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Karen E McNamara

Associate professor, The University of Queensland

Karen is a human geographer that is interested in how people are impacted by environmental stressors and how they can respond in ways that are effective, equitable and sustainable. Karen is an ARC Future Fellow (2020-2024) and Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The University of Queensland (UQ). Karen has been undertaking policy-relevant and applied research in climate change adaptation, social vulnerability, gender, local knowledge and environmental mobility for over fifteen years, partnering with governments, and inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations throughout the Asia-Pacific region. She has published more than 75 academic papers and book chapters.


  • 2020–present
    Associate professor, University of Queensland
  • 2013–2019
    Senior lecturer, University of Queensland
  • 2011–2013
    Consultant, University of the South Pacific
  • 2007–2011
    Research Fellow, James Cook University
  • 2007–2007
    M&E Officer, NSW Government
  • 2006–2006
    Associate Lecturer, University of New South Wales


  • 2006 
    University of New South Wales, PhD (Geography)
  • 2001 
    University of New South Wales, Bachelor of Environmental Science (Hons I)