Research projects

tsunami damage (m)

The team at the Centre carry out multi-disciplinary applied research to gain a better understanding of the impacts of natural, man-made and environmental disasters on communities.
Our research projects are collaborative as we work together with our affiliates to improve the way societies manage disaster preparedness and recovery.

Current research projects

Wellington City Council’s ‘Resilient Wellington’ Initiative

Members of JCDR contribute to making our city more resilient by supporting the efforts of Wellington City Council’s “Resilient Wellington’ initiative. The strategy aims to make people connected, empowered and integrated, and our homes and environments healthy and robust. This is in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities — pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC). An organisation created to help cities around the world become more resilient to the psychical and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

  • Collaborative Research with Loughborough University, Emergency Management Research Interest Group (EM_RIG) on Technologies supporting Emergencies
  • Collaborative Research with University of Essex on Accountability and Governance in Managing Disasters
  • Collaborative Research with GNS Science on Post Disaster Cities  
  • QuakeCore Funded Research on ‘End to end’ linkage structure for integrated impact assessment of infrastructure networks under natural hazards

Resilience to Nature’s Challenges

The challenge aims to build new knowledge and tools to support resilience in our unique rural, urban, coastal and Maori communities to natural hazards. These include earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, tsunami, weather, coastal and rural fire hazards. There is also special emphasis on extreme-risk sites where multiple hazards combine to threaten community sustainability. JCDR has received funding for this along with partners GNS Science, NIWA, Scion, U Auckland, Massey University, Victoria University, University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, Otago University, BRANZ and Opus. 

Natural Hazards Platform

This is a multi-party research platform funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It is dedicated to increasing New Zealand’s resilience to natural hazards via high quality collaborative research.  Established in 2009, the platform is a 10 year programme that aims to provide long-term funding for natural hazard research, and to help researchers and end-users work more closely together.

Research from the Mexico office

The Centre is leading a joint initiative with Centro Machilia, to improve school seismic safety through engineering assessments and promoting the drop, cover and hold response prior to evacuation.

Collaborating with Auckland University on the topic on how video games can promote disaster risk reduction. Specifically, principal investigator for a structured literature review on the topic of how video games can improve psychological aspects of disaster resilience in adolescent populations.

Developing and then implementing IT requirements gathering, towards improving emergency response in Mexico City.

Recent research projects

FRST Hazards and Society

(In collaboration with GNS Science)

Improving community resilience

This research involves developing a model to assess the factors that make a community withstand the consequences of natural hazards. Some of these factors are psychological, behavioural, and community aspects that positively influence community resilience. We also analyse the role of hazard mitigation in community fulfilment, growth and development.

Emergency management planning

We research the impact of specific natural hazard events and the effectiveness of planning, communicating and training within and between responding organisations.

Hazard education

Research is focussed on community understanding of, and preparedness for, natural hazard events. Results are used to design education strategies to meet the specific needs of communities (through local authorities), businesses, schools and others. Recent studies are directed towards community understanding of natural hazards in New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

Public response to warning systems

Research is aimed at improving public response to warning systems for tsunami, eruptions, lahars and dam-break floods.


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