Skip to main content

Whittaker, Joshua Dr

Research Fellow

Overview


Josh’s research focuses on the vulnerability and resilience of human communities to bushfire. His research began with a PhD that examined vulnerability to bushfires in a remote farming community in the High Country of East Gippsland, Victoria. He subsequently played a lead role in the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre’s social science research into the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, in which 173 people lost their lives and over 2000 homes were destroyed. Josh has written extensively on the Black Saturday disaster and subsequent changes to bushfire risk management in Australia.  

Josh has a strong track record of undertaking applied social science research that provides evidence for Australian fire and emergency services to improve their community safety policies, programs and communications. He has published research on a range of factors influencing vulnerability to bushfire including resident planning and preparation, decision-making, individual and household responses, gender, warnings and insurance.   His research typically involves close collaboration with physical scientists and industry end users. He often provides social science inputs to scientific research, and regularly advises fire and other agencies on the implications of research for policy and operations.

Josh has led and contributed to research supported by over $1.6M in funding from research grants and commercial research.

Top Publications


Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Available as Research Supervisor

Potential Supervision Topics


  • Vulnerability assessment
    Cost effectiveness of bushfire risk management strategies
    Management of smoke from prescribed fire and bushfire
    Discourses on bushfire and its management

Outreach Overview


  • Josh is a member of the University of Wollongong Human Research Ethics (Social Sciences) Committee. He is also a member of the Editorial Board for the journal Environmental Hazards.

Education And Training


  • Ph.D. in Human Geography, RMIT University, School of Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences 2005 - 2009
  • RMIT University, Bachelor of Social Science, School of Social Sciences & Planning 2001 - 2004

Keywords


  • Bushfire
    Wildfire
    Natural hazard
    Disaster
    Vulnerability
    Resilience

Full Name


  • Dr Josh Whittaker

Mailing Address


  • Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires

    University of Wollongong

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2500

    Australia

Top Publications


Selected Publications


Potential Supervision Topics


  • Vulnerability assessment
    Cost effectiveness of bushfire risk management strategies
    Management of smoke from prescribed fire and bushfire
    Discourses on bushfire and its management

Outreach Overview


  • Josh is a member of the University of Wollongong Human Research Ethics (Social Sciences) Committee. He is also a member of the Editorial Board for the journal Environmental Hazards.

Education And Training


  • Ph.D. in Human Geography, RMIT University, School of Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences 2005 - 2009
  • RMIT University, Bachelor of Social Science, School of Social Sciences & Planning 2001 - 2004

Keywords


  • Bushfire
    Wildfire
    Natural hazard
    Disaster
    Vulnerability
    Resilience

Full Name


  • Dr Josh Whittaker

Mailing Address


  • Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires

    University of Wollongong

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2500

    Australia

Research Areas

Geographic Focus