Until July 2002, Dr Dave Mercer was Associate Professor in the School of Geography and Environmental Science at Monash University, where he taught for more than 30 years. At different times Dave was Deputy and Acting Head of that School and also sat on many university committees. English by birth, he has degrees from Cambridge and Monash Universities.
In 1999 Dave was elected a Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) in recognition of his services to environmental research, consultancy and teaching. He has served on the editorial boards of several journals, most recently the Australian Journal of Natural Resources and Policy, the Open Environmental Journal and the Annals of Leisure Research.
He has supervised many Honours, Masters and PhD theses. In 2002 Dave was elected a Council member of the Eastern Regional Organization for Planning and Housing (EAROPH).
Since 2005 he has been an official assessor for the EIANZ’s Certified Environmental Practitioner Scheme.
In 2012 Dave was elected a Senior Fellow by the World Leisure Academy for his contributions to leisure research both in Australia and internationally.
Dave’s main research interests are in the areas of natural resource management and environmental policy and politics at the local, national and international scales. He also has extensive consultancy experience for state, commonwealth and local governments in Australia, and in July 2002 was appointed to the five-person Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC). This body was established by the Bracks Government to give independent advice to the Minister for Environment on the management of public lands and waters. In 2004 Dave was one of the judges on the panel adjudicating the ‘Celebrating Melbourne Awards’.
Dave is also part of a research team carrying out a landmark study of peri-urban regions in two Australian states, Victoria and Queensland. This project Change and Continuity in Peri-Urban Australia investigated the nature and extent of contemporary peri-urban regions in Australia, identified future patterns of socio-economic and environment change in peri-urban landscapes, and also developed scenarios for future land use and management based on ‘business-as-usual’, interventionist and deregulated options. ‘Change and Continuity in Peri-Urban Australia’ is a collaborative project between RMIT University and Griffith University, Brisbane, and was funded by Land and Water Australia. Four major monographs were produced from this project in 2007 and 2008.
From 2007 Dave was also involved in a major research project on ‘Lessons from Tsunami Recovery in Sri Lanka and India’, involving researchers from RMIT and Monash Universities. A number of monographs presenting the findings were published in May 2010, and these can be accessed online on RMIT's
Dave has published more than 140 papers, book chapters and books. His books include ‘A Question of Balance’: Natural Resource Conflict Issues in Australia, Federation Press (which went to 3 editions). Currently Dave is writing on a wide range of different topics. These include Australian and Asia-Pacific forestry issues, Australian environmental policy, urban agriculture, renewable energy, and the resource management implications of tourism development.
Teaching and work responsibilities
- Australian environmental policy
- Natural resource management
- Sustainable cities
- Social impact assessment
- Asia-Pacific urban and environmental issues
- PhD Monash
- Dip Ed Camb
- BA (Hons) Camb
- Mercer, D.,Mayfield, P. (2015). City of the spectacle: White Night Melbourne and the politics of public space In: Australian Geographer, 46, 507 - 534
- Bond, T.,Mercer, D. (2014). Subdivision policy and planning for bushfire defence: a natural hazard mitigation strategy for residential peri-urban regions in Victoria, Australia In: Geographical Research, 52, 6 - 22
- Zainuddin, Z.,Mercer, D. (2014). Domestic residential garden food production in Melbourne, Australia: a fine-grained analysis and pilot study In: Australian Geographer, 45, 465 - 484
- Edwards, F.,Mercer, D. (2013). Food waste in Australia: the freegan response In: The Sociological Review, 60, 174 - 191
- Mercer, D. (2013). Biodiversity and tourism In: The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and the Environment, Routledge, New York, United States
- Mulligan, M.,Ahmed, I.,Shaw, J.,Mercer, D.,Nadarajah, Y. (2012). Lessons for long term social recovery following the 2004 tsunami: Community, livelihoods, tourism and housing In: Environmental Hazards: human and policy dimensions, 11, 38 - 51
- Whittaker, J.,Handmer, J.,Mercer, D. (2012). Vulnerability to bushfires in rural Australia: a case study from East Gippsland, Victoria In: Journal of Rural Studies, 28, 161 - 173
- Mercer, D. (2012). Catastrophic bushfire, politics and the public interest In: Environmental Policy Failure. The Australian Story, Tilde Publishing, Prahran, Victoria
- Buxton, M.,Haynes, R.,Mercer, D.,Butt, A. (2011). Vulnerability to bushfire risk at Melbourne's urban fringe: The failure of regulatory land use planning In: Geographical Research, 49, 1 - 12
- Buxton, M.,Mercer, D. (2011). Planning for disaster mitigation: Reconstruction following the 2009 bushfires in Victoria, Australia In: Managing Urban Disaster Recovery: Policy, Planning, Concepts and Cases, Crisis Response Press, Crowthorne, United Kingdom
- Production landscapes & social justice: water resource management & environmental conservation in the Murray-Darling Basin. Funded by: CSIRO Flagship Collaborative Research Program Clusters Grant Pre-2014 from (2008 to 2011)
- Rebuilding Sustainable Communities: Assessing Post-Tsunami Resettlement Projects in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India.. Funded by: ARC Linkage Project 2007 Round 1 from (2007 to 2009)
- Victorian Our Water Our Future Postgraduate Scholarships: Enhancing social learning for sustainability in water management and conservation in Victoria. Funded by: Victorian Our Water Our Future Postgraduate Scholarships from (2006 to 2009)
- Re-imagining the Australian suburb - Ecological Sustainability and Urban Development. Funded by: ARC Linkage Project 2005 Round 1 from (2005 to 2009)
- Re-imagining the Australian Suburb: local governance and community building. Funded by: ARC Linkage Projects 2004 Round 2 from (2004 to 2009)
4 PhD Current Supervisions7 PhD Completions