I am an environmental scientist, with professional experience in environmental assessment and management. I am interested in embedding 'good' science into business decisions. Through my research, I seek to understand how environmental issues factor into corporate decisions and decision-making processes. 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 actively engaged in researching environmental impact assessment and strategic impact assessment practices 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 Australian Academy of Science's Early and Mid-Career Forum Executive.

I am currently the coordinator of JCU's 3-year environmental science and management degree, called the Bachelor of Environmental Practice. My teaching experience is versatile and extends to utilising the case-method of teaching, work-integrated-learning practices and teaching in studio format. 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: 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, climate risks, climate change as a business opportunity
  • Sustainability or 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 and funding mechanisms for climate change adaptation and coastal protection
  • Climate change disclosure of Australian banks (longitudinal study)
  • Regional economic benefits of pursuing different climate change policies
  • Understanding the purpose, structure, and benefits of social enterprises in regional economies
  • Advancing Strategic Environmental Assessment in Australia
  • Case collection for teaching Environmental Impact Assessment
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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)

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

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 19+ 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.

Whitsunday Regional Council - Contract Research

Building climate resilience of key industries in the Whitsundays

Indicative Funding
$8,322 over 2 years
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).
Zsuzsa Banhalmi-Zakar in collaboration with Amanda Dendys, Beth McDonald, Brodhie Slavin and Nora Lundstroem (College of Science & Engineering)
Climate resilience; Whitsundays; Agriculture; Tourism; Tropics; Climate adaptation

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.

  • 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)
  • Optimized street green strategy to mitigate urban heat: A case study in Townsville and Ipswich, Queensland, Australia (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Local People, Ecotourism and Protected Areas in Nepal (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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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