Bruce is a Professor at Massey University, New Zealand. He has degrees in economics and agricultural economics, environmental science, and urban and environmental planning. He has worked in academia, environmental consulting and Government, chiefly in New Zealand, South Africa, and the USA.
His research focuses on building resilient and sustainable communities. He is co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Ocean & Coastal Management. He was Coordinating Lead Author of the sea-level rise chapter in the IPCC’s 2019 Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. He is a Lead Author of the Climate Resilient Development Pathways chapter, and Cross-Chapter Paper Lead on Cities and Settlements by the Sea, in the IPCC’s Working Group II contribution to AR6.
Bruce led the team that designed and facilitated South Africa's coastal policy formulation process that culminated in the Government’s White Paper for Sustainable Coastal Development in 2000 and the world’s first Integrated Coastal Management Act.