Civil and Natural Resources Engineering University of Canterbury Christchurch

Alyssa Ryan

Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Canterbury


Alyssa is a social scientist with a focus on community development. She is finishing her PhD in human geography from the University of Otago looking at small-town change and regional development, while her Masters research focused on climate change adaptation planning and decision-making. The postdoctoral researcher position brings these fields together to look at climate risk and adaptation in the Buller District.

Alyssa’s current research focuses on effective community engagement to enhance local climate resilience. To do this, she is working with vulnerable communities in small-towns and the hinterland to understand climate risks and hazards and to start planning for climate adaptation. Alyssa’s research interests encompass rural development, resilient communities, and enhancing local adaptive capacity.

  1. 2024

    PhD in Human Geography

    University of Otago
  2. 2018

    Master of Environmental Studies

    Victoria University of Wellington
  3. 2015

    Graduate Diploma of Science

    Victoria University of Wellington
  4. 2014

    Bachelor of Science

    Victoria University of Wellington

  1. 2024 -
    Postdoctoral Researcher
    University of Cantebury
  2. 2023 -
    Lecturer in the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design
    Lincoln University
  3. 2023
    Research Assistant
    Lincoln University
  4. 2022
    Research Officer
    Massey University
  5. 2021
  6. 2019 - 2020
    Senior Research Associate
  7. 2017 - 2019
    Research Assistant
    Victoria University of Wellington

  • 2020
    PhD Scholarship
  • 2018
    NZGS Postgraduate Award
    New Zealand Geographical Society