Department of Geography, Environment and Population

The Department of Geography, Environment and Population offers a wide range of programs that explore important issues, such as climate change, global migration and urban development from a wide variety of perspectives.


Geography, Environment and Population staff share a deep appreciation for physical and human environments. We are motivated by the desire that future generations are able to experience the natural and human wonders of the world.

  • Our teaching

    We teach courses that build work skills and knowledge about environmental management and processes. We focus on human-environment interactions at local to global levels and address the world’s greatest challenges; we explore how the world can cope with an ever-expanding population, what future cities should look like, and how climate change will impact ecosystems and human society.

    Our courses also offer opportunities to work with, and learn about Indigenous peoples and their connection to the environment, food security, global international migration and ethics.

    All our courses develop student knowledge and skills to investigate and recommend responses to real-world environmental problems. We offer a fabulous international study tour on sustainable cities and run field trips focussing on how environments can be rehabilitated.

    Study Geography, Environment and Population

  • Our people

    Associate Professor Melissa Nursey-Bray


    Head of Department

    Coordinator Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Management

    Honours Coordinator

    Teaching focus: Indigenous peoples, coastal management, environmental ethics, environmental impact assessment globalisation, climate adaptation, community engagement

    Dr Jennifer Bonham

    Post Graduate Coordinator

    Coordinator GEP Study Tour

    Teaching focus: Urbanisation, mobility, research methods

    Dr Douglas Bardsley

    Coordinator, Master of Environmental Policy and Management

    Convenor ECR network

    Teaching focus: Food security, environmental management, climate change, environmental governance

    Associate Professor John Tibby


    Director, Sprigg Geobiology Centre

    Teaching focus: physical geography, climate change, environmental change, water issues

    Dr Jungho Suh


    First Year Coordinator

    Teaching focus: ecological economics, tourism and the environment

    Associate Professor Yan Tan

    Coordinator Masters Dissertations

    Teaching focus: population, migration (international, internal), social science techniques, and development

    Dr Dorothy Turner

    GIS Coordinator

    Teaching focus: Introduction to GIS and Advanced GIS

    Professor Chris Leishman


    Director, Hugo Centre for  Population and Migration Research and the Centre for Housing, Urban Regional and Planning (CHURP)

    Dr Helen Barrie

    Deputy Director, Hugo Centre for Migration and Population Research  & University Research Fellow

    Dr Debbie Faulkner


    Deputy Director, Centre for  Housing, Regional and Urban Planning (CHURP)

    Senior Research Fellow, CHURP

    Mrs Janet Wall

    Centre Administrator for the Hugo Centre for Migration and Population Research and the Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning

    Dr Cameron Barr

    Senior Research Associate (ARC funded), GEP

    Dr Xuchun Liu


    ARC Research Associate (ARC funded)

  • Our research

    The Department of Geography, Environment and Population academic staff lead national and international research programs.

    Our research focuses on ageing, housing, population, environmental management, mobility, tourism, climate change to Indigenous resource management, biodiversity conservation, water quality, environmental change and sustainable agricultural development.

    We are associated with two research centres, the first being the Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning which comprises a network of researchers, academics and other practitioners whose shared vision is to undertake high quality housing, urban and regional research and disseminate their findings for the betterment of society.

    The second the Hugo Centre for Migration and Population Research is an international research hub dedicated to addressing the global challenge of population change.

    The Adaptation, Community Environment (ACE) Research Network, hosts research and activities that focus community engagement with environmental issues, specifically adaptation to climate change.

    Geography staff and students work in over 30 different countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, USA, and in Antarctica. Geography staff have been successful in a number of national and international grant schemes including the Australian Research Council (Discovery and Linkage), the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Network (NCCARF), the Ford Foundation, the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

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