Dr Karri Neldner
Understanding how children think about the natural world, and how this changes as they develop, can reveal insights into how our society values (or devalues) nature.

Karri conducts research examining when and how Australian children might develop a strong connection to nature. Using techniques from developmental psychology and anthropology, she seeks to identify factors that predict how children think about nature and when they might develop a connectedness with their local land and wildlife.

Given the increasing threats of climate change to our wellbeing and way of life, understanding how we can foster strong relationships with land and biodiversity early on in human development is extremely important. Children are often presented as the ‘silent victims’ of climate change, however, Karri perceives children as agents for future social change. Karri suggests “If we can uncover the mechanisms that help encourage a love of nature from an early age, we can develop educational initiatives that help nurture this relationship throughout development. This can help cultivate a society that values and protects its biodiversity, building it from the ground up”.

ResearchingDevelopmental psychology
AffiliatedUniversity of Western Australia|
Focus areaHealth, Society