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Associate Professor, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland

Karen is a development geographer that is ultimately interested in how livelihoods (in the broadest sense) can be enhanced to respond to the triple crises of poverty, disaster risk and climate change. 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 applied and policy-relevant research in resilient livelihoods, climate change adaptation, non-economic loss and recovery, human mobility, and gender for over fifteen years, partnering with governments, and inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations throughout the Asia-Pacific region. She has published over 100 journal papers and book chapters, and over 70 reports, online commentaries, and policy briefs.


  • 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)