The Asia-Pacific Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Research Group


Disasters take lives, cause devastation, impact individuals, families and communities and disrupt our socio-economic systems. On the face of it, it seems like disasters are becoming more common and devastating – but is this true? Everyone is at risk from disasters – either physically or socio-economically. However, some individuals, families and communities seem more vulnerable and experience greater losses than others. Successful disaster risk reduction involves understanding something about the processes of hazard events but also the socio-economic, political and cultural contexts in which hazardous events trigger disasters.

The Asia-Pacific Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Research Group is interested in a wide range of natural and technological hazards and our work spans the interface between the human and earth environments/sciences - exploring the characteristics of natural hazards (distributions, frequencies & magnitudes) and their impacts on people, communities and human systems. The goals of our work are to (1) enhance community resilience; (2) reduce losses from natural disasters; and (3) develop appropriate disaster risk reduction strategies.

We focus on a wide variety of hazard and disaster risk related issues including (but not limited to):

  • Climate change, climate impacts, adaptation and management;
  • Bushfires, heatwaves, droughts and dust storms;
  • Tsunamis, storms, coastal floods and extreme inundations;
  • Earthquakes & volcanic eruptions;
  • Emergency risk management and planning;
  • Society, risk, perception and behaviour;
  • Vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity;
  • Urban planning, design and disaster

We are involved in field-based, modelling and analytical research both in the Australasia region as well as around the world and members of the hazards research cluster collaborate with experts and government emergency management agencies at the local to global levels.

Members of the The Asia-Pacific Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Research Group

The The Asia-Pacific Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Research Group comprises a number of core and associated researchers. The group is led by Dale Dominey-Howes.

Core members of the group include:

Name Position
Core Members  
Associate Professor Dale Dominey-Howes Group Leader
Dr Emma Calgaro Research Fellow
Dr Filippo Dall’Osso Research Fellow
Dr Scott McKinnon Research Fellow
Dr Min Jiang Research Fellow
Dr Carolyn Michael Research Fellow
Dr Edris Alam Honorary Associate
Current PhD students  
Matthew Ellis PhD candidate
Sarah English PhD candidate
Perla Delos Reyes PhD candidate
Tom Fitzgerald PhD candidate
Despina Minos-Minopoulos PhD candidate

In addition to the core group listed above, a significant number of other staff and students in the School of Geosciences are involved in hazard, risk and disaster related research.

Members of the Asia-Pacific Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Research Group are also active members of other Sydney University research clusters of excellence including the CITIES Network, Sydney Environment Institute and the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity.

Former Members

Name Position
Former PhD students  
Coming soon  
Former MPhil & MSc students  
Coming soon  
Former Honours students  
Coming soon  
Former Summer Research Scholars & Research Volunteers  
Ben Bolton Summer Research Scholar
Cameron Byers Summer Research Scholar
Kelly Grimm Summer Research Scholar
Katherine Mackellar Summer Research Scholar
Thomas Sewell Research Volunteer


Current Projects

Current Projects
Disability Inclusive Disaster Preparedness in NSW: Enabling Local Community Resilience through Collaboration
Disability and Disasters: Empowering people and building resilience
Queering Disasters in the Antipodes: investigating the experiences of LGBTI people in natural disasters
A geospatial analysis of antibiotic resistance – a first pass assessment
Geological and social dimensions of volcanic hazards and risk assessment/management: Taal Volcano, Philippines as case study
Washed Away: Assessing the vulnerability of infrastructure in Sydney to coastal inundation
Assessing the risk to eastern Australia from tsunami triggered by submarine landslides
Why do Australians continue to die in natural disasters?
Risk perception and natural hazards
Living with risk in a changing climate: communities, coastal management, risks and decision-making
The Australian Emergency Manager: an analysis of qualifications, training, knowledge, experience and competence
Exploring public perceptions of the risk of antibiotic resistance in Sydney
Spatial and temporal analysis of natural disasters in New South Wales, Australia

Past Projects

Past Projects
Coastal Vulnerability to Multiple Inundation Sources - COVERMAR
Increasing the resilience of the Deaf Community in NSW to natural hazards
Emergency management in New South Wales
Testing the Australian Megatsunami Hypothesis
Integrating policy and practice to deliver enhanced adaptation to climate change in the South Pacific Island tourism sector
Integrating participatory disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation to enhance community resilience in the Pacific