Prof David Johnston

Prof David Johnston

Prof David Johnston

Professor David Johnston is a Senior Scientist at GNS Science (New Zealand’s Geological Survey) and Director of the Joint Centre for Disaster Research in the School of Psychology at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. His research has developed as part of multi-disciplinary theoretical and applied research programme, involving the collaboration of physical and social scientists from several organisations and countries.  His research focuses on human responses to volcano, tsunami, earthquake and weather warnings, crisis decision-making and the role of public education and participation in building community resilience and recovery. David is the Chair of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Scientific Committee (IRDR), a programme co-sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISCC), and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster reduction (UNISDR); on New Zealand’s Royal Society Social Science Advisory Panel; the Editor of The Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies; and founding Editor of the Journal of Applied Volcanology.

Project leadership

This project aimed to better understand the factors that shape community resilience to tsunami in Australia, and effective tsunami warning risk communication. The research phase is now completed. The need for this work derived from the fact that the Australian coastline faces some 8,000km of active tectonic plate boundary capable of generating a tsunami that could reach Australia in two to four hours. Recognition of this risk led to the development of the Australian Tsunami Warning System.

The findings of the project have been presented to the Australian Tsunami Advisory Group and the NSW SES, and will be used to inform the development and implementation of a community engagement strategy that can be used by end-user agencies to develop community warning and response strategies.

Research team:
Improving the role of hazard communications in increasing residents’ preparedness for bushfires and floods: A summary of project findings
18 Sep 2018
This project focused on the evaluation of communication strategies and identification of barriers...
Unravelling the Natural Hazard Risk-based Policy Development Knot
18 Sep 2018
Challenges and solutions for natural hazard risk-based policy development in New Zealand...
Community Understanding of the Tsunami Risk and Warning Systems in Australian Communities
18 Aug 2015
The Eastern Australian coastline faces some 8,000km of active tectonic plate boundary capable of...
The role of children in disasters: A program of research
25 Aug 2014
Children represent the most vulnerable demographic group in disasters.  
Improving the role of hazard communications in increasing residents' preparedness and response planning
25 Aug 2014
Communication and education of risk mitigation strategies play an essential role in building and...

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