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Personal profile


Professor Rebekah Brown is the Senior Vice-Provost & Vice-Provost (Research) at Monash University.

Prior to her appointment in November 2018 Rebekah was the Director of Monash Sustainable Development Institute, a leading interdisciplinary research and education centre working collaboratively with government, industry and philanthropists and to advance the knowledge, policy and practice of sustainable development.

Since early 2000 Rebekah has pioneered interdisciplinary research across the social and biophysical sciences in sustainable water management. She co-founded the water sensitive cities research platform at Monash University as a sustainable development solution to urban water challenges globally. Rebekah was instrumental in the establishment of the $120M (AUD) Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities comprising 86 partner organisations and over 170 researchers, and was its Chief Research Officer and inaugural Society themed Program Leader.

As a social scientist Rebekah has published over 100 papers in leading journals including Nature, Science, Global Environmental Change and Water Research. Rebekah is a consulting Editor to Global Challenges, and on a number of international Editorial Boards including Urban Water Journal and Environmental Innovations and Societal Transitions. She has consulted widely across government and industry and presents regularly on interdisciplinary research approaches at conferences around the world.

Rebekah's research aims to guide and accelerate the realisation of more liveable, resilient and sustainable cities. Her research is particularly focused on understanding the social and institutional transformations required to enable such a transition, in both developed and developing country contexts. Rebekah adopts an interdisciplinary research approach, combining insights from disciplines such as sociology, institutional theory, science and technology studies, innovation studies and complexity theory.

Rebekah's work is used extensively within the water and land development industry across Australia, and by international organisations such as the Asian Development Bank, UN Habitat and the European Union.

On the prestigious WME Leaders List for 2010, Rebekah was named national leader in the category ofUrban and Industrial Water and was a finalist in the 2010 Eureka Prize in Water Research and Innovation.

Rebekah holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) from Monash University and a PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of New South Wales.


  • integrated urban water management
  • institutional analysis
  • urban water governance
  • natural resource management
  • urban sustainability
  • sustainable development
  • socio-technical
  • urban water management
  • cities
  • capacity building
  • transition
  • extreme events
  • past climates of australia
  • climate change policy
  • drought, fire and flood
  • adaptive governance

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2016 2018

Research Output 2002 2018

Improving human and environmental health in urban informal settlements: the Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) programme

Brown, R. R., Leder, K. S., Wong, T., French, M., Ramirez, D., Chown, S. L., Luby, S., Clasen, T., Reidpath, D., El Sioufi, M., McCarthy, D. T., Forbes, A. B., Simpson, J., Allotey, P. & Cahan, B., 28 May 2018, In : The Lancet Planetary Health. 2, 29, p. 29-29 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

Open Access

Mediating the science-policy interface: Insights from the urban water sector in Melbourne, Australia

Dunn, G., Bos, J. J. & Brown, R. R., 1 Apr 2018, In : Environmental Science and Policy. 82, p. 143-150 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

A Framework to Guide Transitions to Water Sensitive Cities

Brown, R. R., Rogers, B. C. & Werbeloff, L., 2017, Urban Sustainability Transitions: Australian Cases-International Perspectives. Moore, T., de Haan, F., Horne, R. & Gleeson, B. (eds.). Gateway East, Singapore: Springer, p. 129-148 20 p. (Theory and Practice of Urban Sustainability Transitions).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

A multifunctional Sydney laneway: What’s transdisciplinarity got to do with it?

Guzman Ruiz, A., Dobbie, M. F. & Brown, R. R., 2017, In : Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences. 14, 1, p. 73-92 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access