Professor Jim McLennan
Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering
School of Psychological Science
Department of Psychology
Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre
Biological Sciences 2 Building, room 255, Melbourne (Bundoora)
BA Hons USYD., MA ANU., PhD Monash.
Area of study
Professor McLennan began his professional career as an industrial/organisational psychologist, first with the Navy and then with the Commonwealth public service. He subsequently moved, via occupational psychology, into counselling psychology, in which field he worked for some 25 years as practitioner, educator, and researcher.
In the course of his research, much of which involved telephone-based help services, he became increasingly interested in how people made decisions: both to seek, and to offer, help. This rekindled his interest from early days in safety-related decision making and in the mid-1990s, in collaboration with Dr Mary Omodei, he began to work with the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade investigating decision making by on-scene Incident Controllers. This led to various research studies concerning decision making with: the Defence Science and Technology Organisation—Air Operations, and Marine Operations, the Office of Corrections; and CFA.
In 2004 he joined the School as a senior Research Fellow, managing the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Volunteerism Project and working on the Firefighter Safe Behaviour and Decision Making Project. Since the 2009 Black Saturday Victorian bushfires he has been conducting research in community bushfire safety.
Cognitive and developmental psychology
- Emergency management and decision making
- Emotional and cognitive self-control in survival-related decision making
- Community bushfire safety
McLennan,J., Elliott, G. & Omodei, M. (2012). Householder decision-making under imminent wildfire threat: Stay and defend or leave? International Journal of Wildland Fire, 21, 915-925. Doi: 10.1071/WF11061
McLennan J, Omodei M, Elliott G, Holgate A (2011) “Deep survival”: Experiences of some who lived when they might have died in the February 2009 bushfires. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 26(2), 41-46.
Beatson, R. & McLennan, J. (2011). What applied social psychology theories might contribute to community bushfire safety research after Victoria’s “Black Saturday”. Australian Psychologist, 46, 171-182. doi: 10.111/j.1742-9544.201.00041.x
McLennan, J., Elliott, G., Omodei, M., McNeill, I., Dunlop, P., & Suss, J. (2011). Bushfire survival-related decision making: What the stress and performance research literature tells us.Proceedings of the AFAC/Bushfire CRC Conference Science Day, Sydney, September 2011, pp. 307-319.
Cowlishaw, S., Evans, L., & McLennan, J. (2010). Work-family conflict and crossover in a volunteer work context: Impacts of emergency service volunteering on family. Work and Stress,24, 342-358.
McLennan, J. & Birch, A. (2009). Age and motivation to become an Australian volunteer firefighter. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 27, 53-65.
McLennan, J., Elliott, G., & Holgate, A. (2009). Anticipatory thinking and managing complex tasks: Wildfire fighting safety and effectiveness. Conference Proceedings of the 8th Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference, pp. 90-95.
McLennan, J., Birch, A., Cowlishaw, S., & Hayes, P. (2009). Maintaining volunteer firefighter numbers: Adding value to the retention coin. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 24(2), 40-47.
McLennan, J., Holgate. M., Omodei, M. M., & Wearing, A. J. (2007). Human information processing aspects of emergency incident management decision making. In M. Cook, J. Noyes, & Y. Masakowski (Eds.), Decision making in complex environments (pp. 143-151). Aldershot: Ashgate.
McLennan, J., Holgate, A. M., Omodei, M. M., & Wearing, A. J. (2006). Decision making effectiveness in wildfire incident management teams. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 14, 27-37.
McLennan, J., & Birch, A. (2005). A potential crisis in wildfire emergency response capability? Australia’s volunteer fire fighters. Environmental Hazards, 6(2), 101-107.