Professor Robert Kay - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Professor Robert Kay

Adjunct Professor

Professor Robert Kay is a globally recognised expert in climate change impact assessment and adaptation, having authored over 120 papers on his research. Robert is the Principal Consultant and Managing Director of Coastal Zone Management, and is the Co-Director and Principal Consultant for ContentPlus, an information technology and communications consultancy. Robert’s portfolio includes work for the UN Environment Program, UN Development Program, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, International Oceanographic Commission, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.


PhD, University of East Anglia; Bachelor of Science (Geology), University College Cardiff.

Research areas
  • Climate change vulnerability impacts and adaptation assessment
  • Geomorphology
  • Coastal planning and management
Key Research Publications

Glavovic, B, Kelly, M, Kay, R, Travers, A (2015) Coasts and Climate Change:  Waves of Adversity and Layers of Resilience, Wiley, London.

Kay, R (2012) ‘Adaptation by ribbon cutting: time to understand where the scissors are kept’, Climate and Development, vol. 4(2), pp. 75-77.

Elrick-Barr, C, Kay, R & Farmer, N (2012) ‘Developing a Road Map for Climate Change Adaptation: The experience of Surf Life Saving Australia’, Ocean & Coastal Management, p. 1-5.

Kay, R & Alder, J (2005) Coastal Planning and Management (2nd edn) E & F Spon (Routledge), London.

Kay, R, Alder, J, Houghton, P & Brown, D (2003) ‘Management Cybernetics: A New Institutional Framework for Coastal Management’, Coastal Management, vol. 31(3), pp. 213-227.

Kay, R & Christie, P (2001) ‘Coastal Management and the Internet: A Status Report’, Coastal Management, vol. 29(3), pp. 157-182.

Kay, R & Alder, J (1999) Coastal Planning and Management, E & F Spon (Routledge), London.

Kay, R & Lester, C (1997) ‘Benchmarking Australian Coastal Management’, Coastal Management, vol. 25, pp. 265-292.

Kay, R, Panizza, V, Eliot, I & Donaldson, B (1997) ‘Reforming Coastal Management in Western Australia’, Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 35(1), pp. 1-29.

Kay, R, Eliot, I, Caton, B & Waterman, P (1996) ‘A Review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 'Common Methodology for Assessing the Vulnerability of Coastal Areas to Sea-Level Rise', Coastal Management, vol. 24(1), pp.165-188.

Contact Dr Robert Kay via email