Lauren Rickards is a co-leader of the Climate Change and Resilience research program of the Centre for Urban Research, and Senior Lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, at RMIT.
Lauren is an interdisciplinary researcher with a background in human geography and ecology. Her work focuses on interpretations of key concepts such as human, planet, urban, future and resilience. Conceptual, critical and empirical, much of Lauren's work examines how experiences or images of disaster illuminate and generate competing perspectives.
Current empirical research is examining interpretations of resilience in the Hazelwood coal mine fire, the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area fire and the 100 Resilient Cities program. More theoretical work is examining how the ideas of resilience, Anthropocene and planetary urbanisation intersect and share common spatial and temporal imaginaries. Past research has explored the potential and politics of scenario planning in the name of climate change adaptation, barriers to more effective climate change mitigation among senior decision makers, and experiences of drought and flood in rural Australia in the context of climate change. She also conducted a large in-depth study of how interdisciplinarity is conceived and experienced in practice, given its ambiguous position within competing agendas in higher education.
A Rhodes Scholar with extensive industry experience and networks, Lauren is a Senior Research Fellow with the Anthropocene and Resilience networks of the Earth System Governance program, Deputy Chair of the Australian Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network, an Associate of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne, an Associate of the Institute of Livelihoods and Environment and Charles Darwin University, and a fellow and past Chair of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership.
With Karyn Bosomworth, Lauren leads a vibrant group of passionate, switched-on researchers in the Climate Change and Resilience program of the Centre for Urban Research.
Lauren is a Senior Lecturer in the Sustainability and Urban Planning (SUP) team of the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS), representing SUP in the GUSS Research and Innovation Committee. Teaching-wise, Lauren wrote the interdisciplinary, practice-oriented course 'Climate Change Responses', which is now taught at both undergraduate (ENVI1212) and postgraduate (ENVI1222) levels. At the undergraduate level, Lauren also coordinates and teaches the large first year program 'Environmental Ideas - Thought and Action' (ENVI1041) which teaches students to appreciate the different meanings given to 'nature' in environmental controversies and everyday life. She also coordinates the Masters of Environment and Planning Work Placement Program (ENVI1206), helping students adopt a reflexive, ethnographic approach to their experiences to get the most value out of the opportunity.
- 7 PhD students (4 RMIT, 3 Other universities)
- 1 Honours student
- 2 Masters students
- 1 Honours student
M.Sc. (Environmental Change and Management), Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
B.Sc. (Hons), School of Geography, University of Melbourne
- Associate Partner and Senior Consultant, RM Consulting Group (Head of Social Research, Head of Human Resources)
- Vice-Principal, Janet Clarke Hall, University of Melbourne
- Research Fellow, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne
- Coordinator, Primary Industries Adaptation Research Facility, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
- Non-Stipendiary Lecturer, University of Oxford
- Anderson, B.,Grove, K.,Rickards, L.,Kearnes, M. (2020). Slow emergencies: Temporality and the racialized biopolitics of emergency governance In: Progress in Human Geography, 44, 621 - 639
- Cooke, B.,LANDAU-WARD, A.,Rickards, L. (2020). Urban greening, property and more-than-human commoning In: Australian Geographer, 51, 169 - 188
- Rickards, L.,Jolley, C. (2020). Exploring the production of climate change through the nomosphere of the fossil fuel regime In: Legal Geographies: Perspectives & Methods, Taylor & Francis Group, Australia
- Jolley, C.,Rickards, L. (2020). Contesting coal and climate change through scale: emergent topologies in the Adani mine controversy In: Geographical Research, 58, 6 - 23
- Rickards, L.,Watson, J. (2020). Research is not immune to climate change In: Nature Climate Change, 10, 180 - 183
- Rickards, L. (2020). Ironies of the Anthropocene In: Resilience in the Anthropocene: Governance and Politics at the End of the World, Routledge, United Kingdom
- Kearnes, M.,Rickards, L. (2020). Knowing Earth, Knowing Soil: Epistemological Work and the Political Aesthetics of Regenerative Agriculture In: Thinking with Soils: Material Politics and Social Theory, Bloomsbury, United Kingdom
- Rickards, L.,Shortis, E. (2019). SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture In: EU Centre of Excellence, RMIT University Melbourne, Australia
- Rickards, L. (2019). Making climates through the city In: Urban Climate Politics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK
- Handmer, J.,Stevance, A.,Rickards, L.,Nalau, J. (2019). Policy Brief: Achieving Risk Reduction Across Sendai, Paris And The SDGs In: International Science Council Paris
- ARC Training Centre for Transformation of Australia's Biosolids Resource. Funded by: ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre 2018 onwards from (2020 to 2025)
- Environmental justice and the making of just food and energy policy (externally led by University of Sydney). Funded by: ARC Discovery Projects via other university 2020 from (2020 to 2023)
- Strategies towards integrating urban Edible City Solutions for social resilient and sustainably productive cities in Europe (EdiCitNet) (administered by Technische Universitaet Berlin). Funded by: Horizon 2020 Innovation actions from (2018 to 2023)
- Expert advice on the design of a long-term state-wide strategic framework for regional climate change adaptation in Victoria. Funded by: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning - Contract from (2018 to 2019)
- Future Jobs and Regional Workforce Development. Funded by: Regional Australia Institute from (2018 to 2021)