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
- Rickards, L.,Mulligan, M.,Steele, W. (2019). The resonance and possibilities of community resilience In: The Resilience Machine, Routledge, New York, United States
- Schlosberg, D.,Rickards, L.,Byrne, J. (2018). Environmental justice and attachment to place: Australian cases In: The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Justice, Routledge, United Kingdom
- Rickards, L.,Opperman, E. (2018). Battling the tropics to settle a nation: Negotiating multiple energies, frontiers and feedback loops in Australia In: Energy Research and Social Science, 41, 97 - 108
- Taylor, C.,Cullen, B.,D'Occhio, M.,Rickards, L.,Eckard, R. (2018). Trends in wheat yields under representative climate futures: Implications for climate adaptation In: Agricultural Systems, 164, 1 - 10
- Wedderburn-Bisshop, G.,Rickards, L. (2018). Livestock's near term climate impact and mitigation policy implications In: Handbook of Research on Social Marketing and Its Influence on Animal Origin Food Product Consumption, IGI Global, Hershey, United States
- Rickards, L. (2018). Interdisciplinary environmental inquiry In: Companion to Environmental Studies, Routledge, Oxon, United Kingdom
- Neilson, C.,Rickards, L. (2017). The relational character of urban agriculture: competing perspectives on land, food, people, agriculture and the city In: The Geographical Journal, 183, 295 - 306
- Damiens, F.,Mumaw, L.,Backstrom, A.,Bekessy, S.,Coffey, B.,Faulkner, R.,Garrard, G.,Hardy, M.,Kusmanoff, A.,Mata, L.,Rickards, L.,Selinske, M.,Torabi, N.,Gordon, A. (2017). Why politics and context matter in conservation policy In: Global Policy, 8, 253 - 256
- Kearnes, M.,Rickards, L. (2017). Earthly graves for environmental futures: Techno-burial practices In: Futures, 92, 48 - 58
- Rickards, L.,Neale, T.,Kearnes, M. (2017). Australia's national climate: learning to adapt? In: Geographical Research, 55, 469 - 476
- Future Jobs and Regional Workforce Development. Funded by: Regional Australia Institute from (2018 to 2019)
- Evaluating the environmental impact of sun creams in Port Phillip Bay. Funded by: Department of Industry, Innovation and Science - Citizen Science Grants from (2017 to 2021)
- Rethinking agricultural extension. Funded by: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Competitive Grant 2016 from (2017 to 2018)
- Smart specialisation and regional policy detailed project description. Funded by: Erasmus+ (European Commission) 2017 onwards from (2017 to 2020)