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Personal profile


Dr. Irena L. C. Connon (PhD, MRes, MA(Hons), FHEA, PG Cert) is a Social Anthropologist and Transdisciplinary Researcher whose research interests and experience span:

  • 1) Understanding human experiences of environmental hazards, including oil spills, extreme weather, and industrial legacy contamination;
  • 2) Enhancing inclusion in policies and practices of Disaster Risk Reduction;
  • 3) Improving hazard risk communication;
  • 4) Understanding the drivers of energy deprivation;
  • 5) Geography of worry and emotional affect, particularly in the disaster response context
  • 6) Translating research evidence into policy for improving higher density living for human health and environmental sustainability, and, most recently,
  • 7) Environmental hazards, planetary health and climate change adaptation and mitigation for higher density urban environments.

Irena has extensive experience undertaking qualitative research, particularly long-term ethnographic research, in various locations across the globe. She also has experience using quantitative methods and in analysing statistical data. She has published a total of 16 peer reviewed academic outputs to date, including articles in high ranked international journals and book chapters in edited volumes. In 2017, she received an ‘Outstanding’ award from Innovate UK for her contribution to knowledge exchange. Irena contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, postgraduate MSc and PhD supervision, and curriculum development. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and holds a PG Cert in Academic Practice in Higher Education.

Research interests

Human responses to environmental hazards and disasters; Anthropology of disasters; Geography of disasters; Disaster vulnerabilities; Environmental sustainability and water security; Energy justice and policy; Indigenous and alternative models of development; Human-environmental relations in human security debates; Disaster management, planning, prevention and preparedness; capacity building, education and transformation for sustainability; Hazard risk and communication; Gender in disaster risk and response; Decision-making and tolerance of change in transformation for sustainable livelihoods and hazard risk reduction; Planetary health, hazard risk reduction, adaptation and mitigation of anthropogenic climate change in the urban built environment; Geographies of worry and emotion; Critical geography, Translational and policy relevant research; Ethnographic method; Transdisciplinary research; Multi and interdisciplinary research; Mixed method research. 



2018:  (UTS)

PhD Second Supervisor; 

MSc Dissertation Supervisor;

Undergraduate Dissertation Supervisor;

Lecturer/Co-Coordinator: Level 5 Postgraduate MSc module - Environment, Health and Sustainability (UTS) 

Lecturer/Coordinator: Level 3 Human Geographies of Environmental Hazards and Disasters

Lecturer/Supervisor: Level 4 Dissertation Module 

Lecturer: Level 1: Introduction to Geography A


Education/Academic qualification

PGCert THE, University of Dundee

30 Sep 201631 Jul 2018


30 Sep 20162 Jul 2018

Doctor of Social Science, University of Aberdeen

31 Oct 20064 Jul 2013

Master of Research, University of Aberdeen

20 Sep 200431 Oct 2006

Bachelor of Arts, University of Aberdeen

20 Sep 200028 Jul 2004

External positions

Research Fellow (Principal Investigator) and Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney

8 Jan 2018 → …

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Research Output 2016 2018

  • 5 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
  • 5 Article
  • 1 Chapter
  • 1 Other chapter contribution
  • 1 Book/Film/Article review

A geography of residents' worry about the disruptive effects of contaminated sites

Prior, J. H., Gorman-Murray, A., McIntyre, E., Connon, I., Adams, J. & Madden, B., 6 Nov 2018, In : Geographical Research. 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

health geography
environmental pollution

Built Environment Interventions for Human and Planetary Health: Integrating Health in Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation

Prior, J. H., Connon, I. L. C., McIntyre, E., Jon, A., Capon, A., Kent, J., Rissel, C., Thomas, L. E., Thompson, S. M. & Westcott, H., 6 Dec 2018, In : Public Health Research and Practice. 28, 4, p. 1-5 5 p., e2841831.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
climate change
urban design
urban planning
5 Citations

Community Resilience for a 1.5oC World

Fazey, I., Carmen, E., Chapin III, F. S., Ross, H., Rao-Williams, J., Lyon, C., Connon, I., Searle, B. & Knox, K., Apr 2018, In : Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 31, p. 30-40

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

social change
carbon emission

Sociodemographic predictors of residents worry about contaminated sites

McIntyre, E., Prior, J., Connon, I. L. C., Adams, J. & Madden, B., 1 Dec 2018, In : Science of the Total Environment. 643, p. 1623-1630 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

sense of place
Open Access
rural community


Award for 'Outstanding' contribution to Knowledge Exchange, Partnership and Impact

Irena Connon (Recipient), 1 Mar 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Teaching Award: Supporting Students Category

Irena Connon (Recipient), 30 Jun 2012

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)