School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment


Geography, Earth Science and Environment News

Poonam Devi, a PhD student, attended the Pacific Research Colloquium (PRC) organized by the Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) at the Australian National University, from November 26th to December 7th, 2018. The PRC was fully funded by the Australian National University and it was attended by 20 participants, from: Samoa, PNG, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Fiji. The PRC is designed for social science early researchers. During the two weeks program, Poonam participated in a week long workshop on research design, methodology and writing skills; received mentorship on her research from a senior staff at DPA; and did a PowerPoint presentation on her PhD research. As part of the PRC, participants were involved in a range of social and networking activities in Canberra, including visit to the Parliament House with a Q&A session with staff from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and meeting with ambassadors and high commissioners from the region.

At the PRC, qualitative research was discussed in detail and it proved extremely beneficial for the participants to learn the various aspects of writing and presenting qualitative data effectively. She realized that at USP there are rarely any workshops on qualitative research methodology conducted by academic staff (except in postgraduate courses), and this is a huge disadvantage to new research students. She urges that USP should advertise and encourage research students to attend such events at overseas universities, in the early stage of their research to boost knowledge and skills which will improve the outcome of their research. The PRC was a great learning experience for Poonam and it has greatly impacted her PhD journey. Poonam has also built network with academic staff and participants in the similar field to her during the PRC.

Poonam (second from left) with participants and conveners at the PRC farewell dinner

PhD student Sherri Lodhar spent a 3-month research stay at two renowned research institutions in the European Union, including ECODIV at the University of Rouen (France), and the University of Goettingen (Germany) where she joined the research training group (RTG) 2300 “Enrichment of European beech forests with conifers: impacts of functional traits on ecosystem functioning”. Funding for this research was provided by USP SRT funding and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Higher Education Partnerships Project “Transnational perspectives in biodiversity education and assessment in the SW Pacific” (coordinated by Professor Juergen Boehmer). First results of her work were presented in a conference talk by Forey, E., Boehmer, H.J., Lodhar, S., Chauvat, M.: An invasive palm tree modifies the functional structure and linkages of above and below ground communities in south pacific Fiji Island, at the GDR CNRS 3647 Biological Invasion, Rennes, France, on 23 October, 2018.


 PhD student Sherri Lodhar


Article 1
Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE)

Ms Turang Teuea and Mr. Kim Kessler graduated with a master of arts degree on 20th September 2018, and Ms Teuea made a graduate speech in the ceremony. Click here to find more information.

School’s new staff members in Semester II 2018

The School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment welcomes Dr. Patrina Dumaru, Dr. ‘Elina Bloomfield Kaufusi, Dr. Engielle Mae Paguican, Mr. Kunal Singh, Mr. Maluseu Tapaeko, and Ms Renata Varea, appointed as Lecturer in Geography, Assistant Lecturer in Geography, Lecturer in Earth Science, Teaching Assistant in Earth Science, Teaching Assistant in Geography, and Research Associate, respectively. 

Recent publications by school staff

A. Delcam, S. Poppe, M. Detienne, and E. M. R. Paguican, 2018. Destroying a Volcanic Edifice—Interactions Between Edifice Instabilities and the Volcanic Plumbing System. In, Volcanic and Igneous Plumbing Systems: Understanding Magma Transport, Storage, and Evolution in the Earth's Crust, S. Burchardt (Ed.), pp. 231-257, Springer. 

Lau, A.Y.A. and Terry, James P. and Ziegler, Alan and Pratap, Arti and Harris, Daniel (2018) Boulder emplacement and remobilisation by cyclone and submarine landslide tsunami waves near Suva City, Fiji. Sedimentary Geology, 364 pp. 242-257.

HARTMANN, H., SCHULDT, B., SANDERS, T., MCINNIS-NG, C., BOEHMER, H.J., ALLEN, C.D., BOLTE, A., CROWTHER, T.W., HANSEN, M.C., MEDLYN, B.E., RUEHR, N.K. & W.R.L. ANDEREGG (2018) Monitoring global tree mortality patterns and trends. New Phytologist 217: 984-987.

MERTELMEYER, L., JACOBI, J.D., BOEHMER, H.J. & MUELLER-DOMBOIS, D. (2018) High-resolution Aerial Imagery to Assess Changes in Canopy Status of ‘Ohi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha) Forests on the Island of Hawai‘i. In: Fujiwara, K., Greller, A., Pedrotti, F. (eds.) Geographical Changes in Vegetation and Plant Functional Types, Chapter 13, 291-301. Berlin – Heidelberg – New York: Springer.

ANDERSON, J., KEPPEL, G., THOMSON, S.-M., RANDELL, A., RAITUVA, J., KOROI, I., CHARLSON, T., BOEHMER, H.J., KLEINDORFER, S. & M. TUIWAWA (2018) Changes in climate and vegetation with altitude on Mount Batilamu, Viti Levu, Fiji. Journal of Tropical Ecology 34: 316-325.

Weber, Eberhard and Kopf, Andreas (2018) South–South approaches to international environmental negotiations: the case of climate change. In: Routledge Handbook of South–South Relations. Routledge International Handbooks. Routledge, London and New York, pp. 205-214. 

Fepuleai, Aleni, Gale, Stephen, Wales, Nathan, McInerney, S., Lal, Kirti and Alloway, B. (2018) Post - eruptive sedimentary processes in volcanic crater lakes: implications for deciphering the Samoan sedimentary record. Journal of Paleolimnology, 60. pp. 1-21. ISSN 0921-2728:

Beyerl, Katharina, Mieg, Harald A. and Weber, Eberhard (2018) Comparing perceived effects of climate-related environmental change and adaptation strategies for the Pacific small island states of Tuvalu, Samoa, and Tonga. Island Studies Journal, 13 (1). pp. 25-44. ISSN 1715-2593:

Neef, Andreas, Benge, Lucy, Boruff, Bryan, Pauli, Natasha, Weber, Eberhard and Varea, Renata (2018) Climate adaptation strategies in Fiji: The role of social norms and cultural values. World Development, 107. pp. 125-137. ISSN 0305-750X:

‘Elina Bloomfield graduated with a doctor of philosophy degree 
on 23rd March 2018, and she made a graduate speech in the ceremony.- Click here to find more information.


Article 2
Hannover SIDS symposium

Article 3
Conference held at USP Marine Campus

Publications by school staff

Dr. Tolu Muliaina: "In search of meaningful assessment in the university curriculum: the case for culturally relevant pedagogy” in Australian Geographer (March 2018) 

Dr. Naohiro Nakamura: “Redressing injustice of the past: the repatriation of Ainu human remains” in Japan Forum (March 2018) 

Double Gold Medal winner Kunal Singh makes national news!

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School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
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The University of the South Pacific
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