Tayanah O'DonnellResearch Fellow


Phone: 6201 2757


Canberra Urban and Regional Futures

Connect with Tayanah


Tayanah O’Donnell is currently working with Professor Barbara Norman at CURF (Canberra Urban and Regional Futures). Her current role is primarily with two of the four National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) research networks looking at issues of coastal settlements and infrastructure, and the social, economic and institutional dimensions of climate change adaptation. She is also leading a CURF research project in partnership with the ACT Government that is examining the revitalisation and retrofitting of town centres and suburbs for climate change adaptation, with South Canberra suburb Tuggeranong as a chosen case study. 

In addition to climate change adaptation research and complimentary to the theory and practice of law, her research interests include socio-legal aspects of law in place, the legal geographies of people and place, and contested property claims.  

She is in the final stages of her PhD titled Law, property and place: interpreting responses to coastal climate change adaptation in two New South Wales localities. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Social Science (Hons) from the University of Western Sydney, and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice. She first joined the University of Canberra August 2013 as a researcher with CURF. Prior to this, Tayanah worked as a solicitor in New South Wales specialising in environmental and planning litigation, and as Tipstaff to His Honour Justice Sheahan AO in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales. Between 2008 and 2013, she has lectured in law and in the social sciences at both the University of Western Sydney and the Australian National University. She is currently co-convenor with Professor Norman for Planning for Cities and Climate Change at the University of Canberra. 

ResearchGate Profile

Google Scholar Profile

Academia Profile


Selected Publications:

  • O’Donnell, T. and Weir B. (2015), "Inaugural CURF Annual Forum 2014: Connecting Leading Research and Practice for a Sustainable Capital Region", Canberra Urban and Regional Futures, University of Canberra: Canberra ACT Australia.
  • Norman, B., Webb, R., Steffen, W., O’Donnell, T., Sloan, T., Weir, B., and Williams, J. (2014), "Climate adaptation sector review: informing the future direction for the ACT and Region", Working Paper 4, University of Canberra, Australia.
  • Norman, B., Sinclair, H., O'Donnell, T. (2014), "Mind the Gap: Analysing ACT development controls for climate change mitigation", Working Paper 2, University of Canberra, Australia.
  • O’Donnell, T & Gates, L. (2013), “Getting the balance right: A renewed need for the public interest test in addressing coastal climate change and sea level rise.”

  • O’Donnell, T. and Gurran, N. (2012), “Australian Urban Land Use Planning: Principles, Systems, and Practice (Second Edition)”, Urban Policy and Research 1-3. 
  • O’Donnell, T. (2012),“The Precautionary Principle and planning”, WME.
  • O’Donnell, T. (2012), “Issues arising post Queensland Flood Commission Inquiry 2012”, WME.
  • O’Donnell, T. (2011), “Before the storm: coordinating a local government flood response”, WME.
  • O’Donnell, T. (2011), “The Role of Private Property in Climate Change Adaptation: Local Level Strategies for Dealing with the Risk of the Rising Sea”. Peer Reviewed Paper presented at the World Schools Planning Conference, University of Western Australia, Australia.
  • O’Donnell, T. (2011), “Planning the response to flooding: developments in light of the 2011 Queensland flood”, WME.
  • O’Donnell, T. (2010), “Climate Change and Housing: A Primer for Researchers”, Peer Reviewed Paper presented at the Australasian Housing Researchers Conference, University of Auckland, New Zealand. 
Research Projects & Grants
Back to Fellows