New Editor Spotlight

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Regardt J. Ferreira, PhD

Photo of Regardt J. Ferreira, PhDRegardt J. Ferreira, PhD, is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at Tulane University, with more than 15 years' experience in disaster and trauma-related work.


Tell us a bit about your background: What is your area of research? What is your most recent journal-editing experience?

I am a third-generation social worker, and second-generation PhD originally from South Africa.

I completed my undergraduate degree in social work with minors in psychology and criminology from the University of the Free State in South Africa. Upon completion of my Bachelor of Social Work, I completed an interdisciplinary master's degree in Disaster Management from the University of the Free State, South Africa.

In 2009 I was selected to complete a pre-doctoral scholarship at the United National University in Germany. In the summer of 2009, I moved to Louisville, Kentucky to start a PhD in social work from the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky.

My dissertation work focused on social vulnerability with an emphasis on Hurricane Katrina and how it impacted Louisiana over a 7-year period. The study used multilevel modeling techniques and determined the level of individual social vulnerability among 34,685 Louisiana residents.

In 2012, I accepted a position at the Tulane School of Social Work (TSSW) as an assistant professor. Since joining TSSW, I have become director of the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy based within the TSSW.

My current research interest is focused on disaster resilience. More specifically, I am interested in the intersection of post-disaster intimate partner violence and resilience.

The most recent editorial experience has been serving on two editorial boards and reviewing manuscripts for eight peer reviewed journals.


Briefly, what are your main priorities? For example, how will you grow readership, what type of scholarship would you like to see in the journal, and what kind of content are you hoping to attract?

My main mission will be to continue the excellent work of finding, reviewing, editing, and publishing some of the most innovative and cited papers in psychological trauma.

Per my understanding, Traumatology is published by APA in collaboration with the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology. Having an interdisciplinary and local-to-global agenda, I believe my focus will strengthen the reach of the journal.

Journal Importance

Why is this journal important for the field? What is its relevance to society/public health? What are the hot issues in your area right now?

Worldwide, we have experienced a significant increase in disasters. Now more than ever it is imperative that we work on appropriate solutions and interventions to address and mitigate the impact of disasters on psychosocial well-being.

More importantly, it is important to capture global and culturally relevant best practices.


What challenges, if any, lie ahead for the field?

As mentioned, globally we have experienced an increase in the frequency and magnitude of disasters. The public will look to practitioners and researchers for answers and solutions to disaster-related issues.

In the publishing industry, with the explosion of online, open-access information, the burden is shifting from readers and libraries to authors of the articles who are often expected to pay a fee to review and publish their paper.

Given these shifts, as editor, my agenda will be to increase submissions, reviews, and reviewers, and to consider innovations that will enable these increases.

Having a global approach to interdisciplinary psychological trauma, I will push to increase global submission rates among developing countries (e.g. Southern Africa, South East Asia etc.).