About

Profile

I am an environmental scientist specialising in sustainable finance and I have professional experience in environmental assessment and management. My research aims to improve the way that environmental issues factor into business decisions. My main focus is on how environmental issues (impacts) materialise as financial risks and opportunities in the finance sector, and in particular, how financial institutions (banks, investors, etc.) respond to the varied challenges represented by climate change. I am also involved in teaching and research of environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment practices and policies in Australia and overseas. My work is often highly applied which means it involves stakeholders and end-users and the development of practical tools and methods. I am a member of the Executive of the Early and Mid-Career Forum of the Australian Academy of Science, on the Board of Directors at Terrain NRM.

I also currently coordinate JCU's undergraduate environmental science and management degree, called the Bachelor of Environmental Practice. My teaching experience is versatile and extends to utilising online methods, and the case-method of teaching. I have an interest in adopting new, novel technologies and techniques in teaching to engage students, encourage their critical thinking and equip them with the skills they need to have successful and rewarding careers.

Prior to joining JCU, I worked as a research fellow at the Griffith Institute for Tourism and taught environmental assessment and management and planning practicum to urban and environmental planning students. Before I arrived in Australia, I was a senior environmental consultant at Deloitte in Europe and studied at the Central European University in Budapest and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Higher Degree Research, Masters and Honors inquiries

If you are interested in studying in the following areas, please contact Zsuzsa or the Graduate Research School.

  • Climate finance and sustainable finance: role of financial institutions (e.g. banks, investors) and finance instruments (e.g. green bonds or climate bonds) in mitigating and adapting to climate change, and meeting sustainable development goals (SDGs)
  • Sustainability and climate change reporting: disclosure practices of different industries/sectors, focus on specific areas, such as gender or carbon reporting, meeting the Task-force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure guidelines
  • Corporate environmental practices: this is a broad topic and research projects can cover a wide range of practices in just about any sector, or focus on identifying potential opportunities, but also lends itself to critical inquiry for the adventurous
  • Environmental assessment: project could investigate environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment theories and practices in different jurisdictions and would normally include some policy analysis 

Current projects

  • Financing for climate change adaptation, resilience and coastal protection
  • Climate change disclosure in financial institutions (longitudinal study)
  • Sustainable finance for agriculture
  • Advancing Strategic Environmental Assessment in Australia
  • Sustainable mining
  • Blue carbon finance
Teaching
  • EV1010: The Environmental Professional (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • EV1011: Introduction to Sustainability (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • EV2008: Environmental Management Systems in Practice (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • EV2011: The Case for Sustainability (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • EV3110: Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (Level 3; CNS & TSV)
  • EV3454: Natural Hazards (Level 3; TSV)
  • EV5110: Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • EV5454: Natural Hazards (Level 5; TSV)
Interests
Professional
  • Consulting and advisory roles and professional experiences to share my research and seek meaningful collaboration with stakeholders, colleagues and academia both within Australia and internationally
Research
  • Adaptation finance, climate finance, sustainable finance Theory and practice of Corporate Environmental Management including Corporate Social Responsibility and climate change/carbon disclosure practices Environmental impact assessment and Strategic environmental assessment Sustainable Tourism
Teaching
  • ustainable finance, particularly climate change adaptation finance; Manifestation of environmental issues (impacts) as financial risks and opportunities; Corporate environmental management practices; Environmental impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) Work-integrated learning (WIL) And more recently, embedding entrepreneurial skills in higher education
Experience
  • 2015 to 2017 - Visiting Research Fellow, Griffith Institute for Tourism, Griffith University (Gold Coast, Qld)
  • 2010 to 2015 - Associate Lecturer, Griffith University (Gold Coasta and Nathan, Qld)
Honours
Memberships
  • 2020 - Coast to Coast Conference Organising Committee
  • 2019 - Blue Carbon Method Working Group, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, Commonwealth Gov (Australia)
  • 2018 - Australian Coastal Society
  • 2017 - Investor Group on Climate Change - Academic
  • 2019 to 2022 - Executive Committee, Australian Academy of Sciences, Early and Mid-Career Researcher Forum
  • 2019 to 2021 - Observer, Better Informed Decisions Technical Working Group 3, Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative
  • 2018 to 2019 - Climate adaptation expert for the EU's Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (Taxonomy)
  • 2009 to 2019 - International Association for Impact Assessment
Other
  • 2016 - Keynote: Coast to Coast Conference (Hobart, 2017), Citibank - IGCC Report launch (Sydney, 2017), SA Coastal Conference (Adelaide, 2016)
  • 2020 - Invited speaker and panel member, European Investment Bank - European Forum, Seville, Spain
  • 2019 to 2020 - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report (AR6) Expert Reviewer - Working Group II (Adaptation)
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
Conference Papers
Other research outputs
More

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 20+ research outputs authored by Dr Zsuzsa Banhalmi-Zakar from 2013 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation - Innovation Fund

INCENTIV8: A rapid assessment visualisation tool for incentivising irrigation stewardship for Burdekin Canegrowers

Indicative Funding
$399,985 over 3 years
Summary
This project will bridge the gap between better irrigation management and natural capital accounting to incentivise better irrigation practice and deliver improved water quality outcomes.
Investigators
Yvette Everingham and Zsuzsa Banhalmi-Zakar in collaboration with Stephen Attard (College of Science & Engineering and AgriTech Solutions)
Keywords
Sugarcane; Systems model; Green finance; Irrigation; Great barrier Reef; Dissolved inorganic nitrogen

Whitsunday Regional Council - Contract Research

Building climate resilience of key industries in the Whitsundays

Indicative Funding
$8,322 over 2 years
Summary
The Whitsunday Regional Council, via its new Climate Innovation Hub, is partnering with JCU to conduct a benchmarking study on industry resilience to climate change. The project will help fulfil Council?s goals to make informed decisions that incorporate climate change as part of an overall risk reduction and resilience program while focusing on total community wellbeing. The data will be used to assist Council make strategic decisions about where to focus its assistance, where to invest, when and how and which actions to prioritise in assisting industry in the region. The project is envisaged to lead to future collaboration on ARC Linkage or Great Barrier Reef Foundation funding in the area of investment in climate adaptation and resilience. The budget includes in-kind contribution by JCU for the salary of the CI but the project also involves a learning and teaching component because undergraduate students from CSE who are completing their compulsory work placement (SC5008) are engaged in the research, data collection, analysis and reporting. Student involvement makes the project economical because data can be collected much quicker (over a few days).
Investigators
Zsuzsa Banhalmi-Zakar in collaboration with Amanda Dendys, Beth McDonald, Brodhie Slavin and Nora Lundstroem (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Climate resilience; Whitsundays; Agriculture; Tourism; Tropics; Climate adaptation
Supervision

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

Current
  • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies: Environmental Impact Assessment of Resource Consumption (Rare Earth Elements Flows) in High Technology and Energy Devices in Australia to Reduce Potential Environmental Impacts (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Environmental Strategies for Mining in Northern Queensland, Australia (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Optimized street green strategy to mitigate urban heat: A case study in Townsville and Ipswich, Queensland, Australia (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Local people, nature-based tourism and protected areas in Nepal (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
Collaboration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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