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Dr Taryn Kong

Research Scientist


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Dr. Taryn Kong is a transdisciplinary scientist with a background in participatory cross-cultural research, environmental sciences, and accounting. She integrates participatory action and mixed-methods research to bridge the gap between knowledge and action on societal challenges such as building climate resilience, scaling up ecological restoration, and supporting Indigenous economic development in the USA, South Africa, and Australia. She applies social learning concepts and systems thinking to design transdisciplinary research that integrates local and traditional knowledge to understand complex problems and innovate place-based solutions. She develops tools and processes to make research more accessible and usable, improve knowledge sharing and integration between different sectors, and facilitate the co-production of innovation. Her adaptable capabilities have been applied to diverse research contexts, including financing mechanisms for natural capital, supply chain analysis for resource recovery from single-use medical devices, and Indigenous enterprise development in northern Australia. Her current research uses innovation brokering approaches to contribute critical knowledge on social dimensions of scaling up coral restoration in the Great Barrier Reef. In the Circular Economy for Missions, she is applying her research capabilities to examine business models and partnership pathways to accelerate a just transformation to a circular economy that aligns with sustainable development goals.

Achievements and Awards

  • 2019-2019

    Successful Postdoc Fellow

  • 2013-2013

    Outstanding Dissertation Award
    University of Arizona

  • 2009-2012

    Ervin H. Zube Scholarship
    University of Arizona

  • 2011-2012

    P.E.O. Scholar Award
    Philanthropic Educational Organization

  • 2007-2009

    Science Foundation Arizona Graduate Research Fellowship
    University of Arizona

  • 1995-2000

    Presidential Scholarship
    Bernard M. Baruch College

Current Roles

  • Research Scientist
    Indigenous Science and Knowledge, Sustainability Pathways

Academic Qualifications

  • 2013

    Doctorate of Philosophy in Natural Resources Studies; Minor: Anthropology
    University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

  • 2000

    Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
    Bernard M. Baruch College-CUNY, New York, NY, USA

Professional Experiences

  • 2015-2018

    Climate Change Research Associate
    Association for Water and Rural Development, Hoedspruit, South Africa

  • 2013-2014

    Short-Term Consultant
    International Finance Corporation

  • 2011-2012

    Research Associate
    Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona

  • 2010-2011

    Research Associate
    North-West University

  • 2007-2010

    Research Associate
    Office of Arid Lands Studies (2009-2010) and School of Natural Resources and the Environment (2007-2009), University of Arizona

  • 2006-2007

    Accounting Consultant
    ON24, Inc.

  • 2005-2006

    Senior Accountant
    Calypso Technology Inc.

  • 2004-2004

    Lead Auditor
    Neptune Orient Lines Limited

  • 2000-2003

    Audit Senior
    Deloitte LLP

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2019-2022

    Early- to Mid-Career Researcher Committee for Land & Water

  • 2019-2020

    STEM Professionals in School