Meet Our Academic Staff

Academic staff in the Office for Environmental Programs

David Kennedy

Associate Professor David Kennedy

Director, Office for Environmental Programs

David Kennedy is an Associate Professor in coastal geomorphology and the Director of the Office for Environmental Programs at The University of Melbourne. His research focusses on the impact of climatic and environmental change and how sea level, storms and tsunami drive our dynamic coast. David’s research partners with many agencies from Surf Life Saving Australia, to AusAID as well as state and federal government agencies in Australia and overseas (incl. U.K., Tonga, Niue and New Zealand). David is the elected chair of working groups for many academic societies such as The International Association of Geomorphologists. As Director of the Office for Environmental Programs, he oversees the University's large cross-faculty, interdisciplinary coursework program the Master of Environment.

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Dr Stephanie Lava

Dr Stephanie Lavau

OEP Subject Coordinator,  Interdisciplinarity and the Environment

Stephanie Lavau is a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Environmental Practice. Her research and teaching focus on social and cultural aspects of environment management and governance, particularly in relation to ecosystem health, environmental risk, biodiversity conservation, and natural resource management. Stephanie's research interests include: the production and intersection of environmental knowledges; nature-cultures; and policy-practice interfaces in governing environments. She has studied sustainable river management in Australia (funded by an APA and CSIRO); the extension of biosecurity policy into food production and environmental management in Britain (funded by ESRC); the socio-technical challenges of biological control for crop protection in Britain (funded by Plymouth University); and the role of biological indicators in lay and expert apprehensions of environmental change (funded by ISSR). Stephanie's research is primarily qualitative and ethnographic, and is situated at the intersection of science and technology studies, human geography, and environmental sociology. Stephanie has recently returned to Australia from the UK, where she was a Postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Exeter and then a Lecturer in Human Geography at Plymouth University. She has previous professional experience in science communication and science policy in government and environmental organisations.

Dr Lavau coordinates the core subject Interdisciplinarity and the Environment

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Gab Corbo Perkins

Gab Corbo-Perkins

OEP Senior Tutor,  Research subjects and Sustainability Governance and Leadership

Gab is an OEP graduate with a background in politics, sociology, and environmental governance. Since completing her masters, she has been teaching at both RMIT University and the University of Melbourne, with a particular focus on public policy and environmental social science. Gab is concerned with the politics and policy of environmental sustainability. She is particularly interested in the contested nature of decision making, how contemporary socio-environmental justice issues are named and framed in the policy process, how these can be disrupted and resisted, and the discursive and lived effects of this. She has assisted with research on the tensions between market logic and conservation practices, critical urban governance and green space accessibility, housing instability and seeking asylum, and sustainability transitions. Gab is concerned with divergent value positions, and how and why we engage in certain behaviours. As a teaching focused academic, Gab is passionate about engaged environmental education, and aims to be reflexive and transformative in her teaching practice.

She currently co-coordinates the research subjects offered by the OEP, and tutors into Sustainability Governance and Leadership, a core subject in the program.