Professor Paton has a PhD from Edinburgh University and a career path that spans from Scotland (St. Andrews) to Tasmania via New Zealand. He is a Technical Advisor on Risk Communication to the World Health Organisation, a member of the Risk Interpretation sub-committee of IRDR (UN-ISDR), and an advisor to the Australian Red Cross on community resilience. His work informs policy and practice for natural and health (pandemic) hazards through these roles. His RHD student interests include natural hazard readiness and recovery, architecture and well-being, environment and mental health, and community and organisational aspects of mental health.
Prof Paton's research transects community, environmental, health and cross-cultural psychology. "All-hazards"/cross cultural research in Australia (bushfire, flood, tsunami), New Zealand (earthquake, volcanic, pandemic flu), Japan (earthquake, volcanic), Indonesia (volcanic), Taiwan (earthquake, typhoon), and Portugal (bushfire) identifies how people, communities and agencies interact to make decisions and implement actions under conditions of uncertainty and the need to integrate risk management and community development strategies to foster sustained community resilience. His current research examines links between long term disaster recovery and well-being in Taiwan, Japan and New Zealand (funded by ARC (Discovery) and PGSF (NZ) grants). This involves national (ANU and Charles Darwin University) and international (Taiwan, NZ, Japan) collaboration.
The Eastern Australian coastline faces some 8,000km of active tectonic plate boundary capable of generating tsunami that could reach Australia in 2-4 hours. The risk to coastal areas is substantial. For example, in New South Wales, some 330,000 people live at or below a height of 10 metres above sea-level and within 1km of the coast/coastal river. Recognition of this risk promoted development of the Australian tsunami warning system (ATWS).
|Presentation-Slideshow||08 Sep 2014||The "Tassie fires - we can help" Facebook page||Save (5.34 MB)|
|HazardNoteEdition||21 Oct 2015||Turning warnings into action||Save (236.32 KB)||animals, communication, tsunami|
|Presentation-Slideshow||27 Feb 2017||Tsunami preparedness and warnings||Save (1.08 MB)||communities, tsunami, warnings|