PhD in Geography, University of Melbourne; Master of Arts, in Environment and Development, Kings College London; Bachelor of Arts, Geography; History; Government & International Relations, University of Sydney
I am a Scientia Associate Professor in Human Geography within the Environment and Society Group at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney.
I have an established research record in the fields of political ecology and environmental history, and have written extensively on forest governance and energy justice, with a particular geographical focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. My current research is focused on the changing geographies of energy poverty. This has include an interest in how the emergence of new technologies (e.g., small-scale photovoltaic power), new trade dynamics and financial platforms (e.g., mobile money) have reshaped how people realise their energy needs in poor rural settings. I am currently engaged in research in Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi and Vanuatu.
I have also written extensively on forest governance in Sierra Leone, drawing from large-scale research projects that have been funded by the European Union, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and USAID. Drawing on this research, in 2020 I authored the monograph: Colonial Seeds in Africa Soil: a critical history of forest conservation in Sierra Leone.
M Kearnes and P G Munro, "Right to Repair". Allens Hub Stream Funding. University of New South Wales. 2021 ($9,912)
P G Munro, M Kearnes, V Sahajwalla and S Walker, "Solar Waste in Africa: emerging geographies in Keanya and Malawi." UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute. Interdisciplinary Seed Funding Award ($30,000)
P G Munro, "The Photovoltaic Turn in Africa." Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), Australian Research Council. 2020-2014 ($384,146)
I am also the co-founder of Energy for Opportunity (EFO), a non-for-profit organisation based in West Africa that is dedicated to the spread of renewable energy in the region. Since 2009, EFO has completed over 200 renewable energy installations in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Benin, ranging from pico-solar dissemination projects to village-level micro-grids.
This is a short video of research work I have been involved in, relating to solar waste in Malawi:
My Research Supervision
*indicates secondary supervisor.
*Kayla Lochner, Thesis title (tentative): environmental Justice and Agriculture in the South Pacific; 2021 to present (Primary Supervisor: Prof Dan Robinson).
*Bonaventure Muganga. Thesis title (tenative) The Pollinating Mesh: The Ecological Thought in Indigenous Speculative Australian Fiction; 2019 to present. (Primary Supervisors Prof Elizabeth McMahon, Prof Brigitta Olubas)
Govinda Paudel. Thesis title (tentative): A Political Ecology of Community Forestry in Nepal; 2019 to present.
*Hai-Yuen Tuilima. Thesis title (tentative): Protecting Traditional Knowledge and Confronting Biopiracy.; 2018 to present. (Primary Supervisor: Prof Dan Robinson)
Han Ayshan. Video game trailers: how storytelling is used to create identification and appeal with audiences. Under examination.
Dr Shanil Samakaroon. Thesis title: How are issues of energy justice entangled in the process of household solar adoption in northern Malawi; Completed 2021.
*Dr Sue Slowikowski. Thesis Title: Making Sense of Disaster - Identity Challenges from a Bushfire. Completed in 2017. (Primary supervisor: Prof Judy Motion)
Rhiannon Verschuer, Deep Sea Mining in the South Pacific. 2020. (co-supervised with Prof Dan Robinson)
Matylda Breva, Pelling the Avocado: recontextualising food security through exploitation. 2019. (co-supervised with Dr Monika Barthwal-Datta).
Taylor Coyne. Fishing for Answers: Sustainable small-scale fish farming in post-conflict Uganda. 2018. (co-supervised with A/Prof Jes Sammut).
Amy Ow. Understanding Human-Tree Relationships: A Case Study of the CBD and South-East Lightrail Project. 2016.
I am the course convenor for ARTS2240 "Environment, Sustainability and Development" which forms part of the Environmental Humanities undergraduate major.
I am interested in supervising PhD, MRes and Honours students with a background in critical geography (or a cognate discipline) in the areas of environmental history, forest governance and energy geographies. Interested students should contact me with a CV, a short research proposal (include references to key scholarship that want to build upon) and a short statement explaining why they believe I would be a good fit as a supervisor.