Dr Katrina Proust

BA, LLB, MLitt (Syd), PhD (ANU)
Honorary Senior Lecturer, Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Science
T: 0459 450 164

Areas of expertise

  • Dynamical Systems In Applications 010204
  • Historical Studies 2103

Research interests

  • Complex human-environment systems
  • The dynamics of urban health systems in a changing environment
  • Urban issues in the Asia-Pacific region affecting population health
  • Development of Collaborative Conceptual Modelling (CCM) with Dr Barry Newell (FSES) 
  • Environmental and applied history
  • Systems thinking



Originally an historical archaeologist, I study the historical factors and the feedback dynamics that shape relationships between humans and our environment. With Barry Newell I have developed Collaborative Conceptual Modelling, an approach which provides a conceptual framework to support studies of social-ecological systems. I am interested in the interconnected systems that characterise relationships between human health and the environment in urban settings. 


Researcher's projects

  • 2018 production of a CCM Workshop Leaders Handbook with Barry Newell
  • 2016 Collaboration with UN University International Institute for Global Health on historical perspectives on the interplay between public health and urban planning in George Town, Penang. This was funded by a Wellcome Trust Seed Award in the Medical Humanities.
  • On-going collaboration with Dr Barry Newell (FSES) on the development of Collaborative Conceptual Modelling (CCM).
  • 2014-2018 Visiting Research Fellow at the United National University (UNU) International Institute for Global Health (IIGH) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I developed and ran systems thinking workshops on cross-sector issues in urban health. 
  • 2014-2017 Collaboration with Academia Sinica Taiwan in developing and facilitating systems thinking workshops on air quality and public health. 
  • 2011-2013 a member of the CSIRO Flagship Collaboration Cluster on Urbanism, Climate Adaptation and Health. I brought the conceptual framework provided by CCM to Project 7, which was focused on accounting for the links between urban behaviour, climate change and human health. 


Available student projects

I am interested in supervising student projects which apply systems thinking to complex human-environment issues and relationships, including projects on urban health, and in the coastal zone of the NSW far south coast

Past student projects

2016-2018 – A complex systems approach to urban renewal and social inclusion in Hong Kong (Kate Sewell, FSES)

2014 – Role of open spaces in revitalizing World Heritage Sites: A case study of George Town, Penang, Malaysia (Christine Duran, Masters thesis, Crawford School)

2012 – Taking a systems approach to dengue-fever management in the Caribbean (Karemah Francois, Masters thesis, FSES)

2011-2013 – Health Impacts of Climate Change in Urban Areas: A Pathway to Adaptation (Helen Brown, PhD, Curtin University WA)


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Updated:  02 June 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers