Personal details

Name
Associate Professor Karen Vella
Position(s)
Associate Professor in Planning
Science and Engineering Faculty,
Civil Engineering and Built Environment,
Property and Planning
Discipline *
Urban and Regional Planning
Phone
+61 7 3138 1004
Fax
+61 7 3138 1170
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles
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Qualifications

PhD (University of Queensland)

Professional memberships
and associations

Member of the Planning Institute of Australia

Keywords

Resilience, adaptive management, adaptive governance, Adaptation, climate change, Great Barrier Reef, Environmental assessment, Planning, planning theory, planning practice, Evaluation and monitoring frameworks, flood resilience, community resilience, Urban planning, cities, regions, Collaborative and deliberative governance, Risk governance

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008

Biography

Associate Professor Karen Vella (PhD) is a  planner and governance research specialist with two decades of research and professional experience in community engagement, policy evaluation and the human dimensions of sustainability problems.  A/Prof Vella holds a Bachelor degree in Regional and Town Planing with Class 1 Honours from the University of Queensland and a PhD in Environmental Planning, also from the University of Queensland.   A/Prof Vella has also held research and policy positions for the Australian Government (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority), the community-based NRM sector (Terrain NRM), and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). A/Prof Vella has an international and national research profile in research on collaborative governance, planning for climate adaptation, building and measuring social resilience, stakeholder engagement,  policy systems evaluation and social science in the Great Barrier Reef.  Her work is multi-disciplinary and involves strong use of social science to identify innovative solutions to real world sustainability problems.  A/Prof Vella’s work has considerable influence on state and national policy within Australia and is recognised nationally and internationally in fields of science concerned with human and public policy dimensions of environmental decision-making that threaten sustainability. A/Prof Vella has extensive experience of applied research and end-user focused grant delivery through more than AUD $8.2M in external funds for projects at various faculties.  This includes extensive experience in developing and applying innovative frameworks to meet the knowledge and planning needs of government and wider industry and community stakeholders. Contact A/Prof Vella  for new research opportunities. 

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Karen Vella.

Teaching

Unit Coordinator and Lecturer

  • UXB 131 Imagine Planning and Design (Studio)
  • UXB 231 Planning Processes
  • UXH 331 Environmental Analysis and Planning

Teaching team

  • UXH300 Research Methods

Supervisor

  • UXH 400-1 and 400-2 Honours Research Project

Previous Unit Coordination and Lecturing Roles

  • Regional Planning Practice (Studio)
  • Public Involvement and Community Development
  • Natural Resource Management – Governance and Planning

Awards:

  • Superior Small Sized Course Award 2011 (Griffith University/Unit Coordinator)
  • Head of School Commendation 2010, 2012 (Griffith University/Unit Coordinator)

 

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Karen Vella.

Experience

   Prior to joining academia, Dr Vella was:

  • Manager NRM Plan Wet Tropics, Terrain Natural Resource Management (2006 to 2010)
  • Project Manager/Acting Manager of Social Science Research and Monitoring, Australian Government, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (2005-2006 )
  • Post Doctoral Fellow and PhD Candidate, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)(1998 – 2004)
  • Planning Officer, Department of Local Government and Planning & Local Government Association of Queensland (1997 – 1998)
  • Planning Assistant – Department of Main Roads, Brannock Humphreys Planning and Environment Consultants, Cairns City Council, Mulgrave Shire Council:  (1994 – 1996).
This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Karen Vella.

Publications


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Awards

Awards and recognition

Type
Appointment to State/National/International Reference Group or Government Committees
Reference year
2017
Details
Member of the Human Dimensions Expert Group for the Reef Integrated Research and Monitoring Program (RIMReP) for the Great Barrier Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan
Type
Advisor/Consultant for Community
Reference year
2017
Details
Director on the Board of Reef Check Australia and the Reef Check Foundation, a registered environmental organization and Australian charity focused on engaging people in hands on citizen science and conservation.
Type
Editorial Role for an Academic Journal
Reference year
2017
Details
Editor for the Routledge Australian Handbook of Urban and Regional Planning. This work "the most comprehensive survey of Australian planning that has been produced" (Glesson), brings together over 40 scholars to address critical topics in Australian urban and regional planning.
Type
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
2017
Details
State of Australian Cities Biannual Conference. Keynote panelist on 'urban resilience'
Type
Assessor, Examiner or Supervisor Role
Reference year
2016
Details
Assessor for ARC Discovery Applications in 2014 and 2016
Type
Funding Award
Reference year
2016
Details
Catapult Grant. $28,334 Vella, Northdurft, Sloss, Baker, Gibbs 'Monitoring and reducing human impacts on water quality entering the GBR through best practice urban planning and management'.
Type
Funding Award
Reference year
2014
Details
SEF Learning and Teaching Grant (2014) "The benefits and constraints of planning studio teaching to address complex educational challenges and improve outcomes" $15,000.00

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Title
Cost-Effective Indicators and Metrics for key GBRWHA Human and Governance Dimensions and Values Linked to Specific Objectives and Targets in the Reef 2050 Plan
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
2017
Keywords
Governance Dimensions of Reef Management; Human Dimensions; Indicators; Indigenous Dimensions of Reef Management; Reef 2050
Title
Monitoring and Adaptively Reducing System-Wide Governance Risks Facing the GBR
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
3.11
Start year
2015
Keywords
Governance; Outcomes; Policy; Regulation; Risk
Title
The impact of governance on regional natural resource planning
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP130100933
Start year
2014
Keywords
Regional Governance; Land Use Planning; Sustainable Environments

Supervision

Current supervisions

  • Risk Governance Analysis of Informal Floating Food Supply System of Metropolitan Dhaka
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Marc Miska
  • What are the criteria for successfully combining community-led interventions with top-down planning governance?
    MPhil, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Severine Mayere

Completed supervisions (Doctorate)