Dr. Liam Phelan’s primary research interest area is environmental studies, and in particular: transdisciplinary research methodologies, complex adaptive systems; political economy; Earth system thresholds and governance; resilience; climate change, and; insurance. He has published extensively in this more-than-disciplinary area in journals such as Energy Policy and contributes to the development of the field through Associate Editorships, including for Human Ecology Review. Dr. Phelan’s PhD was awarded by Macquarie University, Australia, in 2011.
Dr. Phelan has also developed a secondary research interest in higher education practice. He publishes in this field too and serves the field through the Editorial Board of Distance Education. In 2014 Dr. Phelan completed a Master of Leadership and Management in Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Dr. Phelan’s primary appointment is Senior Lecturer and Convenor of the Bachelor of Science and Master of Studies programs at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He has received several awards for teaching excellence, including an Australian Office for Learning and Teaching National Citation in 2012 for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. Through 2014 he and a colleague co-lead a project on behalf of the Australian Council of Environmental Deans and Directors to define threshold learning outcomes for environmental programs offered at universities nationally across Australia.
Prior to joining the academy Dr. Phelan worked as a campaigner with civil society organizations including AID/WATCH and the Australia Tibet Council on international campaigns at the nexus of human rights, environmental justice, development assistance and international finance. In 2005 he was a co-recipient of the international Free Spirit Award for Tibet campaign work. Since joining the academy Dr. Phelan has continued to engage with civil society groups such as the Hunter Community Environment Centre through contributing to organizational boards and management committees.