Listed below are our Discipline members' recent publications and achievements.


Staff Publications

da Silva, C.,  Beaman, J., Dorey, J., Barker, S., Congedi, N., Elmer, M., Galvin, S., Tuiwawa, M., Stevens, M., Alton, L., Schwarz, M., and Kellermann, V. 2021. Climate change and invasive species: a physiological performance comparison of invasive and endemic bees in Fiji. Journal of Experimental Biology 224: jeb230326 doi: 10.1242/jeb.230326.

Duncan, J., Boruff, B., Biggs, E.M., Haworth, B.T., Wales, N.A, and Bruce, E. 2021. Do integrated landscape approaches moderate climate impacts? Regional Environmental Change. 21(1)

Lenz, M.-I., Galvin, S., Keppel, G., Gopaul, S., Kowasch, M., Watling, D., Dyer, M.J., Lodhar, S, Hanson, G.C., Erasmi, S, and Boehmer, H.J. 2021. Where to Invade Next: Inaction on Biological Invasions Threatens Sustainability in a Small Island Developing State of the Tropical South Pacific. In: Low, PS (ed.) Sustainable Development – Asia-Pacific Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.

Sudmeier-Rieux, K., Arce-Mojica, T., Boehmer, H.J., Doswald, N., Emerton, L., Freiss, D. A., Galvin, S. et al. 2021. Scientific evidence for ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction. Nature Sustainability. DOI: 10.1038/s41893-021-00732-4


Staff Publications

Ayugi, B.,  Tan, G., Gnitou, G.T., Ojara, M. and Ongoma, V. 2020. Historical evaluations and simulations of precipitation over East Africa from Rossby centre regional climate model. Atmospheric Research, 232 (104705). pp. 1-17.

Ayugi, B., Tan, G., Ruoyun, N., Babaousmail, H., Ojara, M., Wido, H., Mumo, L., Ngoma, N., Nooni, I. and Ongoma, V. 2020. Quantile mapping bias correction on Rossby Centre Regional Climate Models for precipitation analysis over Kenya, East Africa. Water, 12 (3). pp. 1-16.

Duncan, J., Haworth, B., Boruff, B., Wales, N., Biggs, E. and Bruce, E. 2020. Managing multifunctional landscapes: Local insights from a Pacific Island Country context. Journal of Environmental Management, 260. pp. 109692-109702.

Kopf, A., Fink, M. and Weber, E. 2020. Gender vulnerability to climate change and natural hazards: the case of Tropical Cyclone Winston, Fiji. In: Mapping Security in the Pacific: A Focus on Context, Gender and Organisational Culture. Routledge Studies in Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South. Amin, Watson, and Girard (eds.). Routledge, London.

Nakamura, N. and Kanemasu, Y. 2020. Traditional knowledge, social capital, and community response to a disaster: resilience of remote communities in Fiji after a severe climatic event. Regional Environmental Change, URL:

Nyongesa, A., Zeng, G. and Ongoma, V. 2020. Non-homogeneous hidden Markov model for downscaling of short rains occurrence in Kenya. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 139 . pp. 1333-1347.

Ongoma, V., Rahman, M.A., Ayugi, B. Nisha, F. Galvin, S., Shilenje, Z.W. and Ogwang, B.A. 2020. Variability of diurnal temperature range over Pacific Island countries, a case study of Fiji. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, doi:org/10.1007/s00703-020-00743-4

Rigden, A., Ongoma, V. and Huybers, P. 2020. Kenyan tea is made with heat and water: how will climate change influence its yield? Environmental Research Letters, 15 (4). pp. 1-8.

Teuea, T. and Nakamura, N. 2020. Motivations to support marine conservation projects in North Tarawa, Kiribati. Conservation and Society, URL:

Wales, N.A., Murphy, R.J. and Bruce, E. 2020. Understanding patterns of vegetation change at the Angkor World Heritage site by combining remote sensing results with local knowledge. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 42(2):445-468

Wales, N.A. 2020. An examination of forest cover change at Angkor, Cambodia, using satellite imagery, interviews and interpretation of historical events. Applied Geography. 122

Weber, E. and Kopf, A. 2020. Structural dimensions of doctoral supervision in regional universities: the case of the University of the South Pacific. In: Graduate Research Supervision in the Developing World: Policies, Pedagogies, and Practices. Routledge Research in Higher Education. Blair, Watson, and Raturi (eds.). Routledge, New York and London, pp. 169-180.

Strengthening Partnerships Through Research

Ongoing research in Samoa by Dr. Tolu Muliaina of SAGEONS, Auckland University of Technology (AUT), and the Samoa Culture Centre (SCC) is examining indigenous notions and measurements of sustainable development for Samoa.


New Staff Members

The Discipline of Geography, Earth Science and Environment welcomes Dr. Kamal Regmi as a lecturer in Earth Science, Dr. Sarah Pene (Lecturer in Environmental Science), Dr. Eric Katovai (Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science), Dr. Victor Ongoma (Lecturer in Physical Geography), Dr. Tayyab Shah (Research Fellow in Geospatial Science), Ms Arti Reddy (Teaching Assistant in Environmental Science), Mr. Richard Tikoto (Teaching Assistant in Geography), Ms Vandana Devi (Teaching Assistant in Geospatial Science), Ms Komal Devi (Research Associate), Mr. Semisi Ketenilagi (Research Assistant), Ms Rochika Nand (Research Assistant), and Dr. Michael Fink (Adjunct Lecturer).

Dr. Wales attends at the FOSS4G conference in Bucharest, Romania. 

With colleagues from Australia Dr. Wales and his team presented their prototype mobile, open-source geospatial tool being collaboratively developed with the Ministries of Agriculture in Fiji and Tonga and local stakeholders using open-source mobile GIS technologies following a formal ICT for Development (ICT4D) framework. Tool functionality and the results of field-testing was presented. Based on cloud technologies the tool is designed to support landscape management under changing climates, and is a key output from our joint ACIAR funded project: Using geospatial information and technologies for promoting climate-smart landscapes in Fiji and Tonga.

Dr. Wales states that the conference was timely given the increasing role of Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) applications in the geospatial programmes at USP and in the Pacific in general. With workshops, posters and an academic track Dr. Wales were able to network with others involved in similar activities across the globe – in particular from Eastern Europe and less developed countries which are more reliant on freely available software. His team also had the opportunity to meet directly with the QField developers (the technology upon which the mobile field data collection part of our tool is based). This gave them the opportunity to discuss options for customization and working in the cloud as part of the project tool development.

The conference presentation was written up as a paper and is published in the peer-reviewed International Archives of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Science

South Pacific Flying Labs’ Amrita Lal named as ‘Woman to Watch‘ in UAS. 

IGU 2019 – International Geographic Union Commission on Local and Regional Development conference was held at USP.  

The International Geographical Union’s Commission on Local and Regional Development provides an international forum for the study of issues related to diverse matters such as local and regional development, reorganization of space, local development in urban and rural spaces, and the role of institutions and agencies in developing and reshaping inhabited spaces. The interests of the Commission are exhibited in developing and developed regions and nations.

The perception and attitudes towards local development may be different in different countries. In some places the local development theme is closely related to rural and non-metropolitan development, in other parts of the world it is related to the establishment and development of new towns, to spatial form of entrepreneurship, or to the evolution of new cores of sophisticated high-tech activities. The Commission’s aim is to amalgamate such debates under one umbrella.

The Commission on Local and Regional Development of the International Geographical Union is a dedicated group of scholars aiming to advance international knowledge of a variety of issues concerning local and regional development. The Commission’s program involves organising meetings each year and expanding its intellectual network through academic conferences, publications, newsletters and its website. The Commission proposes to continue to be active through both its established international steering committee and by expanding its list of corresponding members.


Staff Publications

Bell, S., Sidloski, M. and Shah, T.I. 2019. Mapping the spatial pattern of the uncertain data in urban areas: The disadvantaged predict global nonresponse rate in the National Household Survey. The Canadian Geographer, online first


Davies, K. P., Duncan, J., Wales, N.A, Varea, R., Shojaei, H., Bruce, E., Boruff, B., and Biggs, E., 2019. An open-source mobile geospatial platform for promoting climate-smart livelihood-landscape systems in Fiji and Tonga, The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Vol XLII-4/W14: 31–36.


Dyer, M.J., Keppel, G., Tuivava, M., Vindo, S. and Boehmer, H.J. 2019. Using expert knowledge and field surveys to guide management of an invasive alien palm in a Pacific Island lowland rainforest. In: C.R. Veitch, (ed.), Island Invasives: Stepping Up To The Challenge, pp 417-423. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN & Dundee, Scotland.


Mertelmeyer, L., Jacobi, J.D., Brink, K., Mueller-Dombois, D. and Boehmer, H.J. 2019. Regeneration of Metrosideros polymorpha forests in Hawaii after landscape-level canopy dieback. – Journal of Vegetation Science 30: 146-155.


Shah, T.I., Clark A.F., Seabrook J.A., Sibbald S. and Gilliland J.A. 2019. Geographic accessibility to primary care providers: Comparing rural and urban areas in Southwestern Ontario. The Canadian Geographer, online first


Titoko, R., Lowry, J.H., Osborne, T., Naikatini, A., Comely, J. and Riley, R. 2019. Relationship of bird richness, abundance and assemblage to the built environment in a small island tropical urban setting: a Suva, Fiji case study. Urban Ecosystems, 22: 709.


Zimudzi E., Sanders I., Rollings N. and Omlin C. 2019. Remote sensing of mangroves using unmanned aerial vehicles: current state and future directions. Journal of Spatial Science, 64:1-17.

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