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Researcher biography

A graduate of the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Karen holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Hons I; 2001) and a PhD in Geography (2006). Her PhD explored the politics of 'environmental refugee' protection at the United Nations, drawing specifically on the impacts of climate change on Pacific small island states. Karen has held positions with the NSW Government, as a lecturer at UNSW, and post-doctoral researcher and then senior research fellow at James Cook University where she worked on projects in the Wet Tropics, Torres Strait, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. More recently, Karen was a research consultant at the University of the South Pacific and worked in numerous countries and communities in the region (Cook Islands, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Niue, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu). Karen has consulted for UNDP and UNESCO.

Featured projects Duration
Optimising community-based climate change adaptation in the Pacific Islands
Australian Research Council
Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation in the Maldives
United Nations Development Programme
Maternity Funding (Advance Queensland Women's Academic Fund)
Queensland Government Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts