CSPO People

Other CSPO Affiliates

Rohan Nelson

CSIRO, Australia and Australian Government Department of Climate Change


Dr Nelson is currently on secondment to the Australian Government Department of Climate Change where he is leading the:

Dr Rohan Nelson works across disciplines and with other scientists to provide integrated analytical support for decision making by:

  • farmers
  • natural resource managers
  • policy advisers.

Dr Nelson’s research is motivated by the belief that the societal value of natural sciences only becomes known at the point at which somebody actually uses them. His research is focused on enhancing the societal value of science by aligning its design and implementation with the needs of decision makers throughout society. Dr Nelson’s interest in the societal relevance and value of science has led to him becoming an affiliate of the Consortium for Science Policy Outcomes [external link] (CSPO) at Arizona State University in the United States.

His work includes the design of science and governance systems that support rural communities and industries in their ongoing efforts to adapt to global change. He has particular expertise in aligning the supply of natural resource management (NRM) information with the needs of decision makers. Another area of considerable expertise is in exploring the socioeconomic influences that affect the adoption of new farming and NRM technologies.

Dr Nelson also has a keen interest in research program design and creating innovative research cultures responsive to changing community needs.

His recent projects include:

  • Testing the feasibility of creating an adaptive capacity index using Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Rural livelihoods analysis enabling natural resource managers to self-assess their adaptive capacity, for the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change and the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship
  • Does climate science matter? – The evolution of communities of practice to bridge a relevance gap between society and climate science, for the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship
  • Enabling NRM decision makers to make better use of climate science, for the Managing Climate Variability R&D Program
  • The adoption and livelihood impacts of rabi season cropping in southern Bangladesh, for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
  • Uncovering hidden climate knowledge: combining statistical methods to derive industry-relevant climate information, for the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship.