Associate Professor Scott Mooney
ESSRC Executive | Associate Professor
Field of Research: 
Environmental change of the late Holocene and human impacts
Contact details:
+61 2 9385 8063

Room 543C, D26 Building
UNSW, Kensington 2052

Research Interests & Current Projects

·  Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and palaeoecology

·  Environmental change of the late Pleistocene and Holocene

·  Past climate change and variability

·  Human environmental associations and impacts

·  Using the past as a source of information for contemporary environmental issues and natural resource management

My research primarily concerns reconstructing aspects of past environments and environmental change with a particular focus on human impacts. This includes investigating the fire (pre-)history of the humid environments of eastern Australia, primarily via the use of high resolution (macro-) charcoal analyses. In any explanation of how fire has varied through time both humans and climate must be considered (and potentially any complex inter-relationships between these factors). This means the research has obvious links with the palaeoclimate community, and with archaeology to examine changes in human systems in the prehistoric period.

Like all my research, the fire history project aims to provide a longer temporal perspective than what is afforded by historic (written) records. The research to date includes some surprising results, potentially questioning some of the common assumptions behind 'fire-stick farming'.

I currently have plans to take on 1-2 more PhD students in the next year. Students with a strong interest in research in any of the above areas should contact me via email to discuss potential projects. 

Research Students

Mark Constantine (PhD candidate): Using FTIR to get more from charcoal.



GEOS1701: Environmental Systems and Processes (Lecturer)

GEOS2711: Australian Climate and Vegetation (Course Convener)

BEES6601: An Introduction to the Sydney Environment (Course Convener) 


Representative Publications

For more information and a complete list of publications see