• Climate change and adaptation (transformation, maladaptation, climate extremes, cultural narratives, science-policy interface, agriculture)
  • Knowledge production (interdisciplinarity, wicked problems, collaboration, networks, knowledge construction)
  • Rurality and rural change (role and image of agriculture, challenges for agriculture)



  • Lauren is a critical human geographer currently working as a Research Fellow in the Melbourne School of Land and Environment and Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. In this role, she works on the socio-political and cultural aspects of sustainability issues with a range of academic and practitioner groups, including the Primary Industries Adaptation Research Network (PIARN) (http://piarn.org.au), the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (http://www.vcccar.org.au) and the community farmer organisation Birchip Cropping Group (http://www.bcg.org.au). She also lectures across a range of subjects within and beyond the faculty, including leading the Masters subject Interdisciplinary and Environment for the Office of Environmental Programs.

    From 2006-2009, Lauren worked as an Associate Partner at RM Consulting Group, consulting to various public, private and community sector groups on strategic rural and sustainability issues. Prior to joining RMCG, she was Vice-Principal of Janet Clarke Hall, one of the University of Melbourne’s academic colleges, and a post-graduate student and non-stipendiary lecturer at the University of Oxford, where she had a Rhodes Scholarship. A fellow and inaugural chair of the Board of the Centre for Sustainability Leaders Fellowship Program (http://www.csl.org.au/), she is now Deputy Chair of the Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Network (http://www.tern.org.au).

    At Oxford, Lauren did a D.Phil. in critical feminist and rural political geography on the gendered and humanist construction of the "ideal agriculturalist" in formal agricultural education institutions. She also completed a MSc in Environmental Change and Management with a biogeography dissertation in the Canary Islands, building on the interdisciplinary nature of her earlier studies.



Member of

  • Institute of Australian Geographers. Ordinary Member 2010 - 2011


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • For more information, please see http://www.sustainable.unimelb.edu.au/content/people/lauren_rickards   


Education and training

  • D.Phil. Oxon, University of Oxford 2006
  • M.Sc., University of Oxford 2000
  • BA (Hons), University of Melbourne 1998

Awards and honors

  • Melbourne Career Interruptions Fellowship, 2011
  • Excellence in Extension (Young Professional), Asia-Pacific Extension Network, 2009
  • Rhodes Trust, 1999



Available for supervision

  • Y