Learn in a vibrant research environment

Our inspiring cohort of HDR students are at the heart of the Department’s research culture.

The Department of Geography and Planning offers a dynamic research environment for higher degree research (HDR) students within our Doctorate (PhD), Master of Research (MRes) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degrees.

Students are attracted to the Department from within our undergraduate programs, and from other institutions around Australia and the world. Students participate in the activities of at least one of our research clusters, and also regularly participate and present in the Department’s seminar program. We host regular HDR training away days and mini-conferences, and have excellent support systems in place to enhance research, learning and supervision.

Our two-year MRes program offers a unique and exciting research training pathway, preparing students for diverse careers as well as further study in a PhD program. In Year 1 (BPhil), students complete advanced course work subjects that prepare them to undertake research projects in human geography and planning. In Year 2, students work closely with a supervisor from our experienced academic staff to develop and complete an original research project, culminating in a research thesis of 20,000 words.

Our three-year PhD program offers students the opportunity to pursue in-depth and original research projects under the supervision of our experienced and dedicated staff. Areas of potential supervision include:

  • animals and society
  • anthropocene futures
  • care and the urban commons
  • climate justice, mitigation and adaptation
  • community participation and resistance
  • digital geographies
  • energy politics and security
  • environmental and social justice
  • environmental histories
  • environmental ethics and justice
  • geographies of aid
  • housing studies
  • Indigenous environmental knowledges and management
  • Indigenous research methodologies and ethics
  • migration and global mobilities, refugees and resettlement
  • more-than-human city, multispecies city
  • more-than-human development
  • natural hazards risk assessment
  • planning theory
  • political ecologies of food, waste, water and climate change
  • resource and environmental management
  • social impact assessment
  • social vulnerability, adaptation and community participation
  • sustainable urbanism
  • tourism studies
  • urban governance
  • urban regeneration and renewal
  • urban, social and community planning.

We warmly welcome new students who have a strong or emerging academic track record, a passion for research and whose research interests align with the research strengths of the Department.

Student Name

Title, topic


Ena Ying-tzu Chang

Chang’s project ethnographically investigates Indigenous health initiatives to illuminate the complex relationships between well-being, identity and culture. The findings of this project will reveal how practices upholding cultural sovereignty and local knowledges can effectively counter the hegemonic biomedical approaches.


Mahdiyeh Bagherzadehkhosroushahi

Regenerating Macquarie Park from business precinct to mixed-use strategic centre


Ting Ting Tracy Cheung

Cheung’s research interest includes low-carbon energy transition in cities and urban planning and governance. The main objective of Cheung’s project is to identify the roles of cities in enabling the transformation of energy systems to low-carbon development.


Jessica Collins

Geographies of refugee camps in the Balkan region


David Crew

Changing social and economic conditions of Aboriginal families in the NSW rural town of Deniliquin – 1965-2015. Crew’s research links to his work with Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre Aboriginal Corporation in Deniliquin and revisits work undertaken by Professor Janice Monk in 1965.


Tasmin-Lara Dilworth

Dilworth is interested in understanding how we might develop more equitable, sustainable and playful ways of engaging with those non-humans with whom we share our cities and our lives. Her research examines how constructions of ‘risk’ are shaping children’s play experiences in bush and beach spaces during middle childhood in Sydney.


Corrinne Franklin

Franklin’s primary research focus will be on the everyday lives of Indigenous Australian sex workers, their identity, and reasons they have entered the sex industry. She anticipates this research will highlight issues relating to health and well-being, as well as concepts of identity, power, and shame.


John Heydinger

Conservation in the Kunene: a history of community-based natural resource management


Sara Judge

Being Earth & Spirit: Indigenous and Pagan approaches to more-than-(just)human collaboration


Jeremy Mah

Mah is currently conducting his PhD exploring how we can better support those working to create environmental and social change over the long term. In particular, he is researching how whole-person approaches to learning can support sustainability practitioners/change agents to become more resilient and effective within the organisations and systems they seek to transform.


Elizabeth Morgan

At the start of the 21st century, the world's food systems are in crisis and a business-as-usual approach will continue to fail. Morgan’s overarching research question is: how will big cities like Sydney feed themselves when the 'perfect storm' of climate change, peak oil, environmental stress and rapid urbanisation soon is upon us?


Lara Mottee

Mottee's reaserch is developing a follow-up evaluation framework to evaluate the effectiveness of Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and management practice of urban transport-infrastructure projects.


Harriet Narwal

Fostering multi-scalar conversations between legislated systems of environmental planning/management and Indigenous living cultures


Zahra Nasreen

Nasreen’s research addresses the questions of geography, diversity and characteristics of room sharing via online accommodation listings on ‘gumtree.com.au’.


Sarah Prebble

Digitally-mediated human-nature relationships in sustainable cities: urban forest governance in Australia


Ioannis Rigkos

Rigkos’ project is a transdisciplinary critical research, that deals with the question of how and why civilizations of modernity construct social realities that fundamentally and institutionally are socio-politically unequal, unsustainable and that ecologically reproduce unequal exchange of human, social and environmental resources and information.


Sabiha Rosy

Rosy’s research intends to understand the implications of developing tourism in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) for Indigenous people, their culture and gender relations. On a broader spectrum, tourism as a development process widens the importance of knowing history and culture, at best, to understand the contexts of Indigenous people.


Lois Towart

The supply drivers of Australian seniors’ housing


Navchaa Tugjamba

Applying ecosystem services to support adaptation to climate change: a case study from Eastern Mongolia


Lauren Tynan

Burning for Country: relationships with Country through fire


Wayne Williamson

Williamson’s research seeks to investigate the use of social media by community groups and government agencies during strategic planning processes. He hopes to gain an understanding of whether social media is improving communications between communities and planning authorities, who is involved and what they contribute.


Ashraful Alam

Alam’s research falls under the broad umbrella of political ecology in an urban-built environment. He is interested in the everyday more-than-human entanglements of ordinary citizens.


Sunita Chaudhary

Chaudhary is a forester with interdisciplinary research interests in human-environment relationship. Over the last five years, she has been involved in different projects on people and protected areas, and biodiversity and ecosystems management.


Yi-shiuan (Yayut) Chen

Chen’s project explores contested notions of property in postcolonial Taiwan. As a hybrid colony, the contemporary dynamic of transitional justice and Indigenous rights in Taiwan reflects a complex history of property, sovereignty and governance.


Minna Hsu

Hsu’s focus: Post-disaster relocation and reconstruction of Indigenous communities in Taiwan.


Rabiul Islam

Islam’s research interests include community-based disaster risk reduction, social capital and disaster resilience, and climate change adaptation. His current research project is social capital and cyclones, exploring how households’ social networks contribute to disaster resilience and recovery in Bangladesh.


Dauglas-Wafula Juma

Juma is researching how irrigation systems could approach climate change adaptively, and what lessons could be drawn from for irrigated agriculture generally; salinity management is one focus.


Sufia Khanom

Khanom explored the gendered nature of insecurity amongst migrants in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The aim of identifying the key factors contributing to insecurity and the strategies men and women use to build their own adaptive capacities is critical to this project.


Nicole K McNamara

McNamara’s research project considers the multiplicities of cycling. It uses ideas from social practice theory to map the elements of cycling for different practitioners and, by talking to practitioners about cycling practice, aims to gain a more careful understanding of cycling in Sydney.


Ropafadzo Kelebuhile Moyo

Moyo is working on connecting nature and people in transboundary conservation areas through conservation and social development. Using the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Park in Southern Africa, she is researching on how more holistic approaches to conservation and development can contribute to win-win processes and outcomes and the rethinking of trade-offs in human-nature relationships.


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Last updated: 17 Dec 2019