Meet Our Academic Staff
Academic staff in the Office for Environmental Programs
Professor David Kennedy
Director, Office for Environmental Programs
David Kennedy is a 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.
Dr Stephanie Lavau
OEP Subject Coordinator, Partnerships for Sustainable Futures
Stephanie Lavau is a Lecturer in Partnerships for Sustainable Futures. 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 Partnerships for Sustainable Futures
Dr Georgia Garrard
OEP Subject Coordinator - Environmental Sustainability
Georgia Garrard is an interdisciplinary conservation scientist and senior lecturer in Environmental Sustainability at the OEP. Her research addresses the critical challenges of conserving biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes. She draws on the fields of ecology, conservation science, urban planning and design, conservation psychology, strategic communications and decision science to address critical environmental challenges, particularly those related to urban biodiversity, engagement of people with nature, and threatened species conservation.
Georgia’s research has partnered with a range of agencies, from local, state and federal governments, to schools, non-government organisations and private industry. She previously conducted research in the Interdisciplinary Conservation (ICON) Science Research Group and Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University, and the Qualitative and Applied Ecology (QAECO) Research Group at The University of Melbourne.
Georgia is a member of the Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's Scientific Reference Panel, Zoos Victoria’s Scientific Advisory Committee and the Research and Conservation Committee for Birdlife Australia. She is a founding and committee member of the People and Nature Alliance, a community of practice for researchers and practitioners working on human-nature interactions, and previously sat on the Board for Trust for Nature Victoria.
Dr Garrard co-ordinates the core subject Environmental Sustainability.
OEP Senior Tutor, Research subjects and Environmental Sustainability
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 Environmental Sustainability, a core subject in the program.
Dr Geoffrey Binder
OEP Lecturer, Sustainability & Behaviour Change
Geoffrey lectures Sustainability & Behaviour Change, an elective subject he designed for the Master of Environment and has delivered for the last ten years to students across the university. Geoffrey's PhD research looked at the intersection of existing everyday practices and innovation and how this effected the design and implementation of a "sustainability showcase" master-planned community. This research led him to develop new theory regarding innovation and behaviour change. These insights inform Geoff's teaching practice. He also uses these new ideas to help organisations change "the way things are done around here"; assisting them on their sustainability journey. Further information on Geoff's research can be found at the University's Find an Expert Page.
Dr Binder co-ordinates the elective subject Sustainability and Behaviour Change.