The UNSW Australian Climate & Vegetation (GEOS2711) course explores climatic patterns and their controls in Australia and the biogeography of the continent’s native vegetation. The course considers contemporary climate and vegetation but also delves into the past.

During this course, you’ll consider long-term climatic trends and their consequences to the character and distribution of Australian vegetation communities. Recent changes in vegetation, fire and trends in climate and climatic variability are also all considered.

This course covers the following major topics:

  • contemporary climatic patterns in Australia
  • Australian vegetation: patterns and controls
  • biogeography of Australian vegetation
  • the vegetation of the Sydney Basin
  • field methods for the description of vegetation
  • synoptic processes and rainfall in Australia
  • 20th-century climatic variability in Australia
  • extreme climatic events in Australia
  • fire and plant populations in Australia
  • vegetation change in Australia since 1788.

The course has synergies with other UNSW Geoscience and Environmental Science courses. This includes Australian Surface Environments and Landforms (GEOS2821) and Flowering Plants (BIOS2051), which introduces the discipline of Botany. Fieldwork is also an important component of the course and participation is expected towards meeting the course learning outcomes.

Term offering: Term 2

Course attendance: In person

Level: Undergraduate - Second year


  • Ecology
  • Geography

Course code: GEOS2711