Kirsten Martinus

Dr, PhD Curtin, BEc W.Aust., DipInterpreting Jap/Eng, Director of Future Regions Lab

  • The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Kirsten is the Director of the Future Regions Lab, and Associate Professor of economic geography at the School of Social Sciences, University of Western Australia. Prior to becoming an academic, she worked as an economic development consultant and Japanese/English interpreter. She has lived and worked in Australia, USA, Indonesia and Japan. Her work balances fundamental research with applied outputs to inform economic development strategic policy and decision making across all levels of government.

Kirsten examines the (re)distribution of resources (mining, energy, innovation, wealth) and the urban and socio-economic factors increasing competitiveness (productivity/innovation) and mitigating uneven development. She seeks to bridge the disciplines of economic geography and urban studies via qualitative (interviews, surveys) and quantitative (social network analysis, statistics) techniques applied to understand competitive advantage at the global economy, industry and community levels. This multi-scale approach is novel and challenging, but well-placed to generate novel insights and understandings on the dynamics of economic systems.

Kirsten has won several large competitive grants for her research including from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the Federal Governments Smart Cities Smart Suburbs Program. In 2017, she was awarded an early career fellowship (DECRA) examining innovation in peripheral regions (in Australian and Japanese outer metropolitan and regional areas). She is the Deputy Chair for the Australian Academy of Sciences National Committee for Geographical Sciences, on the editorial board for Geographical Research and Global Networks and a national co-convener of the Institute of Australian Geographers Economic Geography Study Group. She has published widely in leading scholarly journals, book chapters, as well as produced numerous FACTBases for Committee for Perth and industry reports.

Roles and responsibilities

- Australian Academy of Sciences, National Committee for Geographical Sciences, Deputy Chair (2023-2026), Committee Member (2017-2023)

- Institute of Australian Geographers Council, Ordinary Committee Member (2023- ongoing), Honorary Secretary (2020-2022)

- Institute of Australian Geographers Economic Geography Study Group, Co-Covenor (2017- ongoing)

- Geographical Research, Editorial Board Member (2018- ongoing)

- Global Networks, Editorial Board Member (2022- ongoing)

- Progress in Economic Geography, Editorial Board Member (2022 - ongoing)

- Applied Geography, Editorial Board Member (2022 - ongoing)

-Graduate Research Coordinator, School of Social Sciences (2020 - ongoing)

- Australian Social Networks Analysis Committee President (2021); Committee Member (2017-ongoing)

Funding overview

Select funding awards:

  1. Martinus, K. (2021) Battery Industry Stage 1 for Future Batteries Industries CRC.
  2. Martinus, K. (2021) Kwinana Refinery knowledge flows. BHP NickelWest.
  3. Martinus, K., Pauli, N., Kragt, M. & Heyworth, J. (2020) Novel virus and landscape restructure: human as hosts, vectors and agents of environmental change. Downforce, Oxford, UK.
  4. Martinus, K. & Wilson, J.(2019) Future Batteries Industries Cooperation Research Centre (FBI-CRC): Governance Pilot Study for Future Batteries Industries CRC.
  5. Martinus, K. & Boruff, B. (2019) Agritourism in the South-West of Western Australia: A Preliminary Investigation. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, CRC Honey Bee Products. 
  6. Martinus, K. (2018) UWA Fellowship Support Grant for Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Award (DECRA) activities. 
  7. Biermann, S., Olaru, D., Martinus, K., Smith, B., Cardell-Oliver, R., Sun, C., & Standing, C. (2018) RailSmart Wanneroo. In collaboration with City of Wanneroo (2018-2021) of Federal Government Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. Winner of Federal Government Award for Best Integration of an Individual Technology
  8. Denham, T., Dodson, J., Kellet, J., Martinus, K., Maginn, P., Whitzman, C., Hamilton, C. & Palm, M. (2018) NGAA Transformational Projects. Specially commissioned report by National Growth Areas Alliance and the City of Whittlesea
  9. Martinus, K. (2017-2020) Labour Proximities in Institutionally-Thin Innovative Peripheries. Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Award (DECRA, Project No. DE170100727) (2017-2019). 
  10. Tonts, M., Derudder, B., Sigler, T., Martinus, K. & Searle, G. (2017-2021) The Globalising Economies of Australian Cities. Australian Research Council Discovery Award (2017-2020, Project No. DP170104359). 
  11. Sigler, T. & Martinus, K. (2015) Brisbane as Globally Connected City. University of Queensland and University of Western Australia collaborative project. Brisbane Marketing, Brisbane Queensland. 

Current projects

1. Corporate Geographies
2. Innovation precincts, Smart Cities
3. Resource Economies and uneven development

4. innovation and the peripheries

Teaching overview

GEOG2203 - Regions in Transition; GEOG2204 - International Field Work in Geography; GEOG3302 Local Places, Global Contexts; GEOG3306 - Regional Development and Planning; PLNG5411- Urban and Regional Analysis; PLNG1101 - Geographies of Global Cities; GEOG1102 - Globalisation, Environment and Development


Economic and human geography; Regional development and planning; Urban planning and economic development; Social capital, network economies and innovation systems; Globalisation and world systems; International comparative studies



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Research expertise keywords

  • Economic and human geography
  • Regional development and planning
  • Urban planning and economic development
  • Social capital, network economies and innovation systems
  • Globalisation and world systems
  • International comparative studies


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