BA (Hons) (ANU); MA (Toronto); PhD (ANU); Diploma in Law (LPAB-NSW); FASSA
Human geography

John Handmer works on understanding the human dimensions of disasters, in Australia as well as internationally. He focuses on improving safety for people at risk from natural and other hazards, and on reducing tangible and intangible losses from disaster. This work has been undertaken with many colleagues and in close collaboration with policymakers and practitioners. He has been influential in helping to shift the focus of policy for disaster risk reduction from the hazard towards people and human systems; in integrating disaster research with that on climate change adaptation; and in wildfire community safety.

Honorary Professorial Fellow, Geography, Uni Melbourne;

Visiting Researcher, IIASA, Vienna.

Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia;

RMIT VC 2016 Award for Research Impact;

AFAC (Australasian Fire & Emergency Services Authorities Council) Research Award 2010;

Member Scientific Committee, Integrated Research on Disaster (IRDR), International Council of Science;

Fellow, Institute of British Geographers/Royal Geographical Society;

other minor RMIT University and Bushfire CRC awards.

  1. Handmer J and Iveson H. (2017) Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu: learning from the low death toll. Australian Journal of Emergency Management. 32 (2).
  2. Handmer J and O’Neill S. (2016) Examining bushfire policy in action: Preparedness and behaviour in the 2009 Black Saturday fires. Environmental Science & Policy. Volume 63, September 2016, Pages 55–62.
  3. Moritz, M., Batllori, E., Bradstock, R., Gill, A., Handmer, J., Hessburg, P., Leonard, J., McCaffrey, S., Odion, D., Schoennagel, T., Syphard, A. (2014). Learning to coexist with wildfire In: 515, 58 – 66.
  4. Nalau J and Handmer J (2015) ‘When is transformation a viable policy alternative?’ Environmental Science & Policy 54 (2015) 349–356
  5. Kundzewicz, Z., Kanae, S., Seneviratne, S., Handmer, J., Nicholls, N., Peduzzi, P., Mechler, R., Bouwer, L., Arnell, N., Mach, K., Muir-Wood, R., Brakenridge, R., Kron, W., Benito, G., Honda, Y., Takahashi, K., Sherstyukov, B. (2014). Flood risk and climate change: global and regional perspectives In: Hydrological Sciences Journal, 59, 1 – 28
  6. Handmer J and Dovers S (2013) Handbook of disaster policies and institutions: improving emergency management and climate change adaptation. (2nd Edition) Taylor and Francis.