Flood emergency and recovery: UQ experts – UQ News


The 2022 floods devastated communities in southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales and stretched emergency services to their limits.

Thousands of homes have been inundated by floodwaters, lives have been lost and people are struggling to comprehend the enormity of the latest weather emergency.

The ‘rain bomb’ responsible for last weekend’s record rain has moved slowly south and for some the attention is turning to the cleanup and physical and emotional damage of such a catastrophic event.

The University of Queensland has a range of experts available to offer commentary on this crisis and its aftermath.

Dr. Margaret Cook

Dr. Cook has a particular interest in floods and other disasters, as well as Australian water policies. She is the author of “A River with a City Problem: A History of Brisbane Floods”, UQP, 2019, as well as numerous journal articles.

Contact: Dr. Margaret Cook, Honorary Researcher, School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, [email protected]+61 (0) 418 753 546.

Professor Hubert Chanson

Hubert Song is a professor of civil engineering with expertise in floods and engineering, metrology, sewers and dams.

Contact: Professor Hubert Chanson, School of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Science, [email protected]+61 (7) 3365 3516.

Doctor Annie Lau

Dr Lau is a geographer and can provide expertise on extreme weather events.

Contact: Dr Annie Lau, Senior Lecturer in Geography, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, [email protected]+61 (0) 478 675 199.

Associate Professor Simon Reid

Doctor Reid is a public health expert and can provide commentary on why it’s a bad idea to walk in floodwater/the health risks of walking in floodwater.

Contact: Simon Reid Associate Professor, Global Disease Control, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, [email protected]+61 (0) 405 557 594.

Dr Katrina Moss

Dr Moss is a postdoctoral public health researcher with a particular interest in the impact of flood stress on pregnancy. Her research team studied the development of children in utero during the 2011 Queensland floods and found that pregnant women who experienced higher flood-related stress suffered more depression, anxiety and post-traumatic distress. ..

Contact: Dr. Katrina Moss, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, [email protected]+61 (0) 475 042 318.

Associate Professor Nicole George

Dr. George was personally affected by the 2011 floods and conducted a study on community responses to the disaster. She has interesting and useful suggestions on how to help those affected by the floods.

Contact: Associate Professor Nicole George, School of Political Science and International Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, [email protected]+61 (0) 411 097 916.

Doctor Paola Leardini

Dr Leardini can provide expertise in water-sensitive urban design and climate and flood resilience design. She is currently studying the future design of residential housing in South East Queensland to withstand flooding.

Contact: Dr Paola Leardini, Lecturer in Architecture, School of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, [email protected]+61 (0) 426 041 867.

Professor John Quiggin

Professor Quiggin is distinguished both as a research economist and as a commentator on Australian economic policy and can provide expert commentary on the economic impact of the floods.

Contact: Professor John Quiggin, professor at the School of Economics, [email protected]+61 (0) 400 747 165.

Associate Professor Fiona Charlson

Dr Charson is principal investigator and Mental Health in Shock Events and Vulnerable Communities Research Team Leader, Queensland Center for Mental Health Research. She can provide expertise on the impact of floods on mental health.

Contact: Associate Professor Fiona Charlson, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, [email protected], +61 (0) 402 556 657.

Professor Vanessa Cobham

Professor Cobham can provide expertise to help children cope with flood trauma. She published an article on psychological interventions for children with PTSD after exposure to a natural disaster.

Contact: Professor Vanessa Cobham, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Behavioral Sciences, [email protected], +61 (0) 403 083 193.

Professor Emeritus Justin Kenardy

Professor Emeritus Kenardy was involved in meeting the needs of the community of Grantham after the 2011 floods. He can offer his expertise on the different ways people react to traumatic events, including discussing post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and psychological injuries related to disasters.

Contact: Emeritus Professor Justin Kenardy, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Behavioral Sciences, [email protected], +61 (0) 413 807 163.

Professor Alex Haslam

Professor Haslam can offer expertise on the psychological resilience of communities in crisis and the importance of leadership in helping people deal with trauma. “The sense of shared identity that emerges in the context of events like these is a key resource that helps people navigate the process effectively and is a source of resilience on the trail.”

Contact: Professor Alex Haslam, UQ Laureate Fellow, School of Psychology, [email protected], +61 (0) 468 547 291.

Professor Paula Jarzabkowski

Professor Jarzabkowski is a global expert in disaster recovery and insurance protection. It focuses on financial protection and disaster resilience. “This flood revealed something we already knew but chose to ignore. That Australia, one of the countries most at risk from secondary climate change disasters like floods and bushfires, is also one of the most underinsured comparable economies.”

Contact: Professor Paula Jarzabkowski, School of Business, Faculty of Commerce, Economics and Law, [email protected]+61 (0) 458 523 602.

Associate Professor Gabby Walters

Dr. Walter is an expert in crisis management in the tourism industry. She has a background in tourism marketing with a focus on consumer psychology, as well as image and reputation management and tourism market recovery after crises and disasters.

Contact: Professor Gabby Walters, School of Business, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, [email protected], +61 (0) 402 085 497.

Associate Professor Judith Mair

Dr MaierResearch focuses on the recovery of tourist destinations affected by crises and disasters. She believes the key to recovery is carefully managed media communications and tailored marketing messages to help destinations reopen and get back to normal, but only when the community is ready. “Widespread flooding in southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales has damaged accommodation and tourist infrastructure, and shut down tourist attractions and beaches – all the things tourists visit in these areas to benefit.”

Contact: Associate Professor Judith Mair, School of Business, Faculty of Commerce, Economics and Law, [email protected]+61 (0)412 057 758.

Professor Shaun Bond

Professor Bond is Frank Finn Professor of Finance at UQ Business School and an expert in real estate finance and financial economics.

Contact: Professor Shaun Bond, Frank Finn Chair and Finance DL, School of Business, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, [email protected], +61 (0) 422 07 895.

Dr John Sturgeon

Dr. Sturgeon is a market and real estate expert with more than 25 years of experience in real estate valuation, acquisition and access to land. He was responsible for the timely and cost-effective delivery of land for Australia’s Inland Rail, Cross River Rail, AirportLink, Northern Busway and Gold Coast Light Rail projects.

Contact: Dr John Sturgeon, School of Business, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, [email protected], +61 (0)438 321 177.

Doctor Sarel Gronum

Dr Gronum East an expert in leadership and innovation policy, in start-up ecosystems, in the growth and performance of entrepreneurial SMEs, in business model innovation and in disruptive innovation. He can discuss how flooding can affect small and medium businesses.

Contact: Dr Sarel Gronum, School of Business, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, [email protected], +61 (0) 402 324 617.

Cameron Turner

Cameron is a value-added problem solver with over 20 years of experience finding problems, developing solutions, and executing innovation and go-to-market strategies to turn ideas into sustainable competitive advantage.

Contact: Cameron Turner, Entrepreneur in Residence, School of Business, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, [email protected], +61 (0) 437 448 773.

Media: UQ Communications, [email protected], +61 (0)429 056 139.


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