Development and environmental geographer, with research interests encompassing Disaster Justice, Political Ecology, Climate Change Adaptation, and Development Planning and Policy, in particular, the intersection of the four with the work on environmental justice, in Nepal, India and the Himalayas.
Field of Research (FoR)
Krishna K. Shrestha is a development and environmental geographer. His research program is in the interdisciplinary analysis of Social and Environmental Justice, focusing on the intersection of development and environmental planning, policy and management. Over the years, his research projects encompass four key areas: a) political ecology and international development, b) climate change adaptation and urban planning, c) food security and...view more
Krishna K. Shrestha is a development and environmental geographer. His research program is in the interdisciplinary analysis of Social and Environmental Justice, focusing on the intersection of development and environmental planning, policy and management. Over the years, his research projects encompass four key areas: a) political ecology and international development, b) climate change adaptation and urban planning, c) food security and livelihoods, and d) disaster resilience and justice. Connecting these is an overarching analytical thread of justice as redistribution and recognition. Krishna's work constitutes blending a) moral philosophy and theories of justice with critical development theories and political ecology. His research on these themes simultaneously engages with grand theory and real-world societal challenges. He uses grounded analysis of socio-political and ecological dynamics through a multi-scale perspective where the role of unequal power relations in constituting a politicised environment is a central theme. His research gives particular attention to the ways in which problems of justice are linked to systems of social hierarchy and political and economic control. He uses a ‘critical pragmatic’ approach to development and environmental problems in which rigorous explanation is balanced with carefully considered policy alternatives. Most of his work is interdisciplinary and empirically based which integrates social and natural science methodologies to examine the interrelationship between social and natural systems. His research, teaching and engagements are driven by the belief that science needs to be useful for society, and therefore is committed to enhancing science-policy interface.
Krishna is currently Associate Professor at the School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia. Prior to this appointment, Krishna was Program Director at the Urban and Regional Planning and Policy at the University of Sydney. He also held various positions at the University of Queensland, Macquarie University and the Department of Forests in Nepal Government. He was a visiting scholar at the Department of Geography, Cambridge University, UK, and Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Asia Research Institute at National University of Singapore (NUS). He served as a member of the Academic Board at the University of Sydney. He is the recipient of the Endeavour Research Fellowship by the Australian Government. He has an interdisciplinary qualification, with higher degrees in Geography (PhD Sydney), Higher Education (Grad. Cert. Sydney), Environmental Policy and Management (MEEM, UTS) and Forestry (BSc TU Nepal).
PhD (Sydney), MEnv.EM (UTS), Grad. Cert. (Higher Ed. Sydney)
- 2016 Visiting scholar, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK
- 2016 Research Fellowship, Asia Research Institute, Singapore National University
- 2013 Outstanding Contribution to Nepalese Society in Australia by Prime Minister of Nepal, Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai
- 2012 Endeavour Research Fellowship, Australian Government
- 2009 Research-led Teaching Award, Faculty of Architecture, U. of Sydney
- 2008 Maxwell Ralph Jacobs Award, Institute of Foresters Australia
- 2007 UQ ResTeach Fellowship, University of Queensland, Australia
- 2006 UQ Postdoctoral Fellowship2004 Best Paper Award, (“Sustaining inequity?”), Australian Forest History Society
- 2001 Australian Postgraduate Award, University of Sydney
- 2002 Postgraduate Student Award, Institute of Australian Geographers, Australia
- 2001 GHS & IR Lightoller Scholarship, University of Sydney
- 2001 Baillieu Research Scholarship, University of Sydney
My Research Activities
1) Food security in Nepal (funded by ACIAR)
2) Climate change adaptation, water security and urban planning in India and Nepal (funded by UDRC Canada)
3) Environmental security and political transformation in Nepal (funded by Swedish Research Council)
4) Disaster justice in Nepal (funded by CARE Nepal)
5) Reframing the discourse of indigenous livelihoods in Nepal: Insights from Bote communities in Tanahun and Nwalparasi in Nepal (Funded by the University of Cambridge's Williamson Fellowship)
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
Climate change adaptation
Deliberative planning and just city
Political ecology of natural resources management
- Member, Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG)
- Affiliate - UNSW Climate Change Research Centre
- Member, American Association of Geographers (AAG)
- Voting Member, Institute of Foresters Australia (IFA)
- Life Member, Nepal Foresters Association (NFA) (Life Member)
- Corporate member, Planning Institute Australia (PIA)
- Member, NSW Landcare Inc. (Board Member 2007 to 2012)
- Member, Community Advisory Committee for SBS Board (2007 – 2012)
- Councillor: New South Wales Geographical Society
- Book editor, Asia Pacific Viewpoint
- Editorial Board Member – Journal of Forests and Livelihoods
- Editorial Board member – Climate, Disaster and Development Journal
- Justice of the Peace (Qualified) since 2006.
Krishna is Convenor of Masters of Development Studies. He teaches courses in Development Studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His courses focus on the debates on the intersection between development and environment, with specific reference to development planning and policy, environmental and climate governance, disaster resilience and justice in the Asia-pacific context. His teaching is based on the belief that teaching is a collective journey – a journey that is shaped by active dialogue and participation of teacher and student. Within this philosophy, his teaching goal is to maximise student learning and satisfaction by the provision of a supportive, engaging and student-centred learning environment and an innovative teaching strategy which encourages critical reflective and deep learning. In order to adopt his teaching philosophy and goals, there are some core elements to his teaching approach that span all his teaching activities. First, he treats students with respect; second, his teaching materials are always well organised and prepared; and third, he is always seeking feedback on his teaching and is open to new approaches.
PhD/ Masters supervision:
Krishna welcomes applications for higher degree supervision in his areas of expertise in the areas such as a) disaster resilience and justice, b) equity in urban/regional planning and policy, c) climate justice and climate change adaptation, d) justice and governance of food security, e) participation and natural resource management, and f) political ecology, particularly from Nepal, India, Bangladesh and other developing countries.
His supervision strategy at the Masters and PhD level seeks to enhance student capacity to act as independent, critical professionals and engaged leaders competent at a global level. Over the years, he has successfully supervised a number of research students and continues to re-energise a ‘research group’, of which research students have been an integral part. His approach to research supervision is to tailor supervision to the individual needs and skills of the students. He has assisted them in planning their project, helping them identifying methods to be applied and facilitating them in accessing information and developing their skills to undertake the research.