Environment

3 minute read

A woman stands among reeds on a riverbank. She is holding fishing nets.

Whether you’re a scientist, policy specialist or urban planner – the environment needs your help. Explore PhD and other graduate research opportunities at the University of Melbourne.

The environment is facing some pressing challenges – from climate change to species extinction. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, as a researcher, you can help turn things around.

Wherever your talents lie, there are exciting opportunities to apply your smarts in a graduate research degree.

Learn how we're making a difference

Pioneering environmental research covers both the theoretical and the practical. Across the board, it’s benefiting communities in Australia and internationally.

Through environmental research, we are:

  • learning how to make houses more resistant to bushfires – we’re finding out which urban planning and building design decisions will give buildings the best chance of survival.
  • studying the relationship between climate change and drought – why has it been so long since Australia has had drought-breaking rains? And what can we expect in future?
  • improving the quality of urban landscapes – using Australian shrublands as inspiration, we’re coming up with low-cost green infrastructure for cities.
  • investigating whether collective self-restraint can save the world – with a view to guiding sustainability policy, we’re working to understand people’s willingness to regulate their own actions for the greater good.
  • providing insights into farming in an era of climate extremes – using global data and machine learning, we’re showing where agriculture will be affected most by extreme climate events.

This is just a snapshot. We’re continuing to push the boundaries of environmental inquiry, on a global scale.

Read about the latest environmental research and commentary.

Watch: Growing greener cities

Choose your angle

As a graduate researcher, you can make your mark on the environment in a number of academic fields.

We conduct environment-related research in these faculties:

  • Architecture, Building and Planning – sustainable housing and planning; urban greening; climate adaptation
  • Arts – environmental social science
  • Business and Economics – environmental economics; sustainable business
  • Engineering – environmental engineering; sustainable technologies; sustainable energy systems; waste management
  • Law – resource, energy and environmental law
  • Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences – environmental psychology
  • Science – soil, water and atmospheric sciences; climate modelling; conservation; ecology; sustainable energy systems; environmental policy and management; environmental social science and psychology; natural resource management; urban greening; climate change adaptation
  • Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences – sustainable food systems; climate change adaptation; soil science.

Use this list to find projects and supervisors for a PhD or research masters.

Join a collaborative research community

As a graduate researcher, you will work in a vibrant, collaborative research community. We offer seminars, workshops and exhibitions that will inspire you. And you’ll work with talented peers and supervisors who will challenge you and extend your ideas.

You could join one of our collaborative research initiatives or centres.

Interdisciplinary initiatives and institutes

Research centres

Next steps

Meet some PhD researchers

  • Environment Prue Addison

    Dr Prue Addison

    Dr Prue Addison talks about her PhD research in conservation management.

  • Environment Kylie Soanes

    Dr Kylie Soanes

    Dr Kylie Soanes talks about her science journey and reflects on her PhD studies in the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences.

  • Environment Mathieu Pichault

    Mathieu Pichault

    PhD candidate Mathieu Pichault shares his passion for sustainability and climate change. His research into wind power ramps is jointly supervised by academic staff in Earth Sciences and Mechanical Engineering.

  • Environment Ceren Ayas

    Ceren Ayas

    Ceren Ayas is undertaking a PhD with the Faculty of Arts (School of Social and Political Sciences). Her research focuses on justice in energy transmissions.