Ms Liz Dovey

B Arts (Hons) (Monash), M Clim Ch (ANU)
Hon Lecturer, Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Science

Research interests

Liz’s current research is building on the decade she spent living and working in the Pacific, based in Samoa. Her main focus is on her PhD studies, reassessing the global change literature with the Pacific ocean and its tropical islands specifically in mind, attempting to pull together a high-level synthesis of processes changing the Pacific environment over time and space. She is particularly interested in the heterogeneous physical context in which change is happening, and, within this diverse context, in the interactions between the many changes being wrought by climate change (and related changes) in every sphere, and the many other vectors of change – both natural and anthropogenic - that were already challenging managers before the issue of climate change became all-consuming. To achieve this, she is attempting to be as inter- and multi-disciplinary as possible in her efforts, and to include fresh tools (such as the Pacific tradition of talanoa, story-telling) and to bring fresh perspectives on challenges faced at the island level, remaining as conscious as possible of postcolonialism sensitivities, hoping that the result may be of value to her island friends and colleagues.


Since graduating from Monash University with an Honours degree in Geography and Zoology (with a strong touch of Prehistory), Liz has worked for state, national and international governments in a variety of nature conservation and environmental assessment roles. These ranged from Ranger Naturalist with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to working for the Australian Government leading Australia’s Threatened Species and Communities team, to working with Pacific Islanders to understand and counter the threats posed by invasive species (working for SPREP, the Pacific Islands’ own environment agency) and climate change (as a manager of Australia’s Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Program). 

When the former Department of Climate Change was abolished in 2013 in the  astonishing view that climate change no longer mattered, Liz decided this was an excellent time to return to academia. Now an Hon Lecturer with ANU’s Fenner School of Environment and Society, she’s completed a Masters in Climate Change, winning the Garnaut Prize, and is now focussed on PhD research - exploring vectors of environmental change in the Pacific; how climate and other anthropological changes are interacting with physical change processes.

Liz is currently also a member of three of ANU's Institutes - the Pacific Institute, the Institute of Climate, Energy, and Disaster Solutions, and the Gender Institute. She is also a member of the International Small Islands Studies Association, the Institute of Australian Geographers and the Oceania Chapter of the Society of Conservation Biology.

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Updated:  25 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers