Peter Curson

Peter Curson

Peter Curson

Emeritus Professor in Population and Health

Health Systems and Populations, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Contact Details

Tel: (02) 9850 2356


Level 3 75T Building 75 Talavera Road, Macquarie University

Long University career in Population and Medical Geography at Universities of Auckland, Tasmania and Macquarie. Former Head of the School of Earth Sciences and Dean of Environmental Sciences at Macquarie University 1989- 2000. Co-Director of Commonwealth-Funded Climatic Impacts Centre at Macquarie 1989-99. Professor of Population and Security University of Sydney 2007-15. Currently Honorary Professor of Population and Security at Sydney University. Regular contributor to the Australian and NZ media on wide range of population and health topics. Made more than 120 radio programs and appeared on TV on numerous occasions. Helped write scripts for 7 major TV programs and appeared in recent film/documentary on Epidemics.


BA(Auck) MA Hons (Auck) PhD (Tas)

Research Interest 

  • Historical and Medical Demography/Medical Geography with particular reference to epidemics and pandemics of infectious disease and human behaviour
  • Climate change and human health
  • Security demographics, population and disasters
  • Population-health-environment interactions.

Select Publications

  1. Deadly Encounters: How Infectious Disease Helped Shape Australia, Arena Books, Bury St Edmonds, 2015.
  2. Food Security in Asia: A Report for Policymakers, MacArthur Foundation, Collaborative report CISS, University of Sydney, 2013. Border Conflicts in a German African Colony… Arena Books, Bury St Edmonds, 2012.
  3. ‘A world at 7 billion’, Geodate,25(1) 2012: 2-4.
  4. ‘The geography of pandemics’, Geodate, 19(2) 2006: 1-5.
  5. Plague Anatomy: Health Security from Pandemics to Bioterrorism, Monograph Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Canberra, 2005.
  6. ‘Smallpox redux” An Australian Perspective’, Security Challenges, 4(3), 2008:99-114.
  7. Plague in Sydney: The Anatomy of an Epidemic, University of NSW Press, 1989 (with K.McCracken).
  8. Population and Disasters (Joint Editor), Blackwell, Oxford, 1989.
  9. Times of Crisis: Epidemics in Sydney 1788-1900, Sydney University Press, 1985.
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