Menu Close
Professor of Geography, School of Law and Society, University of the Sunshine Coast

After 30 years of research, mostly focused in the Asia-Pacific region, Professor Nunn has accumulated a degree of expertise in a number of different fields. His primary field is geography, once largely physical in focus, but now straddling various aspects of sustainability. Professor Nunn has worked for a number of years in climate change, mostly on sea level and on the challenges of effective adaptation in poorer countries. He has also worked on archaeological topics, usually through the lens of palaeoenvironment reconstruction, but also applying his geological training to ceramic mineralogy and radiocarbon chronology. Since 2000, when a coup in Fiji interrupted a planned research programme, Professor Nunn became interested in myths as potential sources of information about geological hazards, particularly earthquakes and tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and abrupt coastal change. More at


  • 2014–present
    Professor of Geography, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • 2011–present
    Adjunct Professor, University of the South Pacific
  • 2014–present
    Adjunct Professor, University of New England
  • 2019–present
    Adjunct Professor, Solomon Islands National University


  • 1983 
    University of London , PhD
  • 1977 
    University of London, BSc (Honours)


  • 2021
    Worlds in Shadow: Submerged Lands in Science, Memory and Myth, Bloomsbury
  • 2018
    The Edge of Memory: Ancient Stories, Oral Tradition and the Post-Glacial World, Bloomsbury
  • 2009
    Vanished Islands and Hidden Continents of the Pacific, University of Hawaii Press
  • 2007
    Climate, Environment and Society in the Pacific during the Last Millennium, Elsevier
  • 1999
    Environmental Change in the Pacific Basin, Wiley, Chichester
  • 1994
    Oceanic Islands, Blackwell, Oxford

Research Areas

  • Atmospheric Sciences (0401)
  • Geology (0403)
  • Physical Geography And Environmental Geoscience (0406)
  • Environmental Science And Management (0502)
  • Anthropology (1601)
  • Human Geography (1604)
  • Cultural Studies (2002)
  • Archaeology (2101)
  • Historical Studies (2103)
  • Religion And Religious Studies (2204)


Gregory Medal of the Pacific Science Association (2003); shared award of Nobel Peace Prize to IPCC (2007); JP Thomson Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland (2018)