Dr Ryan McAllister: community adaptation and resilience
Dr Ryan McAllister studies community adaptation and resilience, exploring how our natural and built environments interact with human behaviour.
4 August 2010 | Updated 5 June 2012
Dr Ryan McAllister is a systems research scientist with CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
He is an economist, whose research relates to how social processes interact with and form around key ecological processes. This is an analysis of the formal and social institutions that govern human behaviour.
Dr McAllister is managing the South East Queensland Climate Adaptation Research Initiative, a regional scale, multi-sector case study exploring cost effective ways to adapt to our changing climate, and co-ordinating the synthesis across all research activities.
He is also involved in a Science of Desert Living project, which is developing cross-cutting theory to integrate otherwise disparate desert research, to define a new inter-sector discipline.
After completing undergraduate studies, Dr McAllister spent several years working as an economist before returning to study and completing his Doctorate.
He joined CSIRO in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, in 2002 as a Postdoctoral Fellow.
“In the world of complex systems science, climate adaptation presents challenges and opportunities of unsurpassed magnitude. Each question involves so many stakeholders across so many sectors, but the rewards for getting this right are stunning.”
Dr Ryan McAllister, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
He has since worked in arid and semi-arid areas of Australia, focusing on the ways in which humans do, or should, respond to resource variability.
In this capacity, Dr McAllister developed theory around the trade-offs between various models of adaptation - between adapting too fast or slow, and between employing spatial or temporal strategies for coping with variability.
He employs a wide of approaches, including social network theory, game theory and other integrative modelling techniques.
Dr McAllister has been awarded a:
Bachelor of Economics with First Class Honours at James Cook University, Townsville
Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Queensland School of Economics, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, in 2002.
His undergraduate work included courses in economics, econometrics and computer science. His thesis title was Causes of interstate per capita income differences.
His postgraduate work included courses in experimental economics and games, computational mathematics and ecological statistics. His doctoral thesis title was Dynamic modelling of deforestation in the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos.
Dr McAllister has received the following awards:
- CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems Science Excellence Award
CSIRO John Philips Excellence in Young Scientists Award
University of Queensland Graduate School Award
University of Queensland Travel Award
James Cook University Australian Finance Conference Prize
Australian Bureau of Statistics Economics Cadetship.
Read more about the work of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences.