Prof. David Bowman

Director Fire Centre
Professor of Pyrogeography and Fire Science


I am establishing the new transdisciplinary field of pyrogeography. Pyrogeography provides a synthetic understanding of landscape burning that unites human, physical and biological dimensions of fire from the geological past into the future and spanning local to global geographic scales. My research is strongly field orientated and collaborative. I have undertaken field research across Australia over the last 40 years and collaborate with a global network of fire scientists. My research combines a broad spectrum of techniques, ranging from molecular ecology, landscape ecology to social analysis and epidemiology. My research is motivated by a commitment to improving the scientific basis of fire management.

I hold a research chair in Pyrogeography and Fire Science in the School of Natural Sciences and am an Honorary Professor Archaeology and Natural History at the Australian National University. I was awarded a University of Tasmania PhD in forest ecology and management in 1984, a Doctor of Science from the University of Tasmania in 2001. In 1984 I took a post as a wildlife biologist with the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission where I undertook pioneering field research in this tropical savanna frontier. In 1994 I was awarded a Charles Bullard Fellowship at Harvard University where I wrote an influential book on the environmental controls of Australian rainforest distribution for Cambridge University Press. In 2002 I became Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Key Centre for Tropical Wildlife Management. In 2007 I took up a research chair at the University of Tasmania where he built critical mass in pyrogeographic and environmental change biology research. I have research fellowships at a range of university around the world (Harvard USA, Oxford UK, Kyoto Japan, Arizona USA, Leeds UK, UBC Canada).

Fire Centre Research Hub, The University of Tasmania
Private Bag 55, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia
Acknowledgement of Country:
‘The Fire Centre acknowledges the Palawa and Pakana people as the traditional and ongoing custodians of lutruwita (Tasmania), paying respect to their culture and identity which has been bound up with the Land, Sea, Waterways and Sky for generations. The Fire Centre commits to being culturally inclusive and respectful in our relationships”
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