Lawrence Roderick




CV (english)

Blog (Three tasks for Transdisciplinary Bridge Builders)


Roderick Lawrence graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the University of Adelaide (Australia) with First Class Honours. He has a Master Degree from the University of Cambridge (England) and a Doctorate of Science from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale, Lausanne, (Switzerland). In 1999 he was nominated Professor in the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Geneva. He was promoted to Honorary Professor in October 2015.

He was also Honorary Adjunct Professor at the University of Adelaide (2017-2020), and Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI) at the National University of Malaysia (UKM) from 2011 to 2019. He was Visiting Professor at the Institute for Global Health at the United Nations University (UNU-IIGH) from 2014 to 2016. He was founding Director of the Certificate for Advanced Studies in Sustainable Development at the University of Geneva from 2003 until 2016, and Director of the Global Environmental Policy Program (GEPP) from 2010 until 2016. Since 2017 he has been Invited Professor at the Swiss Universities Doctoral School on Inter- and Trans-disciplinary Research.

Positions since 2010

  • Honorary Professor, University of Geneva, Switzerland (since September 2015)

  • Honorary Adjunct Professor, University of Adelaide (from February 2017 to February 2020)
  • Adjunct Professor, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (from July 2011 to October 2019)
  • Invited Professor, United Nations University (September 2014 - September 2016)
  • Director, Certificate of Advanced Studies in Sustainable Development, University of Geneva (2003 - 2016)
  • Director, Global Environmental Policy Program (GEPP, University of Geneva (2010 - 2016).


  • Hall of Fame, International Association for People-Environment Studies (IAPS), 2016

  • Distinguished Leadership Award, Society for Human Ecology, 2016
  • Manchester Health Award for Prevention, 2014
  • Marquis Who’s Who in the World, Editions 28 à 32, 2011-2015 
  • Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Editions 10 à 12, 2008-2016.

Scientific Committees

  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board of Network for Inter- and Trans- disciplinary research, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, Bern (2009-2020).

  • Appointed Reviewer by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences for  the ‘Global Sustainable Development Report 2019: The Future is Now – Science for Achieving Sustainable Development’ (United Nations, New York, 2019) in February 2019.
  • Appointed International Advisor and Reviewer of LIRA 2030 Africa Program Report ‘Advancing the 2030 Agenda in African cities through knowledge co-production: Urban experiments led by African early career scientists’ by the International Science Council in October 2019.
  • Management Committee Representative of Switzerland, and Working Group 1 Vice-Chair for EU-COST Action TD1408 on Interdisciplinarity in Research Programming and Funding Cycles (INTREPID) from 28April 2015 to 30 April 2019.
  • Member of Scientific Committee of Programme Interdisciplinaire de Recherche Ville et Environnement (CNRS) et Ministère de l'Ecologie, du Développement et de l'Aménagement durables de la France (2008-2014).


  • Associate Member of the New York Academy of Sciences (since 1997).

  • Board Member of International Association for People-Environment Studies (IAPS) (1986 – 2002).  Founding Chair of Housing Network (1986 - 2014). Ordinary Member since 2014.
  • Coordinator of Working Group of European Network for Housing and Urban Research (ENHR) (1992-2015). Ordinary Member since 2015.

Research Themes

Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary contributions for the understanding of complex urban challenges in the 21st century, and effective responses to them; Conceptual frameworks and principles of human ecology applied to study people-environment relations; The residential context of health, well-being and quality of life in a rapidly changing world; Partnerships and community based approaches for implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Plenary and Keynote Talks


Higher Education

  • Bachelor of Architecture &Planning, First Class Honours (University of Adelaide, Australia)
  • Master of Letters (St. John's College, University of Cambridge, England)
  • Docteur of Sciences (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland).

Publications (2023 – 2012)

  • R.J. Lawrence (Ed.) (2023) Handbook of Transdisciplinarity: Global Perspectives. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2021). Creating Built Environments: Bridging knowledge and practice divides. (Routledge).
  • R.J. Lawrence (2020) Convergence : Défis disciplinaires er réponses transdisciplinaires. In F. Darbellay, M. Louviot & Z. Moody (éds.) L’interdisciplinarité à l’école : Succès, résistance, diversité, pp.49-67.  Editions Alphil : Neuchâtel CH.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2019) “Transdisciplinary Responses to Children’s Health Challenges in the Context of Rapid Urbanization.” Sustainability 11(15) 4097.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2019) Human Ecology in the Context of Urbanization. In M. Nieuwenhuijsen and H. Khreis (eds.) Integrating Human Health into Urban and Transport Planning, pp.89-112. Cham CH: Springer.
  • R.J. Lawrence, J. Forbat and J. Zufferey (2019) “Rethinking conceptual frameworks and models of health and natural environments”, Health 26 (2): 158-179. doi: 10.1177/1363459318785717
  • H. von Wehrden, Guimares; M., Bina, O. ... and Lawrence, R. (2019) “Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research: finding the common ground of multi-faceted concepts”, Sustainability Science, 14 (3):875-888
  • D. Black, G. Scally, J. Orme, A. Hunt, P. Pilkington, R. Lawrence and K. Ebi, (2018) “Moving Health Upstream in Urban Development: Reflections on the Operationalisation of a Trans-disciplinary Case Study”, Global Challenges.
  • R.J. Lawrence, J. Siri, and A. Capon (2017) “Lessons from Hippocrates for contemporary urban health challenges”, Cities and health doi/full/10.1080/23748834.2017.1372967
  • R.J. Lawrence (2017) “Constancy and change: Key issues in housing and health research, 1987-2017”, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14, 763 doi:10.3390/ijerph14070763
  • R.J. Lawrence and F. Gatzweiler (2017) “Wanted: A Transdisciplinary Knowledge Domain for Urban Health”, Journal of Urban Health 94 (4): 592-596.doi: 10.10007/s11524-017-0182-x
  • R.J. Lawrence (2017) A trans-anthropo-logic of transdisciplinarity. In: D. Fam, J. Palmer, C. Riedy & C. Mitchell (eds.) Transdisciplinary research and practice for sustainability outcomes. London, Routledge, pp. 253-259.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2017) “Understanding human ecology: a systems approach”, Housing, Theory and Society, 34 (1): 123-125.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2016) Enseigner l’interdisciplinarité: Défis et réponses. In B. Hubert & N. Mathieu (dir.) Interdisciplinarités entre Natures et Sociétés : Colloque de Cerisy, pp.241-252. Bruxelles : Peter Lang.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2016) “Interdisciplinary science: A coming of age?” New York Academies of Sciences Magazine, Spring (3rd May)
  • R.J. Lawrence (2015) Mind the Gap: Bridging the divide between knowledge, policy and practice. In: H. Barton, S. Thompson, S. Burgess & M. Grant (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Planning for Health and Well-Being, pp. 74-84, New York, London: Routledge.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2015) Urban Life and Health. In: James D. Wright (ed.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, pp. 830 – 835, 2nd edition, vol.24. Oxford: Elsevier.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2015) “Advances in transdisciplinarity: epistemologies, methodologies and processes”, Futures 65 (1): pp.1-9.
  •  R.J. Lawrence (2014) Understanding Environmental Quality Through Quality of Life (QOL) Studies. Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Elsevier, 2014. 18-July 2014 doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.09139-9.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2014) Sustainable development and global change. In B. Freedman (ed.) Global Environmental Change, pp.499-508. Springer: Dordrecht NL. DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-5784-4_94
  • R.J. Lawrence (2014) Population policies. In: B. Freedman (ed.) Global Environmental Change, pp.579-583. Springer: Dordrecht NL. DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-5784-4_92
  • R.J. Lawrence (2014) Dialogue between disciplines: Contributions of human ecology. In R. Gomes Alvim, A. Isau Badiru & J. Marques (eds.) Ecologia humana: Uma visao global. Feira de Santana, UEFS Editora, pp. 41-77. 
  • R.J. Lawrence & G. Barbey (eds.) (2014) Repenser l’Habitat: Donner un sens au logement. (Rethinking habitats: making sense of housing.) Gollion: Infolio Editions.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2013) “Urban health challenges in Europe”, Journal of Urban Health 90: S23-S36 doi:10.1007/s11524-012-9761-z
  • R.J. Lawrence (2012) Santé urbaine au XXI siècle : défis de l’interdisciplinarité. In A. Lévy (dir.) Ville, urbanisme et santé: les trois révolutions. Paris, Editions Pascal, pp.288-311. 
  • R.J. Lawrence, H. Turgut & P. Kellett (eds.) (2012)Requalifying the Built Environment: Challenges and Responses.Hogrefe: Göttingen.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2012) People-environment studies.  In D. Clapham, W. Clark & K. Gibb (eds.)   The Sage Handbook of Housing Studies, pp. 230-243. London: Sage.
  • R.J. Lawrence (2012) Health and Housing.  Heath Risks and Overcrowding.  People and the Built Environment.  In S. Smith (ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home.   Elsevier Publishing on line:

Prof. Roderick Lawrence

Professeur honoraire

Geneva School of Social Sciences (G3S) - Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE) - University of Geneva, 66 Boulevard Carl-Vogt, CH-1205 Genève (GE), Switzerland.