Dr Laura Mumaw’s research focuses on biodiversity stewardship, community engagement, and transformative governance.
She is an active researcher, with a long career as a Board member and experienced executive for prominent statutory authorities in Australia and abroad involved with nature conservation and natural resource management (refer Linked In profile). She has a track record in strengthening community involvement and organisational capacity in environmental stewardship: generating resources, leading development of award-winning experiences, and building partnerships. She currently facilitates Gardens for Wildlife Victoria, a network of urban community, council and agency biodiversity champions supporting each other to co-design programs that involve residents in: fostering biodiversity, achieving social and ecological outcomes, and assessing their impact.
Laura's research centres around how urban biodiversity stewardship can be fostered on public and private land, pathways and processes that transform 'connecting with' nature into active stewardship of nature, the relationship between stewardship and various dimensions of personal and social wellbeing, how co-designed and managed citizen-council stewardship collaborations can strengthen community capacity to achieve social and ecological benefits, and how local efforts can be scaled up and linked horizontally and vertically.
- Vice Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (Mumaw) (2018-2021).
- Redefining community engagement with urban biodiversity: New research and assessment methods. Funded by: RMIT University Capability Development Fund 17021 (2017).
- Fostering community through land stewardship. Funded by Andrews Foundation Grant 1320-2-17 (2017-2018).
- Acting on the Victorian Biodiversity Plan in urban context. Funded by Port Phillip and Westernport CMA PP1516.01.182 (2016-2018).
- Australian Postgraduate Research Award (Mumaw) (2013-2016).
Biodiversity stewardship, ecosystem governance, urban nature and wellbeing, urban socio-ecology
- PhD (Interdisciplinary Conservation Science), RMIT University
- MSc (Fisheries), University of Washington
- BSc with distinction (Biological Sciences), Stanford University
- Mumaw, L.,Maller, C.,Bekessy, S. (2017). Strengthening wellbeing in urban communities through wildlife gardening In: Cities and the Environment, 10, 1 - 20
- Mumaw, L. (2017). Transforming urban gardeners into land stewards In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, 52, 92 - 103