With a background in social and design sciences, Ryan studied and worked on natural resource management in Southeast Asia before becoming an urban planner. He worked in strategic planning for local government before joining City Futures Research Centre in 2011. An early career researcher, Ryan completed his PhD in 2017.
Ryan’s PhD investigated the community conflict associated with the mixed land uses in and around Kings Cross, Sydney, framing it as a contested place identity. Other research interests include examining how urban design, renewal and planning can improve housing delivery, social equity and opportunity and natural resource management in cities.