About CDS

The Centre for Disaster Studies is a multi disciplinary research unit within the College of Science and Engineering at James Cook University. The Centre has acted as the university's face to the public and the professionals in the Emergency Management and Meteorology fields, city councils and other researchers since its establishment in 1979.

The Centre for Disaster Studies was formally established a few years after James Cook University opened. The catalysts for the development of a research centre dedicated to study of the impact of disaster were two major cyclones; Althea which devastated Townsville in 1971 and Tracy in which destroyed Darwin in 1974. These events generated strong research interest in cyclones and natural hazards.

Formerly funded by an annual grant from the Queensland Department of Emergency Services, the Centre is now primarily supported through individual and government research grants and projects. Presently Associate Professor David King (Director) provides direction for the Centre through his leadership and guidance of our multidisciplinary research team.

  • College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences - Professor Peter Leggat, Sandra Downing
  • College of Health Care Sciences - Associate Professor Caryn West, Dr Connar McShane
  • College of Science and Engineering – Dr Doug Goudie
  • College of Art, Society and Education – Professor Rosita Henry, Dr Maxine Newlands
  • Cyclone Testing Station – Dr David Henderson, Professor John Ginger,
  • The Cairns Institute – Professor Allan Dale, Dr Margaret Gooch
  • CSIRO – Dr Erin Bohensky
  • Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland - Dr Deanne Bird
  • Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University - Dr Katharine Haynes