We study human relationships with physical environments using interdisciplinary approaches grounded in environmental psychology. We examine the different ways people value environments, how people form attitudes towards environmental issues, what enables or constrains positive environmental behaviour, and how physical environments influence human well-being and function. Key themes in our work include human relationships with forest ecosystems, urban ecosystems and green infrastructure, and bushfire prone landscapes.
We are interested in understanding how local residents, the general public and decision-makers relate to environments and environmental issues.
Our research is characterised by use of mixed methods, and interdisciplinary and integrative strategies that allow us to address complex, multi-faceted and practical environmental challenges. We use qualitative methods such as interviews and observation to explore human interactions with environments, and specialise in quantitative strategies, such as large scale surveys of the general public, to understand population-wide trends and associations. We collaborate with ecologists, sociologists, spatial scientists and others to build frameworks and methodologies that draw on the strengths of multiple academic disciplines. We work closely with environmental policy makers and planners to develop knowledge that is applicable to everyday environmental challenges and professional practices.
Our work provides insights to the kinds of environments that are valued by people and that promote well-being and enjoyment. We work with environmental planners and managers to help them identify how to plan and design healthy, sustainable environments.
Our work also provides insights to public response to environmental policy and management. We work with policy makers and planners to help them understand how this information can be used to improve environmental policy and management.