Our staff are all internationally recognised for their research. Their interests encompass social science, humanities and environmental science, and approaches to understanding the complexities of human existence in a diverse and fast-changing world. Their many publications contain original contributions to theory, methodology and policy.

Director and Deputy Director


Janine Bailey

Thesis: The Art of Multispecies: Developing a sustainable art practice through care and collaboration.
Supervisors: Associate Professor Leah Gibbs & Dr Lucas Ihlein

Lizzie Buckmaster Dove

Thesis Title: Walking Back: Towards Geographies of Belonging
Supervisors: Dr Lucas Ihlein, Dr Chantel Carr, Dr Anthony McKnight

Laura Butler

Thesis: Peri-urban horticulture and biosecurity awareness and action
Supervisors: Associate Professor Jennifer Atchison and Associate Professor Natascha Klocker

Vanessa Cavanagh

Thesis: Aboriginal Women know: Cultural burning and Aboriginal women in NSW
Supervisors: Associate Professor Leah GibbsDr Laura Hammersley, Associate Professor Michael Adams

Freya Croft 

Thesis: Emotional Experiences of Coral Reefs - Can Embodied and Mediated Coral Reef Experiences have Conservation Outcomes? The Case of Ningaloo Reef
Supervisors: Associate Professor Michael Adams and Dr Jennifer Atchison

Diana Dawson

Thesis: Is sharing responsibility for invasive plant control enough?  How community and government can achieve collective impact for improved biodiversity outcomes in Australia.
Supervisors: Dr Sonia Graham and Associate Professor Nicholas Gill

Alexis Farr

Thesis: Fish Futures: Cultural Geographies of Freshwater Ecosystems
Supervisor: Associate Professor Leah Gibbs

Thomas Fisher

Thesis: Space for cycling?: Infrastructure and Embodied Experiences of Cyclists in an Australian Regional Centre
Supervisors: Professor Gordon Waitt and Professor Ian Buchanan

John Lahai

Thesis: Exploring diverse experiences of refugee settlement in regional Australia 
Supervisors: Associate Professor Natascha Klocker & Dr Olivia Dun

Natasha Larkin

Thesis: Renewable energy workers in regional Australia: A qualitative study of the Illawarra
Supervisors: Dr Chantel Carr and Associate Professor Natascha Klocker 

Marc Llewellyn

Thesis: An Examination of the Relationships that the People of Rarotonga have with Native and Non-Native Species; in order to Inform Conservation Strategy on the Island
Supervisors: Dr Jenny Atchison and Associate Professor Nicholas Gill

Craig Lyons

Thesis: Producing peripheral space: infrastructure, urban renewal, and social reproduction in Port Kembla, Australia
Supervisors: Professor Chris GibsonProfessor Pauline McGuirk and Dr Andrew Warren

Jennifer Macey

Thesis: Listening Geographies: Capturing Voices And Sounds In A Changing Industrial Landscape - How Podcasting Can Create A Living History
Supervisors: Professor Chris Gibson and Dr Chantel Carr

Teaniel Mifsud

Thesis: Exploring Perceptions and Policies Concerning Shark Mitigation on the East Coast of Australia
Supervisors: Dr Leah Gibbs and Dr Chris Brennan-Horley

Rachel Reimer

Thesis: The Long Winter: A comparative study of leadership, diversity and inclusion in the guiding and avalanche profession in Canada and New Zealand
Supervisors: Dr Christine Eriksen and Dr Andrew Warren

Leigh Robinson

Thesis: The highs and lows of the airport: volunteering in an intensely mobile space
Supervisors: Dr Thomas Birtchnell and Professor Peter Caputi

Inka Santala

Thesis: Sharing Cities: new strategies for communal sharing
Supervisors: Professor Pauline McGuirk and Professor Chris Gibson

Ville Santala 

Thesis: From experimentations to collaborative governance: The role and implications of experimentations in shaping Australian smart cities
Supervisors: Professor Pauline McGuirk and Dr Nicole Cook

Jennifer Smart

Thesis: Crossing Land, Social and Biosecurity Boundaries: Recreational Visitor Networks, Values, Practices and Knowledge and the Management of Weeds in the Kosciuszko Region
Supervisors: Associate Professor Nicholas Gill and Dr Leonie Miller

Makrita Solitei

Thesis: Managing Waste in Indigenous Communities Through a 3D Printing Centric Circular Economy
Supervisors: Dr Thomas Birtchnell and Dr Tillmann Boehme 

Alexandre York

Thesis: Enhanced Humans, Robotics and the Future of Work
Supervisors: Dr Thomas Birtchnell and Dr Tillmann Boehme

Melinda Young

Thesis: Landlines and Tracelines - topographies of place and the body in the field of Australian contemporary jewellery practice
Supervisors: Professor Chris Gibson and Dr Chantel Carr


M. Abdul Malak

Thesis: Exploring the climatic and anthropogenic challenges to build livelihood vulnerability and resilience of Tanguar Haor in Bangladesh
Supervisors: Dr Jennifer Atchison, Professor Noel Castree and Associate Professor Natascha Klocker

Hilton Penfold

Thesis: Material Geographies of the Tiny House: Downsizing the 'Great Australian Dream' for Sustainability
Supervisors: Professor Gordon Waitt and Professor Pauline McGuirk


Lance Barrie

Thesis: The embodied dimensions of endurance cycling and the formation of gendered cycling identities
Supervisors: Professor Gordon Waitt and Dr Chris Brennan-Horley

Kiera Kent 

Thesis: Children’s play encounters: materiality and more-than-human theory
Supervisors: Dr Leah Gibbs and Associate Professor Natascha Klocker

Carrie Wilkinson

Thesis: Beyond Mains Water: A study of households that are self-sufficient for water in regional NSW
Supervisors: Dr Leah Gibbs and Professor Gordon Waitt

Sophie-May Kerr 

Thesis: Living with children in apartments: sharing, materials and space
Supervisors: Associate Professor Natascha Klocker and Professor Chris Gibson


Rebecca Campbell

Thesis: Food and kitchens as gendered household sustainability practice in Pacific Island migrant households
Supervisors: Professor Gordon Waitt and Associate Professor Nicholas Gill 

Ananth Gopal

Thesis: Growing cultures: cultivating culturally diverse ecological knowledge
Supervisors: Professor Lesley Head and Associate Professor Natascha Klocker

Shefali Juneja Lakhina

Thesis: Resilient together: engaging the knowledge and capacities of refugees for a disaster resilient Illawarra
Supervisors: Dr Christine Eriksen, Professor Noel Castree and Associate Professor Nicholas Gill

Razia Sultana

Thesis: Urban Green Infrastructure in the Global South: adapting slums to climate change in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Supervisors: Dr Thomas Birtchnell and Associate Professor Nicholas Gill


Ren Hu

Thesis: Australian agricultural restructuring and formers responses: a case study of the Illawarra region, New South Wales
Supervisors: Associate Professor Nicholas Gill and Dr Andrew Warren 

Ryan Frazer

Thesis: The limits of care: lines, refrains, becomings
Supervisors: Professor Gordon Waitt and Professor Ian Buchanan

Stephanie Toole

Thesis: Climate change adaptation in culturally-diverse Australian households
Supervisors: Associate Professor Natascha Klocker and Professor Lesley Head


Chantel Carr

Thesis: Maintenance and repair beyond the perimeter of the plant: materials, skills and household life in the industrial city
Supervisors: Professor Chris Gibson and Professor Lesley Head 

Susannah Clement

Thesis: Walking together: child and parent pedestrian mobilities in Wollongong City centre
Supervisors:  Professor Gordon Waitt and Professor Ian Buchanan

Shaun McKiernan

Thesis: Management, agency and belonging: exploring invasive plant management in high amenity rural areas
Supervisors: Associate Professor Nicholas Gill and Dr Jenny Atchison

Nick Skilton

Thesis: Privilege and marginalization in Australia’s national imaginary: constructions of mining and sex worker identities through technologies of power
Supervisors: Professor Chris Gibson and Dr Leah Gibbs  

Elyse Stanes

Thesis: Making space: young people’s routines of consumption and implications for the cultural economy of sustainability
Supervisors: Professor Chris Gibson and Associate Professor Natascha Klocker 

Alexander Tindale

Thesis: Contesting the urban myth of ethnic segregation
Supervisors: Dr Natascha KlockerDr Chris Brennan-Horley and Professor Chris Gibson 

Justin Westgate

Thesis: Responding to crisis: creative practices in volatile spaces
Supervisors: Professor Chris Gibson and Dr Anja Kanngieser