Environmental Science at Melbourne brings together researchers and students with a common interest in our environmental future. Several of these academics and PhD students are showcased in our videos, discussing just some of the innovative and collaborative research that's taking place in this area.
Green Roof Research
- Dr Michael-Shawn Fletcher
School of Geography - Faculty of Science
Dr Michael-Shawn Fletcher
Dr Michael-Shawn Fletcher is a Biogeographer with the School of Geography.
Dr Fletcher is interested in understanding the patterns in nature and the processes behind them. He looks at the long-term interactions between humans, climate, disturbances and vegetation, and his current work involves developing and integrating records of environmental change in the Southern Hemisphere using information stored at the bottom of lakes.
- Dr Adam Bumpus
School of Geography - Faculty of Science
Dr Adam Bumpus
Dr Adam Bumpus is an Economic Geographer with the School of Geography.
Dr Bumpus' work focuses on strategy, policy, communication and development relating to climate change and carbon finance. He has worked on media and climate issues internationally, and consulted widely for governments, UN agencies and the private sector. Dr Bumpus is the lead researcher and manager of the Carbon Governance Project, which focuses on low-carbon business transformation.
- Dr Wallace Wong
School of Chemistry - Faculty of Science
Dr Wallace Wong
Dr Wallace Wong is an Organic Chemist with the School of Chemistry
Dr Wong has spent the last seven year working in the area of organic electronics, with particular focus on organic solar cells. He is the head of a research group based at the Bio21 Institute that is interested in synthesis and addressing the interface of materials science and biological systems.
- A/Prof Jane Elith
School of BioSciences - Faculty of Science
A/Prof Jane Elith
Associate Professor Jane Elith is a Quantative Ecologist with the School of BioSciences
Associate Professor Elith works with statistical models and data, mostly focusing on species distribution models. She's particularly interested in understanding how models work, and in finding technical solutions to improve their performance. In 2015, her work earned her the Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year, and the Australian Academy of Science's Fenner Medal.
- Dr Natalie Briscoe
School of BioSciences - Faculty of Science
Dr Natalie Briscoe
Dr Natalie Briscoe is an Eco-physiologist with the School of BioSciences.
Dr Briscoe is interested in how climate interacts with animal traits, such as behaviour, morphology and physiology, to influence species distribution. She is currently focusing her research on koalas, and how they will be affected by climate change.
- Professor David Karoly
School of Earth Sciences - Faculty of Science
Professor David Karoly
Professor David Karoly is an Atmospheric Scientist with the School of Earth Sciences.
Professor Karoly is an internationally recognised expert in climate change and climate variability. His topics of interest include greenhouse climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and interannual climate variations due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation. He is a member of the Climate Change Authority, which provides advice to government on climate change policies.
- Professor Peter Rayner
School of Earth Sciences - Faculty of Science
Professor Peter Rayner
Professor Peter Rayner is an Environmental Statistician with the School of Earth Sciences.
Professor Rayner's main research is focused on the estimation of surface sources and sinks of CO2, using satellite and in-situ measurements with models to quantify and understand the patterns and mechanisms of CO2 release and uptake, with a focus on the tropics and the Southern Hemisphere. He has spent the past two decades studying the carbon cycle at various scales and its interaction with the climate.
- Dr Claire Farrell
School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences - Faculty of Science
Dr Claire Farrell
Dr Claire Farrell is a Plant Ecophysiologist with the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences.
Dr Farrell's main research interest involves using plants to make cities more liveable. She is currently looking at using green roofs for stormwater mitigation and improving biodiversity in Australian cities. She's particularly focused on drought tolerance and water use strategies of native Australian plants, and using natural environments as mimics to design optimal green roofs.
Our network of researchers is drawn from the biological, physical, mathematical and computational sciences in tandem with the natural and social sciences of geography. Our main areas of research involve ecology and ecosystems, physical processes, environmental change and enabling technologies
Sustainable use and management of environments requires knowledge of the relationships between living organisms and their environment, the processes that are fundamental to ecosystems, and how these and other factors affect the patterning and persistence of species and communities in space and time.Find out more
- Physical & Chemical Processes
The long-term sustainability of Earth’s natural and modified environments requires us to understand the physical and chemical conditions of our air, land, and water, and the processes operating within and amongst them. Knowing how these systems interact with and impact on each other is also essential if we are to predict how the environment will change if one or another is perturbed.Find out more
- Environmental Change
The earth is undergoing rapid environmental changes as the result of human actions. Understanding the causes and consequences of those actions is critical to developing predictive models and informing policy discussions on issues such as biodiversity loss, ecosystem management, and climate change, including mitigation and adaptation strategies.Find out more
- Enabling technologies
World class research underpins the development of tools, methods, and protocols for environmental monitoring, instrumental analysis, and predictive modelling. While these technologies enable the identification and assessment of environmental risk, other research seeks to develop solutions such as innovation in the delivery of renewable energy.Find out more
We support the teaching of environmental science at every level, from undergraduate majors in the Bachelor of Science to graduate coursework and research degrees, including the PhD
Study environmental science through your major choice in the Bachelor of Science, or through an Associate Degree in Urban HorticultureVIEW
Choose from a range of graduate courses that focus on and explore areas of environmental scienceVIEW
- Certificates & Diplomas
Complete a certificate or diploma in one of several unique areas involving environmental scienceVIEW
Our researchers are regularly featured in the media and recognised for their accomplishments. Regular seminars and public lectures are hosted with these researchers and guests from the field, providing an opportunity for discussion and connection between people with a common interest in the environment
- Making megacities healthy for humans
How urban ecology can provide a greener alternative to the concrete jungles of the futureScience Matters on Pursuit
- Unlocking the inner workings of plant growth
Sustainable biofuels are closer to reality after the discovery of a key step in plant cell wall productionScience Matters on Pursuit
- Kevin Tolhurst gives farewell talk on complexity, bushfires and engagementNews
- How sunflowers track the sunScience Matters on Pursuit
- How energy is hidden in coloursScience Matters on Pursuit
- What animals can tell us about sleepingScience Matters on Pursuit
- Exposing the creatures of the deepScience Matters on Pursuit
- Koalas hug trees to battle climate change
Koalas in the hotter, more arid parts of Australia could become extinct in the face of climate change, new modelling suggests.News
- Genetic secrets of algae provide vital insight into coral bleachingNews
- Dr Adam Bumpus in Top 5 Under 40 Science CommunicatorsNews
- Bearded dragons change color on different body parts for social signals and temperature regulationNews
- Climate change likely to turn up heat on koalas
A changing climate means that by 2070 koalas may no longer call large parts of inland Australia home, researchers have found.News
- Science academics honoured in World Environment Day AwardsNews
- New molecular design to get hydrogen-powered cars motoringNews
- The climate legacies in our lakes
Biogeographer Dr Michael-Shawn Fletcher tells of exploring ‘natural archives’ to piece together our environmental history – and shine a light on the futureScience Matters on Pursuit
- Planting trees for the Earth
Campaigners want us to plant 7.8 billion trees to combat climate change. But what then?Science Matters on Pursuit
- Move it or lose it: exploiting genetic diversity to fight extinction
We need to think differently about species conservationScience Matters on Pursuit
- The Drain Scene Investigators
Melbourne water researchers have turned detectives to track down the source of pollution in our waterwaysScience Matters on Pursuit
- How we can link some extreme weather to climate change
Australia is at the forefront of research in the rapidly developing science of “Event Attribution”Science Matters on Pursuit
- A long climatic affair
The first extensive retrospective of our climate history has traced the human fingerprint on record-breaking hot temperatures as far back as the 1930sScience Matters on Pursuit
- Eradicating weeds one woof at a time
Is our best defence against pests and diseases to smell them out?Science Matters on Pursuit
- A weed by any other name
One habitat’s sweet meadow flower is another’s worst nightmare. So what makes a plant a weed and how do they get about?Science Matters on Pursuit
- The not-so-plain Nullarbor
Today it’s one of the driest spots in Australia, but just a few million years ago the Nullarbor was flush with trees and plants and had four times as much rainScience Matters on Pursuit
- Top 10 ways to give nature a helping hand
Victorians are being urged to help nature adapt to new conditions under climate change through a new 10-point guideNews
- Discovered: A treasure trove of new fish
Researchers have found 20 new species of freshwater fish in the remote Kimberley region - and had to fend off an angry crocodile in the processScience Matters on Pursuit
- Three ways frogs, roads and cars don't mix
... But there are seven things we can do to make their lives just a little easierScience Matters on Pursuit
- The science behind these big monsters
We’ve all seen footage of tropical cyclones. But this is how they form and why climate change is reducing their number – but increasing their powerScience Matters on Pursuit
- The hole in the ozone
The environmental issue we managed to fix* and why we still need to be sunsmartScience Matters on Pursuit
- Cities for climate change
Citizens often want greener policies, but why don’t cities listen?Science Matters on Pursuit
- Three ways to save stressed-out coral
What if coral could be made more resistant to the effects of climate change?Science Matters on Pursuit
- The Paris climate change summit
The world comes together: Regular updates from the Paris COP 21 meetingScience Matters on Pursuit
- The human fingerprint on a record hot year
Global temperature records are being toppled and it's mostly our faultScience Matters on Pursuit
- Growing Greener Cities
Collaboration between researchers, urban planners and industry to green our walls and roofs wins Premier's Sustainability AwardScience Matters on Pursuit
- Printing the next generation of solar cells
University of Melbourne researchers have teamed up with industry to develop flexible solar cells to cover roofs, windows, clothing, phones and carsScience Matters on Pursuit
Why Environmental Science at Melbourne?
We represent an intellectual community of researchers and students from diverse fields with a common interest in our environmental future. By bringing together discipline-based strengths and fostering linkages across and external to the University, Environmental Science at Melbourne takes a collaborative approach to tackling some of the world's most pressing environmental problems - sustainable resources, energy, food security, pollution, global warming, biodiversity, and ecosystem functions.
We are an access point for researchers, industry, government and community groups seeking to work with our academics and students.
The University of Melbourne is ranked number 13 in the world for the study of environmental science.
- Burnley campus
The Burnley Campus is a dynamic multidisciplinary research centre with a focus on green infrastructure, urban ecology, ecohydrology and forest science. It is renowned for teaching and research in environmental and ornamental horticulture. Set on 9 hectares of heritage-listed gardens, the grounds began operating as a learning centre at the forefront of horticultural education in 1891. A strong collective of academics and contributors continue to develop education in horticultural processes to meet industry demands.
- Creswick campus
Situated on 20 hectares of land with adjacent native and plantation forests, Creswick has been an important location for forest science education since 1910, the historic campus containing original goldfields architecture significant to Victoria's heritage. It is Australia's only dedicated forest ecosystem science campus. Staff and students undertake extensive research in forest ecosystem conservation, forest industries and molecular biology.
- Parkville campus
Parkville is the central University of Melbourne campus, located just north of the Melbourne CBD, and is home to over 30,000 students. The campus dates from the mid-nineteenth century with many historic buildings and gardens. The seven schools in the Faculty of Science all have a presence in the Parkville Campus.