Research

The Hugo Centre’s work addresses the global challenge of population change.

Our research advances basic knowledge and informs public debate and decision making around the world. We integrate insights from different academic disciplines and partnerships with community, industry and government organizations.

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  • Demography and the 'Life Course'

    Demographic change is a constant force that in the long term causes tectonic shifts in societies, cultures and economies.

    Gradual adjustments in birth rates, death rates and migration patterns drive population growth in some regions and ageing in others. These trends change the nature of work, family and community life, urban planning, and public policy making.

    How can we understand and manage the impacts of processes like population growth and ageing on family structures, differences between rural and urban spaces, and service delivery schemes in housing, health and other areas?

    Our researchers in this area are:

    Please visit our Researcher Profiles for more information about completed and current projects.

  • Migration, diaspora and diversity

    Understanding and managing large-scale population movements is one of the most urgent long-term challenges facing humanity.

    Our research aims to address fundamental questions such as:

    • Why do people migrate?
    • How does migration relate to broader processes of demographic transition, environmental change, socio-economic development, and political conflict?
    • How do migrants and their communities adapt to new circumstances?
    • What role do racism and ethnic communities play in the process of immigrant settlement?
    • What kinds of social diversity and transnational connection arise when people uproot?
    • What does migration mean for origin and receiving societies?
    • How is migration managed and governed at local, national and international levels?

    Our researchers in this area are:

    Please visit our Researcher Profiles for more information about completed and current projects.

    • Population processes and environmental change

      Environmental change is one of the defining challenges of our age.

      Environmental change both causes and is caused by population change. For example, shifts in the physical environment may shape human mobility both directly (for example as a response to extreme weather events), or indirectly, (for example through the gradual impacts of sea-level rise on other economic, social, cultural, and political drivers of migration).

      Conversely, population growth and change affects patterns of land use, resource processing, urban design, transport and waste disposal that may transform the physical environment.

      Our research aims to undertake comparative studies on the nexus between environmental change and human population change, to make theoretical advances in this area, and to inform practical efforts to achieve a sustainable future.

      Our researchers in this area are:

      Please visit our Researcher Profiles for more information about completed and current projects.

    • Social applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

      Geographic Information Systems (GIS) offers a powerful integrating platform for social, spatial and environmental information, with potential to generate new knowledge and opportunities.

      This research theme shares a consistent concern for people and social justice, and the desire to use and develop spatial technologies to advance demographic and migration analysis, service planning, reporting, funding allocations and social research.

      The Hugo Centre's work builds on the National Key Centre of Social Applications of GIS (GISCA).

      Our researchers in this area are:

      Please visit our Researcher Profiles for more information about completed and current projects.