Katharine's research focuses on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. She has a strong commitment to ensuring that her research impacts on policy and practice. In May 2015 Katharine was awarded the Australian Academy of Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE). The award recognized her contributions in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for an Australian scientist under the age of 40. She was the Australian nomination and a runner up for the wider Asia-Pacific ASPIRE prize.
Katharine’s research interests include risk communication, preparedness and response, community and youth-based disaster risk reduction and the implementation and adaptation of policy and organisational procedure. She has considerable experience conducting qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys with members of the public, emergency management practitioners, professionals and policy makers.
Katharine has experience working on a range of hazards and risks within: Montserrat, WI; Philippines; Indonesia; Australia and the United Kingdom. Katharine was called as an expert witness at the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, following the Black Saturday bushfire disaster. She has completed work and provided expert advice for a range of emergency services, government departments, private organisations and international NGO’s.