Researcher biography

Associate Professor Kate O'Brien (BE Chemical Hons I, BSc, PhD) leads the chemical-environmental engineering program at the University of Queensland. She uses mathematical modelling and systems analysis to investigate how socio-ecological systems work, and how they can be managed more sustainably. Kate works in interdisciplinary teams, with collaborators from engineering, ecology, mathematics, business, social science and economics. She is particularly interested in how scientific knowledge can be synthesised and communicated to promote sustainability when dealing with complex systems and wicked problems. Kate teaches her students to think critically using an approach of Ruthless Compassion, and she is passionate about finding creative solutions to work-family conflict.