Eloise Biggs


  • The University of Western Australia (M004), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile


PhD in Geography, University of Southampton
BSc in Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton

Funding overview

2018-21 Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) (AU$1,614,000; PI): “Climate-smart landscapes for promoting sustainability of Pacific Island agricultural systems” (with Universities of Sydney, South Pacific and Auckland, Pacific Community, SEI Asia, and Ministry of Agriculture Foods and Forests Tonga)

2016-17 Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) (AU$250,000; PI): “Using the Environmental Livelihoods Security (ELS) framework for developing climate-smart landscapes: a preliminary investigation for informing agricultural policy in the South Pacific” (with Universities of Sydney and South Pacific)

2015-16 Pacific-Europe Network for Science Technology and Innovation (PACE-Net) Plus (€9994; Co-I): “The Role of Geospatial Information for Assessing Environmental Livelihood Security in the South Pacific” (with Universities of Sydney (PI), Stirling, Auckland, Western Australia and South Pacific)

2015-18 Asia-Pacific Network for Climate Change (APN) (US$120,000): “Climate Change Adaptation in Post-Disaster Recovery Processes: Flood-Affected Communities in Cambodia and Fiji” (with Universities of Auckland (PI), Sydney, Western Australia, South Pacific and Cambodian Ministries)

2014-16 UKIERI DST-British Council (£71,177.50; PI): “Climate-smartening Assam’s tea plantation landscapes: defining socio-ecological ‘safe spaces’ for future sustainability”
www.teaclimate.com (with Tea Research Association)

2014-15 World Universities Network (£29,548; PI): Research development fund “Developing a spatial framework to assess environmental livelihood security” (with Universities of Western Australia, Sydney and Auckland, IWMI and APN)

Previous positions

Lecturer in GIS, Geography and Environment, University of Southampton, UK (2009-2016)

Current projects

Livelihoods and landscapes

A large proportion of the population in Fiji and Tonga rely on services from the landscape to support their livelihoods. These same populations remain acutely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and variability. The agricultural sector has been identified as a sector for growth to support economic development and poverty alleviation in Fiji and Tonga. Policy and development project interventions are being implemented that follow this growth-orientated vision for agriculture, yet it is important that these interventions do not undermine rural livelihoods or sustainability, threaten climate resilience or exacerbate existing climate vulnerabilities or landscape degradation. In Fiji and Tonga livelihoods and landscapes are highly interconnected, thus interventions and climate impacts across landscapes can propagate through a system and across scales, making it difficult to predict impacts on livelihoods. Interventions in landscapes need to be assessed in terms of their potential systemic impacts on livelihoods, landscape sustainability, and capacity to respond to climate stressors.

Collaborative mapping approaches, which draw upon principles of participatory mapping, geospatial science and participatory action research, have been utilised to capture the complexities of livelihood-landscape interactions. These approaches also empower community members with respect to environmental decision making. However, to date, several limitations have been identified with contemporary mapping approaches which include its time intensive nature, the static representation of landscapes-livelihood systems that fail to capture the dynamic nature of vulnerabilities, and the difficulties in sharing information collected by various mapping activities. This project seeks to address these limitations through co-development of a dynamic collaborative geospatial platform which will bring together communities and higher-level stakeholders for more effective information communication, with collation and dissemination across geographic scales to help facilitate improved multi-functional agricultural landscape management. Our proposed collaborative geospatial platform will draw upon the Environmental Livelihoods Security framework (Biggs et al. 2015) to capture dynamic vulnerabilities and links between livelihoods, landscape resources, and climate stressors. The co-developed platform will build community-level capacity to manage landscapes under changing climates, enabling enhanced climate-smart practice. This will be achieved through improved multi-stakeholder communications and the co-design of adaptation pathways for landscape interventions to build climate resilience. The outputs from this research will build climate resilience to enhance environmental livelihood security and sustainability within the landscape, whilst also complementing existing agricultural development and market-orientated interventions.

Tea and climate change
This project was funded under the UKIERI-DST initiative and is a collaboration between the University of Southampton and the Tea Research Association. The project explored tea production and climate change in Assam, India, and is attempting to (i) determine what impact climate is having on tea production, (ii) ascertain what role tea plays within the landscape of Assam, and (iii) provide information for moving towards more climate-smart agriculture for managing tea landscapes.

Teaching overview

Current UWA
GEOG2201 Geographical Information Systems (unit coordinator)
ENVT5508 Advanced Spatial Analytics (unit coordinator)
ENVT5511 Advanced GIS for Environmental Management (unit coordinator)

Previous UWA
GEOG3302 Geographic, Environment and Planning Fieldwork (teaching staff)
GEOG2202 Reading Landscapes (teaching staff)

Current PhD Students:
Andrew MacLachlan - Urban sprawl and implications for city heat island effects in Perth, WA
Joanna Wilkin - Understanding social networks using mobile detail records following natural disasters (Nepal)
Vidushi Patel - Agent-based modelling of the WA bee industry
Thi Hong Van Le - Transformational climate change adaptation in Vietnam

Completed PhD students
Selma Hegga - Coping with floods in developing countries: assessing the role of social capital in household's flood preparedness for the rural communities of Kilosa District in Tanzania 


Ellie’s research interests mainly encompass the spatial and temporal analysis of environmental data, predominantly within the fields of water resources and climate change. The focus of her doctoral research was on hydrological modelling of rural catchments and the spatiotemporal analysis of hydroclimatological time-series data. The latter has also influenced research investigating precipitation change (extreme events) in Nepal. Her current research uses spatial mapping to look at changes in water vulnerability, water (in)security, poverty and environmental change. Ellie is also working on projects which look at environmental risk/vulnerability, the links between climate and tea production, and also the synergies between the water-energy-food nexus and sustainable livelihoods.

External positions

Visiting Academic, University of Southampton

Research expertise keywords

  • Environment
  • Participatory research
  • Livelihoods
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainable resource management
  • Climate change
  • GIS and spatial analysis
  • Water resources


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