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Personal profile


Professor Rebekah Brown is the Senior Vice-Provost and Vice-Provost (Research) at Monash University. In this role she is responsible for leading the University-wide research agenda, contributing to the development and implementation of the research strategy and enhancing the University’s research performance, ensuring responsible research practice, integrity and compliance in accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Prior to this, Rebekah was Director of Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University, 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 2017 Rebekah has been a member of the Victorian Environment Protection Authority's Governing Board.

Rebekah has pioneered interdisciplinary research across the social and biophysical sciences in sustainable water management since early 2000. 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.

In 2017 Rebekah was awarded AUD $17M funding from the UK-based Wellcome Trust, and currently leads a five year project in partnership with the Asian Development Bank to implement a water sensitive revitalisation of informal settlements across the Asia-Pacific. The project brings together expertise across public health, ecology, economics, urban design, engineering and social science disciplines as well as partnerships with organisations including CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, Stanford University, Emory University, The University of Melbourne, University of Cambridge, Fiji National University, Hasanuddin University, The University of the South Pacific, United Nations University, Melbourne Water, South East Water, Oxfam, WaterAid, and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

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.

Her 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 Australian WME Leaders List for 2010, Rebekah was named national leader in the category of Urban and Industrial Water.

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

Research area keywords

  • 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 2022

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
5 Citations (Scopus)

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

Activities 2019 2019

  • 1 Editorial responsibility

Global Challenges (Journal)

Rebekah Brown (Guest editor), Lara Werbeloff (Guest editor), Rob Raven (Guest editor)
Apr 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility