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Northern Institute

Risk, resilience and sustainability

People of NI
Researcher Deepika Mathur in front of Solar Panel in Alice Springs
Professor Kerstin Zander

Senior Research Fellow
PhD (Environmental Economics), MSc (Agricultural Science)

Dr Kerstin Zander

: +61 8 8946 7368

:  Casuarina campus, CDU

CDU Research portal

ResearchGate

Kerstin is an environmental economist with background in agricultural science. Her research is looking at the many relationships between humans and nature and aspires to increasing human well-being and sustainability while helping people cope with changing environments and natural hazards. Her research focuses strongly on quantitative research and econometric models.

Associate Professor Akhilesh Surjan

Associate Professor Humanitarian Response & Disaster Management Studies
PhD (Global Environment Management), BArch, MPlan

Associate Professor Akhilesh Surjan

: 08 8946 6782

: Casuarina campus, CDU

CDU Research portal

Dr Akhilesh  Surjan has successfully engaged with issues of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and urban sustainability for two decades. He served as a Lead Author for the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He also served as Contributing Author for the United Nation’s Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. 

Associate Professor Payi Linda Ford

Senior Research Fellow
PhD (Education), 

Dr Linda Ford

: +61 8 8946 7203

:  Casuarina campus, CDU

CDU research portal

  • Indigenous: knowledge, ecological knowledge, land management, community development & enterprise development.
  • Indigenous languages, i.e. Mak Mak Marranunggu, Marrithiel, Northern Creole & Aboriginal English
  • Indigenous Women’s Business & Early Childhood
  • Indigenous Higher Education Post-colonialism
  • Law Indigenous Studies & Native Title Aboriginal Land Rights Act (1976)

Dr Payi Linda Ford is Aboriginal and identifies as Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu, from Kurrindju, on the Finniss River, in the Northern Territory and is currently a Principal Research Fellow at Northern Institute at CDU, with whom she has a long association. Her knowledge, expertise and research in working with Indigenous groups is clearly invaluable to the Northern Institute. Dr Ford graduated with her PhD (Education), 2006 from Deakin University.

Linda understands and is familiar with Indigenous epistemological practices and its application to her research projects. Her knowledge and experience has informed her research practises to include ways of being, knowing and ability to lead and contribute to local, national and international research projects. The Indigenist research methodologies are applied to her research projects ie. Australian Research Council Projects, FRDC Aquaculture project and Plant Biosecurity research project.  

Dr Deepika Mathur

Senior Research Fellow
PhD (Sustainable Architecture)

Research Fellow Dr Deepika Mathur

: +61 8 8959 5214

:  Alice Springs, NT

CDU Research portal

ResearchGate

  • Construction waste management
  • Sustainable architecture in central Australia
  • Playground design and health

Dr Deepika Mathur is a Research Fellow at the Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University and is based at the Alice Springs campus.

Her area of research is examining ways regional towns can be made more sustainable and healthy through the built environment. In particular, she has been conducting research on minimising construction waste generation and ways of recycling and reusing this waste in regional towns such as Alice Springs.

Dr Jonatan Lassa

Senior Lecturer in Emergency and Disaster Management
PhD (Disaster Risk Reduction), MSc

Dr Jonatan Lassa

: +61 8 8946 6756

: Casuarina campus, CDU

CDU Research portal

I am an interdisciplinary social scientist with a civil engineering background. My research focuses on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. I currently teach and supervise students on the interdisciplinary dimension of humanitarian emergency and disaster management at CDU. 

Prior to the present roles, I served as a Research Fellow in a project on climate change impacts on key commodities in main food exporting nations at the Center for Non-traditional Security Studies, RSIS, NTU Singapore during 2014-2016. These two posts mark the beginning of a serious academic career after 15 years of real-world professional experience with third world NGOs, INGOs, United Nations organisations, the private sector, think tanks and consulting industry, and academic organisations.

Dr Rodney Eksteen

Lecturer in Disaster and Emergency Management 
PhD (Fire and Emergency Management)

Researcher and Lecturer Dr Rodney Eksteen

:  08 8946 6511

:  CDU Casuarina Campus

CDU research portal

ORCID

  • Global Challenges Research on Informal Settlement Fire Risk

  • Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR)

  • Incident Management Systems and the response during the pandemic

  • Climate Change Adaptation

  • Community Engagement

Rodney has over 30 years of experience in the Emergency and Disaster Management industry with a wide range of skills as a leader, educator and researcher in areas such as Fire Protection in High-Risk Communities, Community Risk Reduction, Community Engagement and more recently Incident Management Systems.

Dr Rohan Fisher

Research Officer
PhD (Fire ecology, agent-based modelling), MA

Charles Darwin University (CDU) researcher Dr Rohan Fisher has been chosen to attend this year’s prestigious ABC Top 5 Science media residency.

:  +61 0408117736

:  CDU Casuarina Campus

CDU research portal

ResearchGate

  • Landscape simulations for cross-cultural learning
  • Learning through complex systems simulation games.
  • Fire information training and communication for best practice fire management.
  • Capacity building for the application of spatial information and local knowledge.
  • Eastern Indonesian application for the decentralisation of tech skills for good governance.
  • STEM and teaching through tactile/digital games.

Rohan has worked with satellite data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the last 30 years, initially for CSIRO in Canberra, and subsequently for the Northern Territory government in Alice Springs and Darwin. For the last 18 years, he has worked as a Research Fellow at Charles Darwin University/Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research (DCBR) focusing on GIS and Remote Sensing tools for natural resource management and good governance in Eastern Indonesian and best practice savanna fire management in Northern Australia. 

His current research and training development work are focused on developing Projection Augmented Landscape Models & Fire simulations in Northern Australia; using low-tech tools to create dynamic spatial holograms of country.

Miranda Booth

Lecturer in Humanitarian, Emergency and Disaster Management
PhD Candidate, BA, MPhil

Lecturer Miranda Booth at Graduation

: +61 8 8946 6389

: Casuarina campus, CDU

CDU Research portal

Miranda is the coordinator of the Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies and Humanitarian Aid and Development and PhD candidate in the Humanitarian, Emergency and Disaster Management Studies program.

Her research interests include international relations, strategic studies, foreign and defence policy, political interest and humanitarian action, humanitarian civil-military coordination, and measuring the effectiveness of humanitarian aid. She holds awards from the Coral Bell School of the Asia-Pacific, graduating with Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Australian National University and a Master of Philosophy from the University of New South Wales.

Miguel Tovar Valencia

Casual Researcher
MSc

Miguel Tovar Valencia

:  08 8946 7003

:  CDU Casuarina Campus

    Miguel supports research projects with Rohan Fisher.

    • General support in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) applications
    • Maintain CDU Spatial Information Databases
    • Academic technical support: Introductory Remote Sensing, Applied GIS and Earth Systems
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