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.
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.
News and events
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
Conservation and Ecosystems
The nature of Earth can be arranged into diverse ecosystems ranging from terrestrial landscapes and vegetation to inland aquatic systems and marine areas, and underpin our planet's wealth of biodiversity and renewable resources. How our ecosystems are managed so they conserve species and functions is explored. The services that our ecosystems provide and strategies to avoid their degradation are integral to ensure resilience to current and future climate and societal pressures.
Our climate is central to the state and regulation of our ecosystems, food, water, health and infrastructure security. Understanding and observations of our current climate system allows us to predict how our future energy and societal choices will impact future climate. Understanding climate change risks to our natural and human environments allows us to identify key societal, economic and policy actions.
We are currently using our natural systems at an unsustainable rate, as custodians of our Earth, we strive to leave our planet better than how we inherited it. To do this we need to understand how the natural environment and social systems interact. Sustainability science addresses the challenge of how to meet the needs of present and future generations while reducing poverty and conserving our environment.
Natural Resources and Hazards
Natural resources of water, air and land underpin our environmental and societal health. Earth minerals are vital for technology and for the energy transition to a zero-carbon future. Environmental hazards of extreme weather, bushfires, earthquakes and land-use impact our food, ecosystem and infrastructure security. Controlling pollution and waste is a major challenge for sustainability, environmental and human health.
Our energy system has allowed rapid technological and economic development of society but at a large cost to our environment. How energy is generated, produced and harvested has implications for health, climate and economic security. How we transition our energy system to carbon neutrality requires an understanding of current non-renewable reliance and new renewable energy solutions.
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.
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.
Our schools and administrative divisions
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.
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 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.