Dr Rachel Friedman

Postdoctoral Fellow
ANU Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions


Rachel is a multidisciplinary researcher who uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to better understand the connections between ecosystem health and human well-being within production (agricultural and forestry) landscapes, primarily in biodiversity hotspots that face considerable human pressures. She is broadly interested in how land management decision-making processes, strategies, and policies can contribute to achieving these social-ecological benefits. 

Often focusing on regional case studies, Rachel’s previous research has examined the social equity, human well-being, and forest conservation implications of community-based forest management in Indonesian Borneo, and climate change vulnerability and gender in Ghanaian cocoa farming communities. She has also spent time in research and communications for NGOs and multilateral organisations on topics of climate-smart agriculture, payments for ecosystems services, and international climate and environmental policy processes.

At the Climate Change Institute, Rachel is supporting projects on climate change information, adaptation, and community engagement for smallholder farmers in the Pacific Islands.


Research interests

  • resilient food production systems, particularly adaptation of cropping systems and farmers to climate change and biodiversity-friendly agriculture.
  • social-ecological systems and decision-making processes for managing natural resources.
  • community-based management of natural resources and social equity implications.
  • international environment and development policy processes and initiatives