Associate Professor Dana Thomsen

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Associate Professor Dana Thomsen


Teaching areas

  • Communicating Sustainability
  • Applying Sustainability

Research areas

  • sustainability communication
  • visual communication
  • social and sustainability learning
  • adaptation, adaptive capacity and resilience


Dana Thomsen PhD is an Associate Professor in Sustainability Advocacy within the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law at USC, and an Adjunct Professor at Brock University, Canada. Associate Professor Thomsen is an executive member of the Sustainability Research Centre (SRC) at USC and coordinated the sustainability teaching programs at USC from 2008–2015.

A/Prof Thomsen’s sustainability research agenda is interdisciplinary and situated at the intersection of the fields of human geography and environmental management. Her work explores the transformation of socio-ecological relationships through learning and communication, using qualitative methods within an interpretivist paradigm. A/Prof Thomsen’s research agenda is evidenced through numerous projects at local (e.g. exploring adaptation pathways with 17 local councils in QLD and NSW), national (e.g. developing adaptive learning strategies for coastal adaptation with partners across QLD, SA, Tas, WA) and international scales (e.g. informing the EU Water Framework Directive by working in collaboration with colleagues from universities in the UK, USA, Sweden, Canada, Netherlands and Italy).

A/Prof Thomsen is a named chief investigator on over A$11m of competitive research grants. Recent projects have been supported by the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the CSIRO Collaboration Fund (Southeast Queensland Climate Adaptation Research Initiative), the CSIRO Coastal Collaboration Cluster, the Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching, and the Europe and Global Challenges Program. Associate Professor Thomsen currently leads the NGO Theme of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) Social, Economic and Institutional Research Network.

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