Dr Steven Lade

ARC Future Fellow at Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Science
T: 6125 3822

Areas of expertise

  • Simulation And Modelling 080110
  • Environmental Management 4104

Research interests

Dr Lade takes a complex systems approach to studying the resilience of systems of humans and nature, from local to planetary scales. He integrates mathematical methods and concepts with knowledge and approaches from other disciplines. He uses these tools in a broad range of intensive interdisciplinary collaborations on topics including water resources, Earth system science, climate change, biodiversity loss, fisheries, poverty and agriculture. He currently holds an ARC Future Fellowship, an ARC Discovery Project, and is a Commissioner at the Earth Commission convened by Future Earth.


Dr Steve Lade is an ARC Future Fellow at the Fenner School of Environment & Society, Research Cluster Co-lead for Risk, Vulnerability and Resilience at the Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions (ICEDS) and Researcher at the Institute for Water Futures. Outside ANU, he is Theme Leader for cross-theme collaboration at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Science Lead at the Earth Commission secretariat (Future Earth), member of the Editorial Board at Ecology & Society, and a Resilience Alliance Young Scholar.

After a PhD in Theoretical Physics at the Australian National University (2007-2010) and a postdoctoral position at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (2010-2012) he worked as a researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University (2012-).

He was an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Fenner School from 2017-2021, with travel to Australia supported by a mobility grant from the Swedish Research Council Formas. In 2021, he was granted a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council.

He has published over 40 scientific articles, of which over 20 were as first author, in journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Nature Sustainability and Science Advances. He has presented at over 50 scientific conferences, co-organised two conference sessions (at Resilience 2014 and MODSIM 2021) and co-organised one workshop (at Kioloa, with Prof Xuemei Bai) and multiple workshops for the Earth Commission.

Dr Lade has taught in over 16 undergraduate and postgraduate courses. He has co-convened a course on Sustainability Science, convened course modules on Resilience for Sustainable Development and on Adaptive Governance, convened an evening adult education course on Sustainable Futures and delivered an executive education course on Resilience: Theory and Practice.

Researcher's projects

Earth Commission - Earth system targets for a safe and just future

ARC Future Fellowship - Advancing resilience theory and practice for water resource management

The futures of reef services in the Anthropocene (REEF-FUTURES)

The Economics of Planetary Boundaries

Science in action: intersecting pathways to the SDGs across scales in the drylands (XPaths)

Available student projects

I have several available projects within resilience theory, Earth system science, social-ecological modelling, resilience of water resources, economics of planetary boundaries, dynamical systems modelling. Contact me and we can talk!

For example

  • Modelling the resilience of water resources
  • Testing the ‘rule of hand’
  • Environmental impact metrics for the financial sector
  • Interactions between the planetary boundaries

At PhD level, I ocassionally have grants that will fund your scholarship. Usually, you will have to apply for your own funding through the Australian Government's Research Training Program (see https://www.anu.edu.au/study/scholarships/find-a-scholarship/australian-government-research-training-program-agrtp-stipend )

Past student projects

I have co-supervised 4 PhD students, 2 Honours students and 1 intern.


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  12 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers