Benjamin Ryan, Ph.D.

Benjamin Ryan, Ph.D.
Clinical Associate Professor
High Res Photo


  • Ph.D., James Cook University (Australia)
  • MPH, University of Wollongong (Australia)
  • BS in Environmental Health, Griffith University (Australia)


Dr. Ryan has experience working, researching and teaching in environmental health science, communicable and noncommunicable diseases, community resilience, humanitarian assistance and disaster risk reduction. He has led activities in these fields across the Indo-Pacific, Europe and North America. His field experience includes environmental health assessments in city and rural settings, responses to natural disasters and disease outbreaks, mass casualty incidents, failures of critical business functions, managing projects in Indigenous communities and facilitating delivery of health services to asylum seekers. He has taught at undergraduate, post-graduate and executive levels and worked for local, state and federal governments in Australia and the Department of Defense in the United States.

Dr. Ryan is a member of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine, World Health Organization Thematic Platform for Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management Research Network, National Environmental Health Association, Texas Environmental Health Association and the Structural Extreme Events Reconnaissance (StEER) Network. He is also a trainer for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s Global Education and Training Institute.

Academic and Research Interests

The overarching goal of Dr. Ryan’s research is to understand and mitigate the environmental health stressors related to rapid urbanization. This includes exploring how environmental health, public health, community resilience and disaster risk reduction can be synchronized across disciplines to collectively adapt to, and mitigate, the risks posed by rapid urbanization to human health and the environment. As part of this research direction, he has developed strategies for reducing the impact of disasters on people with noncommunicable diseases, worked with colleagues in Australia and Japan to explore best practices for establishing evacuation centers for vulnerable populations, and is involved in research that is exploring climate and environmentally induced migration in Vietnam. Dr. Ryan is also exploring strategies for better engaging all sectors in disaster risk reduction and researching the role of environmental health science in reducing and managing the chronic disease burden. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, guidelines, edited books, book chapters and conducted media interviews relating to disaster management and environmental health science.

Recent Publications

Coppola, D., & Ryan, B. (2020). Color-coding for COVID-19 Management: An Idea Whose Time has Come. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, DOI:

Kako, M., Steenkamp, M., Ryan, B., Arbon, P. & Takada, T (2020). Best practice for evacuation centres accommodating vulnerable populations. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, DOI:

Ryan, B., Coppola, D., Canyon, D., Brickhouse, M. & Swienton, R. (2020). COVID-19 Community Stabilization and Sustainability Framework: An Integration of the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs and Social Determinants of Health. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, DOI:

Canyon, D., Ryan, B. & Coppola, D (2020). COVID-19 Lockdown Easing and Restricting Color Framework for Local Government. Security Nexus, 21.

Ryan, B., Coppola, D. & Canyon, D. (2020). Incremental community-based exit strategies for initiating and removing COVID-19 lockdowns. Security Nexus, 21.

Yeste, P., Campbell, J., Canyon, D., Childers, M. & Ryan, B. (2019) Synchronized Humanitarian, Military and Commercial Logistics: An Evolving Synergistic Partnership. Safety.

Ryan, B., Franklin, R., Burkle, F., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Watt, K., & Leggat, P. (2019). Determining key influences on patient ability to successfully manage noncommunicable disease after natural disaster. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 34(3), 241-250.

Canyon, D., Ryan, B., & Campbell, J. (2019). Comprehensive Crisis Management for Security Practitioners – Structures, Systems and Policies. Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, USA.

Ryan, B., Canyon, D., Campbell, J., Burkle, F. & Li, W (2018). The critical role of crisis resilience in building and sustaining political, economic and social stability. Defense Security Brief, 7(2), 17-38.

Ryan, B., Canyon, D., Burkle, F., Campbell, J., Bhatia, S., Li, W. & Chen, K (2018). Rationale for involving the private sector in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Indo-Pacific. National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction Bulletin, 160, 2018/10.

Ryan, B. (2018). Addressing the impact of disasters public health infrastructure and noncommunicable diseases. Thesis, James Cook University, Australia.

Ryan, B., Franklin R., Burkle, F., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Watt, K. & Leggat, P. (2018). Ranking and prioritizing strategies for reducing mortality and morbidity from noncommunicable diseases post disaster. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 27, 223-238.

Ryan, B., Franklin R., Burkle, F., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Watt, K. & Leggat, P. (2017). The role of environmental health in understanding and mitigating post-disaster non-communicable diseases: The critical need for improved multidisciplinary solutions. Journal of Environmental Health, 80(5), 38-48.

Canyon, D., Ryan, B., & Burkle F (2017). Military Provision of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief in Non-Conflict Crises. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 14(3).

Kako, M., Takada, Y., Arbon, P., Steenkamp, M., & Ryan, B. (2017). Discovering Best Practice for the Implementation of Evacuation Centers for Vulnerable Populations: Findings from a Japanese Pilot Study. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 32(S1), S125-S125.

Ryan, B., Burns, P., & Bhatia, S. (2017). Integrating the Sendai Framework into Primary Health Networks: an Australian Experience. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 32(S1), S205-S205.

Ryan, B., Franklin, R., Burkle, F., Smith, E., Aitken, P., Watt, K., & Leggat, P. (2017). Reducing Non-communicable Disease Exacerbation after a Disaster. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 32(S1), S194-S195.

Ryan, B. & Franklin, R. (2017). Chapter 2: Disaster Trends and Impact. In Disaster Health Management: Primer for Students and Practitioners. Routledge Publications.

Ryan, B., Franklin R., Burkle, F., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Watt, K. & Leggat, P. (2016). Reducing Disaster Exacerbated Non-communicable Diseases Through Public Health Infrastructure Resilience: Perspectives of Australian Disaster Service Providers. PLOS Currents: Disasters. 2016 (Dec 21). Edition 1. doi: 10.1371/currents.dis.d142f36b6f5eeca806d95266b20fed1f.

Hemstock, S. L., Buliruarua, L. A., Chan, E. Y., Chan, G., Combes, D., Jacot, H., Davey, P., Farrell, P., Griffiths, S., Hansen, H., Hatch, T., Holloway, A., Teuleala, M., Martin, T., Fabrice, F., Ronan, K., Ryan, B., Joerg, S., Ryan, B., Shaw, D., Soichiro, Y., Yeung, T. & Murray, V. (2016). Accredited qualifications for capacity development in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies. Vol 20(1):15-34.

Ryan, B., Franklin, R., Burkle, F., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Watt, K. & Leggat, P. (2016). Defining, describing and categorizing public health infrastructure for cyclone, flood and storm related disasters. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. Vol 1:1-13.

Expert Advisor, ADEA (2015). THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE WITH DIABETES AND OTHER CHRONIC CONDITIONS IN NATURAL DISASTERS: A Guide for Emergency Services, Local Councils and the Not-for-Profit Sector. Diabetes Australia and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association, Canberra, Australia.

Ryan, B., Franklin R., Burkle, F., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Watt, K. & Leggat, P. (2015). Identifying and describing the impact of cyclone, storm and flood related disasters on treatment management, care and exacerbations of non-communicable diseases and the implications for public health. PLOS Currents: Disasters. 2015(7) doi:10.1371/currents.dis.62e9286d152de04799644dcca47d9288.

Ryan, B., Franklin R., Burkle, F., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Watt, K. & Leggat, P. (2015). Exploring the future role of environmental health in mitigating the impact of disasters on people with non-communicable diseases. Environment & Health International. Vol 17(2):73-75.

Co-author, WHO (2015). Summary report of systematic reviews for public health emergency operations centres – plans and procedures review. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Ryan, B., Franklin, R., Burkle, F., Watt, K., Smith, E., Aitken, P., & Legatt, P. (2015). Reducing the impact of cyclone, flood and storm disasters in rural areas on noncommunicable diseases through public health infrastructure resilience. 13th National Rural Health Conference. Darwin, Australia.

Ryan, B., Franklin R., Burkle, F., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Watt, K. & Leggat, P. (2015). Analyzing the impact of Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi on public health infrastructure and the management of non-communicable diseases. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. Vol 30(1):1-10.