The Centre for Geography and Environmental Science’s research efforts are inherently interdisciplinary, and illuminate changes in human society and the environment on a wide range of spatial scales from the local to global. In 2013, the Centre was 23rd in the QS World University Rankings, 1st among equivalent units at Australia’s major research universities (the Group of Eight), and rated 4 (‘above world standard’) in the Australian government fields of research “Human Geography” (1604). An overview of our primary research themes and associated people is presented below.

Urban and Regional Development

Most of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, and the challenges to which this shift gives rise are immense. This research group works at the interface of these challenges, focusing on the economic drivers of development, outcomes around social justice and displacement, governance practices and urban policy, labour market shifts, and diverse cultural understandings of place. Our research contributes directly to urban and regional development policy.


Environmental Governance, Business and Society

We seek ways to govern the environment more sustainably. We investigate significant global issues such as overconsumption of environmental resources and related environmental degradation through focusing on the nexus between transformations in business practice and broader societal change.


Political Ecology and International Development

Environments around the world are changing rapidly in ways that are highly contested, particularly in developing countries. Issues like biodiversity conservation, agricultural intensification, and sustainable development gain global attention but have local impacts, and are shaped as much by political, economic, and cultural forces as by the ecology of the resource in question. We address these issues in Australia and in developing countries around the Indian Ocean historically and in the present, and with a view towards future solutions.

People :



For physical geography research in climate science, geomorphology, soils science, and palaeoecology, please see the School of Earth, Atmosphere, and Environment.