Geographers and planners at UWA undertake cutting edge interdisciplinary research focusing on the interactions between human society and the environment.

Our teaching and research encompasses topics of global concern including urbanisation, development, environmental management and conservation.

Our students graduate with the capacity to work in many locations including Australia, Africa, North and South America, China, Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.

The discipline is focused in two key research themes:

Climate, catchments and coasts

Human society is fundamentally altering natural systems from the global to local scale, with unpredictable consequences to both people and the environment.

Our work is centred upon developing an improved understanding of these systems to promote science-based policy. We also work with stakeholders to ensure policy decisions are made more effective through reflecting the local cultural context.

Our research and student training is conducted in diverse environmental contexts including arid deserts, mountains, tropical rainforests, salt lakes, rivers and coral reefs and integrates a range of approaches including field science, geospatial science (GIS and remote sensing), and modelling and social science.

We actively encourage student and postgraduate contributions to our expanding and exciting range topics including climate and land surface interactions; catchment and ecosystem management; environmental dynamics and ecohydrology; marine and coastal management; and geographical information science and remote sensing.

People, places and policy

Socio-economic inequalities and complex environmental challenges are on the rise. How do we define and respond to these spatial, social, economic and environmental challenges?

UWA hosts one of the largest groups of human geographers and planners in Australia who are all driven, in various ways, by this question.

Our teaching and research interests are diverse – from stateless people and marine park management in Malaysia, to rural Australian labour market transformations, to collaborative social policy research with Indigenous peoples, to representational issues in local government and urban planning.

We are all committed to research that has practical application for government, industry, and local communities in Western Australia, and globally.

Research in this theme covers development, migration, and Indigenous geographies; economic and regional development; transport planning, the built environment and health; geographic Information Systems (GIS); urban planning and governance; transformative social change and community capacity building; conservation and environmental policy.

Key groups

Key staff contacts