott, H.,Bosomworth, K.,Fuenfgeld, H. (2017). Adaptation for Recovery Evaluation Report In: East Gippsland Shire Council Melbourne, Australia
- Scott, H.,Fuenfgeld, H.,Bosomworth, K. (2017). Adaptation for Recovery - Summary Evaluation Report In: East Gippsland Shire Council Melbourne, Australia
- Wallis, P.,Bosomworth, K.,Harwood, A.,Leith, P. (2017). Charting the emergence of a 'knowing system' for climate change adaptation in Australian regional natural resource management In: Geoforum, 84, 42 - 50
- Bosomworth, K.,Leith, P.,Harwood, A.,Wallis, P. (2017). What's the problem in adaptation pathways planning? The potential of a diagnostic problem-structuring approach In: Environmental Science and Policy, 76, 23 - 28
- Moloney, S.,Bosomworth, K.,Coffey, B. (2017). 'Transitions in the making': The role of regional boundary organisations in mobilising sustainability transitions under a changing climate In: Urban Sustainability Transitions, Springer, Singapore
- Nicholls, L.,McCann, H.,Strengers, Y.,Bosomworth, K. (2017). Heatwaves, Homes & Health: Why household vulnerability to extreme heat is an electricity policy issue In: Energy Consumers Australia Melbourne, Australia
- Bosomworth, K.,Cooke, B.,Coffey, B. (2017). Living in uncertain landscapes: an NRM lens on the implication of climate change for regional futures In: Australiasian Journal of Regional Studies, 23, 344 - 357
- Doyon, A.,Coffey, B.,Moloney, S.,de Haan, F.,Bosomworth, K. (2017). Exploring the contribution of Transitions Management to inform regional futures In: Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, 23, 321 - 343
- Enhancing Networks 4 Resilience #2 (EN4R#2) (administered by WDHS). Funded by: National Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme - Research Grant 2017 from (2017 to 2018)
- Electricity pricing and managing heatwaves at home: mitigating health and financial risks for heat-vulnerable household consumers. Funded by: Energy Consumers Australia Grant 2016 Round 1 from (2016 to 2018)
- Collaborating stewardship of urban natural resources for social-ecological well-being. Funded by: Helen Macpherson Smith Grant 2014 Round 2 from (2015 to 2015)
- 2015 Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship (Bosomworth). Funded by: RMIT Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship CAT0 from (2015 to 2018)
- Climate Impacts and Adaptation Planning for Southern Slopes NRM region. Administered by University of Melbourne. Funded by: Climate Change Adaptation Research Grant Pre-2014 from (2013 to 2016)