Prof Geoffrey Hope


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Personal profile


Educated in Canberra and Melbourne, I have been based at ANU since 1978, lecturing in Geography before moving to a research position in RSPAS (now College of Asia Pacific) in 1990. As an environmental historian I work on the interface between human activity and the environment with a mix of archaeologists, biogeographers and geoscientists.

Career highlights

Board Member, BIOME6000 Climate model intercomparison project 1996-2008; Head, Department of Geography ANU (1987-89), Department of Archaeology and Natural History 1998-2003; President, Australian Quaternary Association; Invited lecturer in 2006 to an International Institute of Asian Studies Masterclass 'Paleo-environments and environmental change in Asia'. May 2003-present Member, peatland advisory committee, NSW National Parks and Wildlife (DCC) and Carruthers group (Alpine Land Management). Partner for compilation of peatland data in Papua New Guinea to support the prediction of carbon storage and GHG emission of tropical peatlands in 'Vulnerabilities of the Carbon Climate System'. Editor for the Journal of Peatlands Research. Member, Independant Technical Reference Group-Wild Horses in Kosciuszko National Park.

Research interests

My research assesses the past impact of people on landscapes by measuring vegetation change (using pollen, charcoal and phytoliths) and geomorphic consequences—erosion, silting and shifts in production. I am also interested in the roles of climate change and fire on human responses and adaptability. I am currently assessing the long term fire regimes in east Kalimantan, Myanmar, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji in relation to their very different human settlement histories. I am also involved in measuring climate change in high altitude sites across New Guinea using glacial histories. I am also contributing to pollen and other microfossil databases for the south west Pacific region and a cooperative pollen description for the Indo-Pacific. A further interest is the peatlands of SE Asia and Australia in terms of wetland process, extent, carbon sequestration values and rehabilitation after burning or clearing. This work aims to contribute practical help for control of greenhouse emissions and solutions to problems of land management and biodiversity conservation.


BSc (Hons), MSc (Melb), PhD (ANU), DSc (Melb)

Available student projects

PhD and Honours projects - funding available

Developing biological indicators of past wetness in swamps using proxies such as testate amoabae

Long term carbon sequestration in Australian peatlands

Researcher's projects


Hope, G.S., Crooks, J., Theden-Ringl, F., Keaney, B., Macphail, M., and Rogers, J. Peat deposits and vegetation histories in montane New South Wales. (ACT and NSW National Parks & Wildlife Grants, ACTEW Corp).

Hope, G.S. The palaeoecology of the Owen Stanley Range, Central and Oro Provinces, Papua New Guinea. (ARGC E7815482, RIHN ).

Hope, G.S, Keble-Williams, J. and Whinam, J. History of Skullbone Plain, a deep Sphagnum bog. Tasmanian Land Conservancy Grant.

Hope, G.S., Whinam, J., Good, R., and Wright, G. Post-fire recovery of burnt bogs in ACT and NSW. Grants from ACT Environment, ACT Parks, NSW Parks.

Hope, G.S., Nanson, R. Whinam, J., Good, R., and Wright, G. Peatland mapping in the upper montane-subalpine of ACT and NSW. Grants from ACT Environment, ACT Parks, NSW Parks (OEH).

Hope, G.S. and Mooney, S. The status and history of peaty swamps in the Sydney Basin.

Hope, G.S., Prebble, M.  and Matthews, P. Landscape change and human settlement in Kokoda, PNG.

Hope, G.S., Beer, F. Perembo, R. and Prentice, M.L. Lowland peat in new Guinea- new assessment of carbon stores and age structures.

Hope, G. S. The Australasian Pollen and Spore Atlas (APSA) and the Indo-Pacific Quaternary database (INDOPAC).

Hope, G.S, Coddington, J. and Alexander, M. Coastal occupation and environments in the Bassian region.

Hope, G.S. & Shepherd, M. Glacial geomorphology and postglacial changes in the eastern Star Mountains, Papua New Guinea.

Hope, G.S. Vegetation change in eastern Indonesia (Sulawesi, Maluku and Irian Jaya). (ARGS E82-15880 E85-16143 A3 86-15857). LIPI 10339/SK/DIA/B.5/1985

Prebble, M., Hope, G.S., Pillans, B.  and Spriggs, M. Palaeoenvironments of Aneityum Island, Vanuatu.

Hope, G.S., Crooks, J., Theden-Ringl, F., Keaney, B., Macphail, M., and Rogers, J. Peat deposits and vegetation histories in montane New South Wales. (ACT and NSW National Parks & Wildlife Grants, ACTEW Corp).

Hope G.S and Moe, K. Environmental history of Lake Inle basin, Myanmar.

Macphail, M., Pillans, B. and Hope, G.S. Lake George and the history of the Monaro region. (ARC Linkage).

Prentice, M., Hope, G.S., and Barrows, T. Last glacial maximum in New Guinea - timing and palaeoclimates. NSF pilot grant and ARC A39801047.

Summerhayes, G., Field, J., Fairbairn, A., Leavesley, M. Hope, G. and Prebble M. Archaeological environments at Ivane Valley, Kosipe, PNG (Marsden)

Prebble, M. and Hope, G.S. Corner Gorge bog- a peat deposit on the Arnhem Land Escarpment. Aust Nat Parks and Wildlife.

Expertise Areas

  • Palaeontology (incl. Palynology)
  • Surface Processes
  • Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Palaeoecology
  • Biogeography and Phylogeography
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology
  • Archaeological Science
  • Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas
  • Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand)


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