Prof Simon Haberle

  • Fellows Rd, Coombs Bld (no. 9)

    2601 Canberra



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Personal profile




Simon is currently Professor (E2) of Palaeoeoclogy and Natural History in the School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific. He was Director of the CHL from 2016-2023 and is currently leading the Canberra Pollen Monitoring Program at ANU.

He completed his PhD at ANU on the Late Quaternary Environmental History of the Tari Basin, Papua New Guinea, in 1994. While holding postdoctoral positions at the Smithsonian (STRI, Panama) and at the University of Cambridge he continued to pursue his interest in the role of past climate change and human activity on tropical and temperate ecosystems through work in the Amazon Basin and southern South America. His research is currently focussed on the application of high-resolution palaeoecological analysis to our understanding of the impact of climate variability and human activity on terrestrial ecosystems of the Pacific and Indian Oceans during the Holocene. He is also developing e-Research tools in palaeoecology such as the Australasian Pollen and Spore Atlas. He is using his knowledge of Australian pollen to explore the impact of atmospheric pollen and spores on respiratory health.

Career highlights

He was Director of the School of Culture, History and Language from 2016-2023. He served 5 years on the International Advisory Board for the Graduate School of Human Development in Landscapes, University of Kiel (Germany, 2015-2019). I am Chair of the College of Asia and the Pacific Repatriation Committee (2010-) and elected Chair of the College Forum (CAP 2007-2008) and a member of the ANU Academic Board (2020-2022). He has also served as Director of the Centre for Archaeological Research (2006-2009); President of the Australasian Quaternary Association (2000-2004). He has been awarded an QEII (ARC) Research Fellowship and a Logan Fellowship (Monash University) to investigate the impact of El Niño-related climate variability on tropical rain forest ecosystems of the Western Pacific (1998-2004); Leverhulme Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dept. of Plant Sciences, Cambridge University (1995-1997); Smithsonian Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama (1994-1995).

Research interests

Palaeoecology, Palynology; Palaeoclimatology; Fire History, Indian Ocean, Melanesia, Australia and Pacific Islands; See interview in Quarterly Bulletin, Dec 2003 (Download PDF); see Google Scholar website for full details on research and publication downloads.


  • ARCH2022/6022 - Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Change (supported by New Colombo Plan funding (2016-2018)
  • ENVS3029 and ENVS6529 - Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction
  • ARCH8030/8031 - Archaeological Science Research Project
  • EMSC3020Geobiology and Evolution of Life on Earth


  • GB Physical geography
  • Palaeoecology
  • GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
  • Cultural Landscapes
  • QH301 Biology
  • Vegetation History
  • Fire History

Expertise Areas

  • Palaeoecology
  • Palynology
  • Quaternary Environments
  • Aerobiology
  • Archaeological Science


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