Our People

Dr Chris Bearman
Project Leader
Key interests:


Chris Bearman's research involves conducting industry-focused studies in laboratory and field settings with the aim of creating results that have both a strong theoretical underpinning and a robust application to industry. This involves working closely with industry partners and government organizations around the world. Chris also supervises a number of PhD, Masters & Honours students in the Safety Science and Human Factors areas.

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Project leadership

This project will develop tools that can be used in emergency contexts to enhance strategic level decision making in complex, time-critical, multi-team situations.
Year Type Citation
2017 Journal Article McLennan, J., Every, D., Bearman, C. & Wright, L. On the concept of denial of natural hazard risk and its use in relation to householder wildfire safety in Australia. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 21, 176-186 (2017).
2016 Report Bearman, C., Rainbird, S., Brooks, B. & Owen, C. Proposed tools for monitoring teams in emergency management. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Report Every, D. et al. Capturing community experiences in the 2015 Sampson Flat fire. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Journal Article Every, D. et al. Contacts versus connectors: The role of Community Fire Safe Group coordinators in achieving positive bushfire safety outcomes. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 19, (2016).
2016 Report Bearman, C. et al. Decision making, team monitoring and organisational learning in emergency management: Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Journal Article Bearman, C., Grunwald, J., Brooks, B. & Owen, C. Breakdowns in coordinated decision making at and above the incident management team level: An analysis of three large scale Australian wildfires. Applied Ergonomics 47, 16-25 (2015).
2015 Report Trigg, J. et al. Capturing community experiences: South Australian bushfires January 2014. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Report Bearman, C. Decision making, team monitoring and organisational performance: Part three team performance monitoring research stream. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper Owen, C., Brooks, B. & Bearman, C. Challenges of Measuring Emergency Management Performance Under Adversity: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Report Bearman, C. et al. Decision making, team monitoring and organisational performance: Part One Executive Summary. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Report Bearman, C., Brooks, B. & Owen, C. Practical Decision Tools for Improved Decision-Making in Complex Situations Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2015 Report Bearman, C. et al. Practical decision tools for improved decision-making in complex, time-constrained and multi-team environments: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2013 Report Owen, C., Bosomworth, K., Bearman, C. & Brooks, B. Strategic emergency management in Australia and New Zealand - discussion paper on implications of research. (2013).
2013 Conference Proceedings Bearman, C., Owen, C., Brooks, B. & Grunwald, J. The Problems of Maintaining Effective Teamwork During Out-of-Scale Events. 2013 Research Forum (2013). at <http://www.bushfirecrc.com/resources/research-report/problems-maintaining-effective-teamwork-during-out-scale-events>
2013 Conference Proceedings Owen, C. et al. Politics, Policies and Paradigms: Challenges of Change in Future Emergency Management. 2013 Annual Conference (2013). at <http://www.bushfirecrc.com/resources/research-report/politics-policies-and-paradigms-challenges-change-future-emergency-managem>
2013 Journal Article Bearman, C. & Bremner, P. A. A day in the life of a volunteer incident commander: Errors, pressures and mitigating strategies. Applied Ergonomics 44, 488 - 495 (2013).

Posters credited

Practical decision tools for improved decision-making in complex situations

There is increasing pressure on agencies from larger-scale natural hazards, financial constraints and declining volunteer numbers.

What can derail decision making? A phase model perspective

Phase models are a common way to frame decision making in emergency management. 

A Twelve Step Program Towards Safety Redemption in Emergency Management

The journey towards a mature system for managing safety has previously been imagined as a 'ladder' that organisations need to climb. Our research suggests there are twelve steps on this ladder for an organisation to achieve 'safety redemption'.

Decision Making, Team Monitoring and Organisational Learning

This Project aims to provide enhanced ways of:

  • Making decisions in complex situations
  • Monitoring teams to detect problems
  • Learning from operational performance
Key Topics:
Chris Bearman Conference Poster 2016

This project has three main research streams that are:
•Providing enhanced methods of making decisions;
•Developing methods to better monitor and modify the behavior of teams
•Identifying the enablers and barriers to organizational learning

Key Topics:

Resources credited

Type Released Title Download Key Topics
Presentation-Slideshow 08 Sep 2014 Challenges of measuring emergency management performance under adversity Save (1.69 MB) decision making
Presentation-Audio-Video 20 Oct 2014 Measuring EM performance under adversity: The good, the bad, the ugly capability, emergency management
HazardNoteEdition 19 Mar 2015 How three South Australian communities responded to the 2014 bushfires Save (130.53 KB) communication, communities, decision making
Presentation-Slideshow 10 Apr 2015 Decision Making 2015 NSW RAF Presentation Save (1.98 MB) decision making, education
HazardNoteEdition 06 Apr 2016 Sampson Flat community bushfire experiences Save (519.63 KB) communities, fire, fire impacts
Presentation-Slideshow 17 May 2016 Decision making, team monitoring and organisational learning Save (1.79 MB) communication, decision making, multi-hazard
Presentation-Slideshow 30 Aug 2016 "I’m going to be frightened out of my wits": Insights on psychological preparedness from the Sampson Flat fire - Danielle Every Save (970.63 KB) communication, communities, fire
Presentation-Slideshow 30 Aug 2016 Team monitoring tools - Chris Bearman Save (674.21 KB) capability, decision making, emergency management
Presentation-Audio-Video 27 Oct 2016 Practical decision tools for improved decision-making - project overview Save (0 bytes) decision making, emergency management, multi-hazard
Presentation-Slideshow 18 Apr 2017 Team Monitoring, Decision making & Organizational Learning Save (1.33 MB) decision making, emergency management

All the resources from our 2016 conference

Research program in detail

Where, why and how are Australians dying in floods?

2015-2016 year in review

Bushfire planning with kids ebook