Brent Doberstein

Associate Professor

EV1-220, ext. 43384

Brent’s research interests lie in the general field of resource and environmental management in developing countries. Within this broad theme, his interests include hazards and disaster risk reduction; post-disaster reconstruction; climate change adaptation; managed retreat; institutional capacity building, and; parks and protected areas.

Key Areas of Graduate Supervision
Hazards and disaster risk reduction; climate change/hazards connections; environmental and resource management in developing countries; and; institutional capacity building. Over the next five years (2025-2030) I am especially keen to supervise students in the "hazards/disaster risk reduction", “climate change adaptation”, and “managed retreat” themes.

Recent Courses Taught
GEOG101: Geography and Human Habitat
GEOG306: Human Dimensions of Natural Hazards
GEOG356: Resources Management
GEOG430C/692: Field Research in Regional Geography (Indonesia/Bali & Java, 2016 & 2023)
GEMCC622/677: Climate Change, Natural Hazards, and Disaster Risk Reduction

Research Interests
My research interests lie in the general field of resource and environmental management in developing countries, with more specific interests in: sustainable resource and environmental management; hazard mitigation and disaster risk reduction; post-disaster reconstruction; climate change/hazards connections; institutional capacity building, and; parks and protected areas.  My most recent research projects have explored post-disaster adaptations at multiple scales, ranging from individual and household-level adaptations to national-level adaptations. Most of my research is centered geographically in Asia (e.g. Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam) or Canada, although I supervise student research carried out in many other developing countries.  

Selected Recent Publications (student co-authors in bold)

  • Anagnostou, M, and Doberstein, B. 2024. Exotic pet trade in Canada: The influence of social media on public sentiment and behaviour. Journal for Nature Conservation. Volume 77, January, 126522
  • Williamson, C., McCordic, C., and Doberstein, B. 2023.Multidimensional and compounding impacts of Cyclone Idai and their implications for inequality. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.86: 103526.
  • Anagnostou, M., and Doberstein, B. 2022. Illegal wildlife trade and other organised crime: A scoping review. Ambio 51, 1615–1631.
  • Jones, D., and Doberstein, B. 2022. Encouraging co-benefits in climate-affected hazard adaptation: Developing and testing a scorecard for project design and evaluation. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 74 (May): 102915
  • Anagnostou, M., Gunn, V., Nibbs, O., Muntaner, C., and Doberstein, B. 2022. An international scoping review of rangers’ precarious employment conditions. Environmental Systems and Decisions.
  • de Scally, D., and Doberstein, B. 2022. Local knowledge in climate change adaptation in the Cook Islands. Climate and Development. 14(4): 360-373. DOI:
  • Haque, C.E., Berkes, F., Fernández-Llamazares, Á., Ross, H., Chapin III, F.S., Doberstein, B., Reed, M.G., Agrawal, N., Nayak, P.K., Etkin, D., Doré, M. and Hutton, D. 2022. Social learning for enhancing social-ecological resilience to disaster-shocks: a policy Delphi approach. Disaster Prevention and Management. 31 (4): 335-348.
  • Anagnostou, M., Moreto, W.D., Gardner, C.J., Doberstein, B. 2021. Poverty, Pandemics, and Wildlife Crime. Conservation & Society
  • Uddin, M.S.,  Haque, C.E.,  Khan, M.N.,  Doberstein, B., Cox, R.S. 2021. Disasters threaten livelihoods, and people cope, adapt and make transformational changes: Community resilience and livelihoods reconstruction in coastal communities of Bangladesh. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 63:102444. 
  • Cottar, S., Doberstein, B., Henstra, D., and Wandel, J. 2021. Evaluating property buyouts and disaster recovery assistance (Rebuild) options in Canada: A comparative analysis of Constance Bay, Ontario and Pointe Gatineau, Quebec. Natural Hazards.
  • Choudhury, M., Haque, C.E., Doberstein, B. 2021. Adaptive governance and community resilience to cyclones in coastal Bangladesh: Addressing the problem of fit, social learning, and institutional collaboration. Environmental Science & Policy. 124:580-592.
  • Doberstein, B, Tadgell, A., and Rutledge,A. 2020. Managed Retreat for Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Megacities: A Cross-City Comparison of Policy and Practice in Manila and Vancouver. Journal of Environmental Management. 253 (1)
  • Eger, S. and Doberstein, B.2019.Reconciling Social-Ecological Systems in Coastal and Marine Conservation Initiatives: Barriers and Opportunities from the Dominican Republic. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology. 26 (3): 210-225.
  • Doberstein, B., Fitzgibbons, J., and Mitchell, C. 2019. Protect, accommodate, retreat, or avoid (PARA): Canadian community options for flood disaster risk reduction and flood resilience. Natural Hazards. 98(1): 31-50.
  • Tadgell, A., Doberstein, B., and Mortsch, L. 2018. Principles for climate-related resettlement of informal settlements in less-developed nations: A review of resettlement literature and institutional guidelines. Climate and Development. 10 (2): 102-115 
  • Tadgell, A., Mortsch, L., and Doberstein, B. 2017. The feasibility of resettlement as a climate change adaptation strategy for informal settlements in Metro Manila, Philippines. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 22: 447-457
  • Devkota, B., Doberstein, B. and Nepal, S. 2016.. Social Capital and Natural Disaster: Local Responses to 2015 Earthquake in Kathmandu. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. November 2016, Vol. 34, No.3, pp. 95-122
  • Tanner, A., Doberstein, B. 2015. Emergency preparedness amongst university students. International Journal for Disaster Risk Reduction. 13:409-413.
  • Harrison, S., Silver, A. and Doberstein, B. 2015. Post-Storm Damage Survey of Tornadic Events in Canada: Implications for Disaster Risk Reduction and Policy. International Journal for Disaster Risk Reduction. 13:427-440.
  • Doberstein, B. and Tadgell, A. 2015. Guidance for managed relocation Forced Migration Review. Special issue on "Climate change, disasters and displacement" FMR 49, May 2015.
  • Joakim, E. and Doberstein, B. 2014. Planning for Long-Term Housing Reconstruction Following a Major Disaster: A Case Study of the 2006 Yogyakarta, Indonesia Earthquake. Journal of the American Planning Association 80 (4): 352-353.
  • Doberstein, B. and Stager, H. 2013. Towards guidelines for post-disaster vulnerability reduction in informal settlements. Disasters. 37 (1): 28-47.
  • Oulahen, G. and Doberstein, B. 2012. Citizen participation in post-disaster flood hazard mitigation planning in Peterborough, Canada. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy. 3(1): Article 4, 1-26.
  • Steckley, M. and Doberstein, B. 2011. Tsunami survivors’ perspectives on vulnerability and vulnerability reduction: evidence from Koh Phi Don and Khao Lak, Thailand. Disasters. 35 (3): 465-487.