Sarah English

Sarah English

PhD Candidate

Hazards Research Group (HRG)
School of Geosciences
Madsen Building (F09), Rm 444
Phone:+61 2 9351 5681

Associate Prof. Dale Dominey-Howes, School of Geosciences
Assoc. Supervisor: Dr Bruce Burns, School of Psychology

Area of Interest

Risk Perception, Natural Hazards, Climate Change, Natural Resource Policy

Sarah is a PhD Candidate with the Hazards Research Group (HRG) at the School of Geosciences. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Macquarie University and a Master of Environmental Systems, Markets and Climate Change from the University of New England.

Sarah’s research topic is entitled ‘Risk Perceptions and Natural Hazards’. Her research aims to explore what drives the public’s existing risk perception positions for the most significant natural hazards in Australia, being heatwaves, floods and bushfires. Sarah is interested in how both cognitive and external factors influence a person’s risk position, and how these can be changed, even with individuals who have strongly entrenched views.

Sarah intends to adopt a mixed methods approach including questionnaires and semi-structured interviews in urban, peri-urban and rural communities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria with a view to identifying differences between individuals as a function of place attachment, societal influences and personality factors.

Sarah’s work background includes environmental consulting with large international companies, particularly in due diligence auditing, environmental impact statements, environmental permitting and contaminated site assessment. She has also worked in local government and for coal mining companies in the Hunter Valley in various environmental roles. Sarah also holds qualifications in permaculture and agriculture and has over a decade of experience in commercial farming.

Sarah is particularly interested in utilizing her research at a grass roots level to develop natural hazard resilience strategies for communities across Australia. She hopes her research will assist in formulating policy pathways for effective emergency management change at the local, State and Federal government levels.


  • English, S.J. (2012) Stakeholder Risk Perception in the Murray Darling Basin Plan. Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Environmental Systems, Markets and Climate Change, University of New England.


  • English, S.J. & Corcoran, J.F (1992). The nature and occurrence of phosphorus in coking coals of the Sydney Basin. CSIRO Division of Coal and Energy Report, North Ryde, NSW.