Environment and sustainability

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Environment and sustainability


The core focus of sustainability aligns with the social, behavioural and economic sciences. In addressing concerns of society and the environment, this important transdisciplinary research area offers a broad spectrum of research topics to explore. For more information refer to the Sustainability Research Centre.

Climate change

Global environmental change has a number of dramatic consequences for local communities and other sectors of society. Managing global challenges such as climate change requires understanding of a range of areas including:

  • international climate change mitigation policy
  • carbon markets and the Clean Development Mechanism
  • climate change adaptation economic analysis
  • climate modelling, impact and vulnerability analysis
  • tourism and climate change
  • integrated environmental assessment and reporting
  • sensitivity, vulnerability, and risk
  • adaptation, adaptive capacity and resilience

For more information refer to the Sustainability Research Centre

Coastal management

Integrated coastal management is a globally recognised approach to managing coastal pressures and creating sustainable coastal livelihoods. Our research investigates:

  • social and ecological systems
  • institutional arrangements
  • community engagement
  • livelihoods
  • sustainability communication
  • visual communication
  • social and sustainability learning
  • sustainable coastal and marine (wildlife) tourism
  • coastal planning and management
  • community governance and responses to environmental risk
  • coastal geography
  • coral reefs and islands
  • community development

For more information refer to the Sustainability Research Centre

Tourism, leisure and events

Research in tourism, leisure and events encourages collaborations with government and private enterprise locally, nationally and internationally. Our research covers topics such as:

  • marine and coastal tourism 
  • culinary tourism and events 
  • event portfolio management
  • Asia-Pacific tourism development
  • eco and sustainable tourism
  • sports event tourism
  • festival and event marketing and management
  • tourist behaviour, values and self-concept theory
  • innovations in tourism
  • tourism and social media
  • destination management
  • tourism policy and decision-making
  • social capital and social networks
  • work integrated learning
  • small business tourism

For more information refer to the Sustainability Research Centre.


Planning research focuses on areas such as:

  • integration between land-use planning and transport
  • coastal planning and management
  • use of planning methods in managing landscapes
  • experiential learning in planning education
  • evaluating the effectiveness of planning
  • collaborative decision-making
  • community engagement
  • alternative dispute resolution
  • social and community sustainability, attitudes / perceptions
  • community-based governance
  • social and institutional arrangements
  • coastal and water resource planning and management
  • affordable housing
  • age-friendly communities
  • sustainable design
  • visual research methods (photovoice; design charrettes; participatory mapping; 3D vis.)

For more information refer to the Sustainability Research Centre

Natural resource management

The use, preservation and management of natural resources is contested between various stakeholders and interests. Research focus areas include:

  • ecotourism, cultural change and tourism
  • protected area management and environmental interpretation
  • management effectiveness and monitoring and evaluation
  • co-management of natural resources
  • adaptive capacity and adaptive management
  • natural resource and environmental economics
  • Food security
  • forestry economics
  • bushfire / wildfire economics
  • economics of invasive species
  • economics of conservation
  • economics of climate change and renewable energy
  • Indigenous property rights and development
  • catchment hydrology / management
  • sustainable development
  • environmental change
  • landslide processes, prediction, and land use effects
  • governance of water resources
  • the social dimensions of environmental management
  • stakeholder perspectives, attitudes and values

For more information refer to the Sustainability Research CentreForest Industries Research Centre and the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre.

Plantation and native forest research

Plantation and native forest research focuses on social, economic, and environmental sustainability aspects of forest industries, including:

  • forest resource improvement and establishment
  • forest and health management
  • harvest and haulage
  • forest transport efficiency
  • forest supply chain management
  • chemical ecology
  • predator–prey interactions
  • insect–plant interactions
  • forestry entomology
  • invasive biology
  • biological control of forest insects and ecosystem services
  • integrated pest management in forestry
  • population dynamics in agro–ecosystems
  • forestry and horticulture, Southeast Asia
  • restoration and management of tropical forests
  • plant reproductive biology and breeding systems
  • forest dynamics of tropical forests
  • tropical mixed species plantations
  • socioeconomic aspects of tropical reforestation
  • hydrological and nutrient impacts of reforestation
  • small-scale and community forestry
  • climate change policy and forests
  • multidimensional reporting systems
  • forestry economics

For more information refer to the Forest Industries Research Centre and the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre.

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