Australian Centre for Pacific Islands Research - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Australian Centre for Pacific Islands Research

Leading strategic research in collaboration with our Pacific Island neighbours

The Australian Centre for Pacific Islands Research (ACPIR) is a multidisciplinary research centre that provides a focal point for the expertise and experience of the many USC academics and researchers conducting research and development projects in the Pacific Islands region.

Research areas include agriculture, aquaculture, forestry, sustainability, heritage, food security, climate change and health. Many projects include local capacity building in scientific and social research, industry and sustainable livelihood development.

In addition to the senior academics based at USC, the University has a number of full-time research staff based in the Pacific. As well as conducting and supervising research, these USC researchers mentor local research students, industry staff and community members.

Our vision

The Australian Centre for Pacific Islands Research (ACPIR) works with the people of the Pacific Islands to help them attain their goals and meet their challenges without compromising their independence or diluting their cultural richness.

Our work

ACPIR seeks to carry out research into all aspects of Pacific Islands environment and life. ACPIR is currently focused on land, water and people and conducts research that supports livelihood sustainability and economic development.

Meet the team

The three founding ACPIR Directors have each spent decades working with the people of the Pacific Islands and are widely acknowledged as world leaders in their respective fields.

Patrick Nunn

Professor of Geography, Patrick D. Nunn,

Currently focused on human-environment interactions (past, present and future) in the Pacific Islands, Patrick is a climate scientist and geographer with 30 years experience in the region, including 25 years at the University of the South Pacific where he became Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and International).

Paul Southgate

Professor of Sustainable Tropical Aquaculture, Paul Southgate

Specialising in pearl oysters, other marine invertebrates and marine ornamental species, Paul currently leads eight major research projects with over $9 million funding around the development of sustainable tropical aquaculture industries and livelihoods in coastal communities throughout the Pacific.

Professor Steven Underhill

Professor of Horticulture, Steven J. R. Underhill

With a research focus on food security, poverty alleviation and livelihood development outcomes, Steven has over 25 years experience working in the Pacific. Specialising in post-harvest handling and quality management systems, supply chain development is at the heart of his current projects with around $15 million worth of research funding.