Environment & sustainability

The ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society is one of the few places where economists and hydrologists, historians and ecologists, foresters, geographers, political scientists and climatologists work together on the environmental challenges and opportunities facing us.

Ranked 24th in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016), we are a major focus for integrated environmental research and training. Through links to other ANU schools, external research organisations and the policy community, we bring our skills and perspectives to bear on issues such as biodiversity loss, water, energy, drought and climate change.

We offer perspectives on complex environmental and sustainable development challenges, drawing on decades of quality empirical and applied research. Research focuses on understanding environmental changes across a range of scales in time and place, enabling the school to provide past, present and future narratives to guide science, policy and management.

The School has a particularly strong track record researching long-term environment and sustainability issues and challenges, and has extensive national and international networks with governments, NGOs, research organisations and the private sector, offering significant longitudinal expertise, knowledge and influence.

Of particular importance to us is our capacity to encourage sound policy and governance outcomes that support sustainability. We offer this guidance through a number of avenues: by providing professional development for policy leaders; training for environmental leadership; partnerships with practitioners; and offering support for those holding governance roles at local, state, territory, federal or global levels.


Fenner School of Environment & Society

Field sites & facilities

Explore some of the numerous of research sites and facilities established by our research schools in Australia and across the world. Researchers and students at ANU enjoy access to state-of-the-art equipment to help facilitate ground-breaking research.

Research projects

Browse research topics of the College of Science and the College of Health & Medicine with links to relevant researchers.

See our list of potential student projects to apply for PhB, Honours, PhD and other graduate degrees.


Satellite photograph of eastern Australia with plumes of smoke visible. Image: NASA

Analysis and opinion

Scientists hate to say 'I told you so'. But Australia, you were warned

Australian scientists warned the country could face a climate change-driven bushfire crisis by 2020. It arrived on schedule.

Analysis and opinion

Conservation scientists are grieving after the bushfires - but we must not give up

"So many of us are wondering: have lives spent furthering conservation been wasted?"

Analysis and opinion

Bushfires left millions of animals dead. We should use them, not just bury them

Carcasses can play a positive role as landscapes recover from fire, providing rich nutrients for other native animal, microbial and plant species.

Analysis and opinion

Some say we've seen bushfires worse than this before. But they're ignoring a few key facts

Australia has a long history of bushfires. But several factors make eastern Australia’s recent crisis different to infamous bushfires in the past.


Wildlife needs fire-damaged and dead trees after fires

Rather than an untidy mess, fire-damaged trees and half burnt logs left behind by a fire are valuable habitat for recovering wildlife.

Analysis and opinion

A season in hell: bushfires push at least 20 threatened species closer to extinction

We estimate most of the range and population of between 20 and 100 threatened species will have been burnt.


Environmental problems amplify human impact on Earth System

The Australian bushfires are a distressing example of connections between global environmental problems that amplify human impacts on the Earth System.

Hilman Fathoni receiving his University Medal from Naomi Flutter, Pro-Vice-Chancellor

Student profile

University Medal accolade for Master of Energy Change student

Recent graduate, Hilman Fathoni, is the first Master of Energy Change student to be honoured with an ANU University Medal.

Student profile

How an internship can jump-start your start-up

Sherbaz says his current career trajectory was shaped by an internship experience he completed as part of his science program.

Analysis and opinion

Fish kills and undrinkable water: here's what to expect for the Murray Darling this summer

I fear the coming months will be among the worst in history for Australia’s most important river system.