Peat’s research and practice has broadly focused on the interactions between science and decision-making in terrestrial and marine natural resource management.
He broke from a background in physical geography, biology and climatology to do his qualitative doctoral research on how various strands of scientific and local knowledge might be better integrated to manage the vagaries of climate in the rangelands of Australia.
Since completing his PhD in 2009, Peat has been involved in inter- and trans-disciplinary research on climate adaptation in fisheries and coastal zone management, especially action research with various sectors and stakeholders.
He is particularly interested in the structure, function and dynamics of knowledge action systems in the context of stakes/power and intended outcomes.
Ultimately such work helps to clarify how science and politics can better interact in different contexts and situations.
In early 2012, Peat was appointed to convene the new Science for Society and Policy Program, in the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture. TIA is explicitly set-up as a boundary organization and Peat’s role is one of developing practices, building capacity and approaches to monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the societal outcomes of TIA’s diverse work.