Dr Veronica Doerr

Behavioural Systems Scientist

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I began my science career trying to link the disciplines of ecology and environmental history, exploring how dominant cultural perceptions of nature at any given point in history shape the types of questions that ecologists ask about nature and how they translate their results into management recommendations. After being told that such transdisciplinarity wasn't something I could continue to progress in a PhD, I shifted my interest in human decision-making to animals, researching the evolution and maintenance of cooperation using Australian treecreepers (woodland birds) as a model study system. I felt instantly at home in Australia - with its environments and its people - and became passionate about doing more applied research to help us be good stewards of this wide brown land and her people. I applied my work in dispersal and social group formation to explore how animals actually experience landscape connectivity, and how we can therefore design landscapes and wildlife corridors that actually function well for both animals and people. With every new project though, I found myself moving closer and closer to where I had started - bringing in more and more of the human decision-making elements into my work. I became particularly interested in decision-making under uncertainty and unpredictability and saw many parallels between how Australia's animals have evolved to cope with changing environmental conditions and how humans could do a better job with it. Global climate change has now made it profoundly urgent that we develop some of these new decision-making skills, and I am incredibly privileged to work with and lead the Climate Risks and Resilience Group which helps others make transformative changes in their planning and decision-making to cope with disruption, using a systems approach.

Academic Qualifications

  • 1992

    Yale University

  • 2003

    University of Nevada Reno


We have publications by Dr Veronica Doerr