Geography and planning

Cutting-edge research balancing human development with the natural environment

Geographers and planners at UWA undertake innovative interdisciplinary research focusing on the interactions between human society and the environment. Our teaching and research encompasses topics of global concern, including urbanisation, development, environmental management and conservation. 

Key research areas

The discipline is focused in two key research areas:

Climate, catchments and coasts

Human society is fundamentally altering natural systems on a global and local scale, with unpredictable consequences to people and the environment. Our work improves understanding of these systems to promote science-based policy. We work with stakeholders to ensure policy decisions are effective by reflecting the local cultural context.

Our researchers actively encourage student and postgraduate contributions to our expanding and exciting topics.

Current research focus areas include:

  • climate and land surface interactions
  • catchment and ecosystem management
  • environmental dynamics and ecohydrology
  • marine and coastal management
  • geographical information science and remote

Our research and student training is conducted in diverse environmental contexts and integrates approaches including field science, geospatial science (GIS and remote sensing), modelling and social science.

People, places and policy

Socio-economic inequalities and complex environmental challenges are increasing and we need to define and respond to the emerging spatial, social, economic and environmental challenges.

Our teaching and research covers a range of topics, including:

  • development, migration, and Indigenous geographies
  • economic and regional development
  • transport planning
  • built environment and health
  • geographic information systems (GIS)
  • urban planning and governance
  • transformative social change and community capacity building
  • conservation and environmental policy

We are committed to research that has practical application for government, industry and local communities in Western Australia and globally.

Study with us

Explore your options with a range of postgraduate and research opportunities available.


Planning and Transport Research Centre

The Planning and Transport Research Centre (PATREC) conducts collaborative, applied research and teaching in support of policy in the connected spaces of transport and land use planning in Western Australia.

Centre for Regional Development

The Centre for Regional Development at The University of Western Australia focuses on understanding the major economic, social and environmental opportunities and challenges facing rural, regional and remote Australia.



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