Environmental Geography is the part of Geography that has the most active collaboration between human and physical geographers, as they study the relationships between environments and societies in places.
Variations in the ways that people inhabit and use environments in places, and the processes (natural and social) that operate at different scales to alter those environments and the lives of people relying on them, are a strong focus. Members of the academic staff and research students in the School of Geography are involved in research and teaching on changing human-environment relationships: their research considers the implications of those changing relationships for governance in a range of ecosystems and landscapes, as well as for evolving environmental conditions. Research is conduced largely in Australia and in the Asia-Pacific region, with much fieldwork involved and close collaboration with people and institutions in the settings being studied.
- Associate Professor Peter Christoff, Peter is a political scientist whose research focuses on climate and environmental politics and policy, both in Australia and internationally.
- Professor Jon Barnett, Jon is a political geographer whose research investigates the impacts of and responses to environmental change on social systems in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Professor Mark Wang, Mark is a human geographer whose interests include urbanisation in East Asia, development and environmental issues in China.
- Associate Professor Simon Batterbury, Environment and development, political ecology of natural resources, sustainability and international development issues.
- Associate Professor Wolfram Dressler, Wolfram’s research examines human-environment relations within the framework of critical political ecology in conservation and development.
- Associate Professor Lisa Palmer, Lisa is a human geographer who teaches and researches on socio-natures and environmental governance. Her research is focused on south-east Asia (particularly East Timor) and indigenous Australia.
- Dr Rachel Hughes, Rachel is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Melbourne. Her research examines questions of memory, justice and geopolitics, with particular reference to post-1979 Cambodia.
- Associate Professor Russell Drysdale, Russell is a palaeoclimatologist specialising in reconstructing Earth’s climate history from geochemical signatures preserved in cave deposits.
- Associate Professor David Kennedy, David is a Physical Geographer who researches the impact of climate change on coastal landforms in Australasia and the Pacific.
- Professor Ian Rutherfurd, Ian’s research interest is in river processes and management, with a particular interest in fluvial geomorphology, including sediment transport, hydrology and hydraulics. He is heavily involved in State and National programs to restore the environmental conditions of aquatic systems.
- Professor Barb Downes, Barb is an aquatic ecologist, with research experience in basic population and community ecology in both freshwater and marine environments.
- Associate Professor Michael-Shawn Fletcher, Michael is interested in the long term interactions between humans, climate, disturbance and vegetation at local, regional and global scales.
- Dr Jill Lancaster, Jill is a freshwater ecologist with broad interests in the biology aquatic insects, their population and community ecologies. Particular interests lie in insect dispersal, trophic interactions and bio-physical coupling.
- Dr Amy Prendergast, Amy is a palaeoclimatologist and archaeological scientist. She is interested in high-resolution climate and environmental reconstruction, human-environment interaction, and natural hazards.
- Professor Lesley Head, Lesley researches human-environment interactions, focusing on the cultural dimensions of environmental issues. Current projects examine ethnic diversity and sustainability, the social dimensions of invasive plant management, and cultural responses to climate change.
- Dr Rebecca Runting, Rebecca’s research combines economic instruments with spatial planning to achieve multiple conservation and development objectives in tropical forests and coastal wetlands.
- Dr Candice Boyd, Candice Boyd is an artist-geographer working on the geographies of youth engagement in regional Australia.
- Dr Libby Straughan. Libby is a cultural geographer interested in embodied engagements with environments. Using feminist and poststructural theories she explores the emotional geographies of contemporary and everyday life.
- Dr Tim Werner. Tim is a spatial analyst and environmental engineer who researches various aspects of mining with approaches from remote sensing, GIS, economic geology and industrial ecology.
- Dr Sergio Jarillo, Sergio is a social anthropologist working in Oceania, in the field of climate change adaptation among communities.
Very active Honoraries
- Professor Ruth Fincher AM, Ruth is an urban geographer with interests in the production of social and spatial difference in the western city, and the ways that social planning attempts to influence this.
- Associate Professor Brian Finlayson, Brian Finlayson is a physical geographer with specialist expertise in geomorphology and environmental hydrology.
- Dr Philip Marren, Philip is a fluvial geomorphologist with research interests in floods, floodplains and river management across four continents.
- Dr Kate Shaw, Kate Shaw is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow in Urban Geography and Planning. Her current research focuses on urban renewal in the 21st century.
- Dr Ian Thomas, Ian researches in palaeoecology and environmental studies and uses using pollen analyses and archaeological investigations to research human impacts on natural systems and the responses of plant communities to climate change.
- Professor Emeritus Michael Webber, Michael is a Professorial Fellow whose research combines formal social theory and large scale, survey based empirical methods to identify how peoples working lives are affected by international and social processes.
- Lynette Peterson. Lynette's doctoral research is looking at 'official' and 'non-official' responses to the environmental effects of gold-mining in Victoria, from the 1850s - early 1900s. Supervisors: Associate Professor Ian Rutherfurd and Associate Professor Haripriya Rangan.
- Alister Self. Alister's doctoral research focuses on the politics of global climate finance, with a particular emphasis on how norms have participated in constructing this burgeoning regime. Supervisors: Associate Professor Peter Christoff and Professor Jon Barnett.
- Adam Kelly. Adam’s research focuses on investigating the potential that caps on resource usage could have for reducing resource consumption and extraction. Supervisors: Associate Professor Simon Batterbury and Dr Tobias Ide