Study with us
The Department of Environmental Sciences strives to provide a learning experience that produces graduates who are creative, innovative and adaptable, who are willing to take on challenges and learn from those experiences.
We deliver a distinctive learning experience with active learning, field based programs and authentic assessment.
Students who study environmental sciences at Macquarie use Earth science, climate science, ecology, biology and chemistry to explore key biophysical systems and the impacts of human activity on those systems. Our students learn how to regulate and manage human activities to protect the environment for generations to come.
Our research and teaching is multidisciplinary (including science, sustainability and health) and incorporates a specific focus on environmental contaminants stored and transported in aerosols, dusts, ice, soils, sediments and water.
Bachelor of Environment
The Bachelor of Environment is firmly based in the scientific aspects of the environment, but also focuses on social science and socioeconomic issues related to environmental matters. Students become highly knowledgeable about how individuals, societies and governments can best navigate a path towards a healthy environment, and in turn towards economic and social prosperity.
As students learn to manage the environment and safeguard it for future generations, they contribute to finding the solution to key concerns of our time.
The Bachelor of Environment offers the development of a solid grounding in the fields of biology, climate science, environmental Earth science, environmental management and spatial information science. Students gain valuable skills relating to natural resource management and environmental management. They have opportunities to acquire field skills in a range of natural resource environments, complemented by laboratory training and professional exposure.
Bachelor of Science
The Bachelor of Science aims to inspire scientific innovations beyond imagination. This course offers the opportunity to major in one, or even two, areas that particularly interest the student, aimed at exploring the answer to a broad range of science questions.
The Bachelor of Science has a strong focus on practical work in the field and in our laboratories to enhance student skills and their problem-solving abilities. It allows the combination of the study of science with arts, commerce, education, law and many other disciplines. Our modern laboratories offer exposure to the latest instrumentation and tools. Internationally recognised researchers teach the most up-to-date scientific knowledge.
Our 3-year undergraduate programs are taught predominantly within the Bachelor of Environment and Bachelor of Science. Our units and majors also contribute to a range of other programs both within the Faculty of Science and Engineering and in other Faculties of the University. These include the Bachelor of Archaeology, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Marine Science.
We currently offer four majors:
- Climate Science
- Environmental Earth Science
- Environmental Management
- Spatial Information Science
Our programs contain significant fieldwork where students apply their knowledge in real environments. We are also committed to work-integrated learning, and many of our PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) units work closely with industry partners.
Master of Environment
The Master of Environment is a multidisciplinary program directed towards understanding and responding to the issues emerging around human-environment interactions. Students gain skills and knowledge regarding the social and biophysical drivers of environmental change and will be trained to seek solutions. Access to government and industry linkages is promoted to students via guest lectures, case studies and research projects.
Master of Sustainable Development
This course helps students to develop practical skills so that they are equipped to effect changes towards sustainable development. Development that meets the needs of the present while safeguarding Earth’s life support system on which the welfare of current and future generations depend. Students have the option to develop capabilities in a diverse range of areas including the environment, international politics and organisational management.
Key features of the program include:
- a focus on change-oriented processes for sustainable development; including organisational change, education and capacity building, and strategic planning.
- opportunities to undertake a practical component either as work experience, consultancy practice or research.
- the opportunity to study some units from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) if students wish to work in organisational sustainability.
Graduate Diploma of Environment
The Graduate Diploma of Environment introduces students to core skills and knowledge needed to address environmental challenges. The program provides an introduction to environmental studies for students coming from non-cognate backgrounds and provides access to Macquarie's wide range of advanced environmental units. Students with relevant environmental qualifications can apply for a shortened program which allows them to focus in on the subjects of most interest to them. The program is flexible and provides access to subjects in the fields of environmental science, environmental management, sustainable development, geography and climate change. Students with sufficient grades can articulate with full credit from this award to the Master of Environment.
Graduate Diploma of Sustainable Development
The Graduate Diploma Sustainable Development degree aims to develop skills to support working with organisations or communities to innovate, encourage new thinking, new processes, and change management towards more sustainable practice. Sustainability is increasingly being integrated into all sectors and at all levels. The multidisciplinary nature of sustainable development requires skills in synthesis and integration from multiple disciplines. The Graduate Diploma provides an opportunity to broaden the capability to work with different disciplinary perspectives to address practical problems and to engage people in determining the future they want.
The department has a long history of welcoming students seeking a career change or seeking to integrate environmental knowledge into their chosen fields. The Master of Environment and Master of Sustainable Development are two-year programs designed for students who have Bachelor degrees but are being introduced to environmental issues at an academic level for the first time.
Both offer Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma options.
We also convene units for related programs managed by the Department of Biological Sciences under the Master of Marine Science and Management.
Higher Degree Research
Higher Degree Research Students
Thesis: Factors contributing to scientific impact in environmental decision making
Thesis: A cross-cultural investigation of child-centred disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in Indonesia and Australia
Supervisor: Dr Christina Magill
Thesis: Integrating WTP into a spatially explicit policy model and land use change analysis
Thesis: Reducing the Carbon-Footprint of Agricultural Commodities
Supervisor: Professor Vlad Strezov
Thesis: Sequenced permeable reactive barrier "treatment trains" to remediate mine waters contaminated with mixed inorganic and organic components
Thesis: An exploratory study of community-driven 'emergent' sustainability in the Murray Darling Basin
Thesis: Australia- Wide ebb-tidal delta evolution
Ivana Cavlina Tomaševic
Thesis: Weather patterns for wildfires in Croatia and Australia: comparison study and development of short-range forecast model
Supervisor: Dr Kevin Cheung
Thesis: Modelling environment and poverty for sustainable development
Thesis: Energy economics and investment decision-making: An analysis of energy systems transformation
Thesis: Understanding the role of Australia in the global cycling of mercury
Thesis: Socio-cultural investigations of prehistoric Aboriginal dispersal of large-seeded rainforest trees on the Australian east coast
Thesis: Restoration of soil development processes in mangrove forests: a comparison of networks and policies
Thesis: Medium resolution hyperspectral remote sensing & geographic information systems in the management of native vegetation and invasive weed species
Thesis: Air Quality and its Impact on Health: Focus on Particulate Matter
Thesis: A GIS-based Model for Cost-Benefit Analysis of Urban Heat Islands Mitigation and Adaptation: towards Climate Change Resilient Cities
Thesis: Lead (Pb) Contamination in Low and Middle-Income Countries: Exposures, Outcomes and Mitigation
Thesis: Value of Green Infrastructure in Sydney's North: Community and Policy Perspectives
Thesis: Influence of Geological Setting on Embayed Beach Geomorphology, Storm Erosion and Recovery
Supervisor: Dr Paul Hesse
Thesis: The macroecology of reef fish interactions: a global comparison over biogeographic regions
Supervisor: Dr Maina Mbui
Thesis: Identify cost-effective strategies for reducing forest-based carbon emissions in Southeast Asia
Thesis: Assessing environmental conditions in wetlands of arid and semi-arid Australia
Supervisor: Dr Tim Ralph
Thesis: Role of emerging marketing channels on farmer's welfare in Pakistan
Thesis: Leachates from landfills in Accra, Ghana: Characterisation, threat to the environment and management
Thesis: Utilization and recycling of Heavy-metal-contaminated plant biomass
Behnam Hosseini Dastjerdi
Thesis: Environmental and economic lifecycle assessment of different MSW management scenarios in Australia: an ISWM approach
Thesis: Modeling Energy Use and Emissions from Australian Shipping: Application of the Ship Traffic, Energy, and Environment Model
Thesis: Co2 Sequestation by direct mineralisation in aqueus system using fly ash from Chinese and Australian coal
Thesis: An experimental analysis of higher order risk preferences and collective choices of farmers from water-stressed regions of West Bengal and Maharashtra, India
Thesis: Specifying the impacted area near abandoned mines
Thesis: Analysis of river sensitivity for setting expectations of geomorphic adjustment for river management- forecasting future scenarios
Thesis: Development of microporous cobalt oxide nanorods as a cathode catalyst in air-cathode microbial fuel cells
Thesis: Floodplain wetland geomorphology and avulsion in drylands
Thesis: The essentiality of Essential Biodiversity Variables: Implementation in national nature policies
Thesis: Determining the cause of Gigantopithecus blackis demise using dental microwear, micromorphology and luminescence dating
Supervisor: Associate Professor Kira Westaway
Thesis: Event-based Interstitial Release of Mercury from Natural Substrates
Thesis: Remediation of Mercury Polluted Soils
Thesis: Source assessment of fine carbonaceous aerosols in urban Sydney
Thesis: Investigating Approaches to Communicating Geomorphology for Improved Environmental Management and Public Engagement
Thesis: Management of Coastal Erosion for Vietnam Centre Coast
Supervisor: Associate Professor Ian Goodwin
Thesis: "Green remediation"- finding phytoremediation plants in derelict base metal mines
Thesis: Local and global drivers: understanding change in the wetland ecosystems of NSW
Thesis: Design and Development of BCI based Assistant Robot using Deep Belief Networks and Fuzzy Classification Techniques
Thesis: Gender in conservation: strengthening the role of Indigenous women in conservation and community leadership using a case study from Ngukurr, South-east Arnhem Land, Australia
Thesis: Environmental assessment of iron and steel making industries
Thesis: Measuring and evaluating the risk of harm from contaminants of concern in household dust
Thesis: Climate, Land Use, Vegetation Cover and Aeolian Geomorphology in Australia's Drylands
Supervisor: Dr Paul Hesse
Thesis: Modelling the impact of lifeline infrastructure failure during natural hazard events
Supervisor: Dr Christina Magill
Thesis: A Two-Way Investigation of Melaleuca Dieback
Thesis: Are We Hot And Bothered? The Relationship Between Crime And Temperature In A Warming Climate
Thesis: Examination of urbanisation and impervious surfaces and its influence on stream ecology and water chemistry in the Georges River catchment
Thesis: Production of fuels and chemicals from a solar driven pyrolysis of agricultural wastes
Thesis: Nanofiltration for heavy metal removal in wastewater treatment
Thesis: Implementing Sustainability with Off-Grid Solar Power in India: Policies and Governance for Rural Energy Transformation
Thesis: Investigation of Thermal Properties of Blast Furnace Slag to Improve Process Energy Efficiency
Thesis: Assessing and Modeling Impacts of Erosion and Sedimentation in Unstable Alluvial Channels
Supervisor: Dr Tim Ralph
Thesis: Soil-plant transfer characteristics of heavy metals in Traditional Chinese medicine
Higher Degree Research Options
As a higher degree research candidate at Macquarie, you’ll be encouraged to take an interdisciplinary approach to address contemporary environmental questions, many of which intersect with other fields. Using this approach, your research will help find the answers to questions yet to be asked, and solve the big environmental problems that matter to business and society.
The Department of Environmental Sciences at Macquarie University provides two research options, through either the Master of Research, or the PhD program.
The Master of Research is a two-year training program which begins with advanced coursework in year 1, through to intensive research in year 2.
A PhD in Environmental Science at Macquarie University involves extensive research alongside some of the world’s best scholars in state of the art research facilities.
Find out more about the Master of Research and PhD programs at Macquarie University.
Research students in the Department of Environmental Sciences have the opportunity to work with academics at the forefront of their fields. From research into tropical cyclones, toxic dust and natural hazards to Antarctic contamination and invasive species, Macquarie’s environmental sciences researchers operate at the interdisciplinary interface between environmental and Earth sciences, ecology, and social and policy implications. We undertake cross-departmental and cross-institutional collaborative research with colleagues in the fields of biology, climate science, Earth system sciences and geochronology.
There are a variety of projects available through the Department of Environmental Sciences - you can find out what they are, and when the deadlines are by clicking here!
Generous scholarship schemes are available for applicants with proven research experience and excellent potential. The department conducts and promotes interdisciplinary research in a wide variety of environmental sciences covering:
- environmental management,
- physical geography,
- environmental geoscience,
- environmental quality,
- climate science,
- spatial information science, and
- other related natural and physical sciences.
The MRes project booklet is a great way for master’s and PhD students to identify potential supervisors as well as to see some of the exciting scientific research being conducted in our department. The project booklet provides a list of potential research projects for master’s students to undertake during their year two thesis work. Note that students are not limited only to booklet projects and can design their own project with their supervisor.