Tayanah O’Donnell is a lawyer, human geographer, and Executive Director of Future Earth Australia (FEA). FEA is a global network bringing together scientists, industry, government, and civil society working towards sustainability hosted by the Australian Academy of Science. Tayanah leads a team that contributes to strategic partnerships and programs by linking scientific research to sustainability outcomes achievable with integration across, and implementation of, the Sustainable Development Goals. Her expertise in coastal climate change adaptation and land use planning is recognised internationally.
Tayanah has worked with multiple state and local governments on these and related issues. She also engages in research on urban systems, the built environment, and sustainability. Prior to working in academia, she practised environment and planning law in Sydney working for both the public sector and private firms. In 2009, she worked as Tipstaff to the Honourable Justice Sheahan AO in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court.
Tayanah’s PhD dissertation examined the legal geographies of coastal climate change adaptation. In November 2017, she was named a recipient of an AMP Tomorrow Maker Award for my contribution to coastal climate change adaptation research, with the accompanying grant contributing to the development of this research into a book currently under contract with Palgrave Macmillan.