Griffith has a long tradition in research and teaching in environmental sciences. Our overarching goal is to contribute to the sustainable futures of the planet by identifying, measuring environmental problems and providing solutions to these problems. Our research encompasses a wide range of topics, from urban and environmental planning, terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecology to understanding a changing society and the economy, as major sources of, and solutions to environmental problems. This diversity of topics reflects the trans-disciplinary nature of our school.
Resource Management and a Sustainable Future
Our interdisciplinary research on the management of natural resources such as land, water (marine and freshwater), soil, air, animals and plants focusses on understanding how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations. It aims to make natural ecosystems and cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, as identify in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2016).
Biodiversity Loss: Resilience & Restoration
Biodiversity is under constant treat. Climate change, habitat loss and degradation from agriculture and infrastructure development, overexploitation and pollution are the leading drivers of biodiversity and conservation decline worldwide. Our research aim to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, rivers and coasts, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. These goals are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2016).
Adapting to Climate Change and Building Resilience
Carbon dioxide emissions have increased since the industrial revolution due to intensification of human activities. As a consequence, air and ocean temperatures have increased, oceanic pH has decreased, storms and bushfires have intensified, and sea-revel is rising rapidly. These changes in the climate are profoundly affecting human societies and the natural environment. With climate change science underpinning societal responses to these changing environments is it essential that we also understand how ecosystem level responses will affect the ability of human populations to adapt to and mitigate against such change. Understanding of the processes that strengthen ecosystem and human resilience is a fundamental goal of this area of research.
Clean Energy – Clean Environment
Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation, and access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all now and in the future are fundamental Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2016).
Our research addresses these issues from a multidisciplinary perspective using state-of-the-art technologies.
Environment and Human Well Being
A rapidly expanding global population and changes in consumption and technologies will play a central role in shaping our environmental future. Understanding the human element is therefore critical to develop practical, sustainable solutions to environmental problems. Our research in this area focuses on sustainability, food security, conservation, political activity and political behaviour and the economics of natural resources and the science of public health.
Further, our interdisciplinary research on sustainable cities of the future aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, as identify in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2016).