Simon Haberle

Deputy Director

Simon Haberle is Professor of Natural History and the Director of the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University, and is a Chief Investigator of the Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH).

Simon brings to ECDI his expertise in palynology and charcoal analysis to reconstruct past environments, assisting the Initiative to uncover deep-time human and landscape histories in the Asia-Pacific region, from before initial human settlement through to the contemporary present. His expertise will also contribute to the Initiatives understanding of the impact people and climate have had on ecosystems through time.

He works extensively with and for Indigenous communities throughout Australia, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions to carry out collaborative in-country research and training projects. He is particularly interested in the way that people have used fire to manage and change landscapes through time. He has published over 200 scientific papers and has developed e-Research tools and citizen science projects in palaeoecology and aerobiology, such as the Australasian Pollen and Spore Atlas, CanberraPollen, AirRater and the PalaeoWorks websites. He is currently using his knowledge of Australian pollen to explore the impact of pollution and atmospheric pollen and spores on respiratory health.

Prof Haberle can be contacted via email.

Research area/theme
Consilience and Cartography
Peopling Sahullead
Media coverage
Relevant publications

Edited Books

Haberle, S, Lentfer, C & Denham, T 2017, ‘Paleoecology’, in J. Golson, T. Denham, P. Hughes, P. Swadling and J. Muke (ed.), Ten Thousand Years of Cultivation at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (Terra Australis 46), ANU Press, Canberra, pp. 145-161.

Ballard, C, Denham, T & Haberle, S 2013, ‘Wetland archaeology in the highlands of New Guinea’, in Francesco Menotti and Aidan O’Sullivan (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Wetland Archaeology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 231-248.

Haberle, S.G. and David, B. (eds.) 2012, Peopled landscapes : archaeological and biogeographic approaches to landscapes, ANU ePress, Canberra.

Haberle, S, Stevenson, J & Prebble, M, eds, 2010, Altered Ecologies: Fire, Climate and Human Influence on Terrestrial Landscapes, ANU ePress, Canberra Australia.

Flett, I & Haberle, S 2008, ‘East of Easter: Traces of human impactin the far-eastern Pacific’, in Geoffrey Clark, Foss Leach & Sue O’Connor (ed.), Islands of inquiry: colonisation, seafaring and the archaeology of maritime landscapes (Terra Australis 29), ANU ePress, Canberra, pp. 281-299.

Hope, G & Haberle, S 2005, ‘The history of the human landscapes of New Guinea’, in Andrew Pawley, Robert Attenborough, Jack Golson and Robin Hide (ed.), Papuan pasts: Cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples, Pacific Linguistics, Canberra Australia, pp. 541-554.

Journal Articles

Adeleye, M., Haberle, S., Hopf, F. Harris, S. & McWethy, D. 2023. Insights into the indigenous-managed landscape in southeast Australia during the Holocene. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany.

Adeleye, M., Connor, S., Herbert, A. & Haberle, S. 2022. Toward the saving of global rainforests. Global Change Biology.

Mariani, M., Connor, S., Theuerkauf, M., Herbert, A., Kunes, P., Bowman, B., Fletcher, M., Head, L., Kershaw, A., Haberle, S., Stevenson, J., Adeleye, M., Cadd, H., Hopf, F. & Briles, C. 2022. Disruption of cultural burning promotes shrub encroachment and unprecedented wildfires. Frontiers in ecology and the environment.

Shaw, B., Hawkins, S., Becerra-Valdivia, L., Turney, C., Coxe, S., Kewibu, V., Haro, J., Miamba, K., Leclerc, M., Spriggs, M., Privat, K., Haberle, S., Hopf, F., Hull, E., Pengilley, A., Brown, S., Marjo, C., Jacobsen, G., & Brooker and Panaeati Island communities, Papua New Guinea. 2022. Frontier Lapita interaction with resident Papuan populations set the stage for initial peopling of the Pacific. Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Adeleye, M., Connor, S. & Haberle, S. 2021. A quantitative synthesis of Holocene vegetation change in Nigeria (Western Africa). The Holocene.

Adeleye, M., Haberle, S., Connor, S., Stevenson, J. & Bowman, D. 2021. Indigenous Fire-Managed Landscapes in Southeast Australia during the Holocene—New Insights from the Furneaux Group Islands, Bass Strait. Fire. 4(2): 17.

Adeleye, M., Haberle, S., McWethy, D., Connor, S., & Stevenson, J. 2021. Environmental change during the last glacial on an ancient land bridge of southeast Australia. Journal of Biogeography. 48(9).

McBride, E., Wallis, L., Hopf, F., Haberle, S. & Dardengo, M. 2022. Demonstrating the potential of amberat middens for understanding late Quaternary palaeoenvironments in the Central Pilbara, Western Australia. Quaternary International.

Nogue, S., Santos, S., Birks, H., Bjorck, S., Castilla-Beltran, A., Connor, S. de Boer, E., de Nascimento, L., Felde, V., Fernandez-Palacios, J., Froyd, C., Haberle, S., Hooghiemstra,H., Ljung, H., Norder, S., Penuelas, J., Prebble, M., Stevenson, J., Whittaker, R., Willis, K., Wilmshurt, J. & Steinbauer, M. 2021. The Human dimension of biodiversity changes on islands. Science. 372(6541): 488-491.

Shaw, B., Coxes, S., Haro, J., Privat, K., Haberle, S., Hopf, F., Hull, E., Hawkins, S., & Jaconsen, G. (2020) Smallest Late Pleistocene inhabited island in Australasia reveals the impact of post-glacial sea-level rise on human behaviour from 17,000 years ago. Quaternary Science Reviews.

Sachs, J, Blois, J, McGee, T et al 2018, ‘Southward Shift of the Pacific ITCZ During the Holocene’, Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, vol. 33, no. 12, pp. 1383-1395.

Anderson, A, Clark, G, Haberle, S et al 2018, ‘New evidence of megafaunal bone damage indicates late colonization of Madagascar’, PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 13, no. 10, pp. 14.

Xiao, X, Haberle, S, Li, Y et al 2018, ‘Evidence of Holocene climatic change and human impact in northwestern Yunnan Province: High-resolution pollen and charcoal records from Chenghai Lake, southwestern China’, Holocene, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 127-139.

Nolan, C, Overpeck, J, Allen, J et al 2018, ‘Past and future global transformation of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change’, Science, vol. 361, no. 6405, pp. 920-923.

Connor, S, Schneider, L, Trezise, J et al 2018, ‘Forgotten impacts of European land-use on riparian and savanna vegetation in northwest Australia’, Journal of Vegetation Science, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 427-437.

Turney, C, Jones, R, Phipps, S et al 2017, ‘Rapid global ocean-atmosphere response to Southern Ocean freshening during the last glacial’, Nature Communications, vol. 8, no. 520, pp. 1-9.

McWethy, D, Haberle, S, Hopf, F et al 2017, ‘Aboriginal impacts on fire and vegetation on a Tasmanian island’, Journal of Biogeography, vol. 44, no. 6, pp. 1319-1330.

Schneider, L, Alloway, B, Blong, R et al 2017, ‘Stratigraphy, age and correlation of two widespread Late Holocene tephras preserved within Lake Kutubu, Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea’, Journal of Quaternary Science, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 782-794.

Virah-Sawmy, M, Gillson, L, Gardner, C et al 2016, ‘A landscape vulnerability framework for identifying integrated conservation and adaptation pathways to climate change: the case of Madagascar’s spiny forest’, Landscape Ecology, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 637-654.

Anderson, A, Stothert, K, Martinsson-Wallin, H et al 2016, ‘Reconsidering Precolumbian Human Colonization in the Galapagos Islands, Republic of Ecuador’, Latin American Antiquity, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 169-183.

Romanin, L, Hopf, F, Haberle, S et al 2016, ‘Fire regime and vegetation change in the transition from Aboriginal to European land management in a Tasmanian eucalypt savanna’, Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 64, no. 5, pp. 427-440.

Davies, J, Beggs, P, Medek, D et al 2015, ‘Trans-disciplinary research in synthesis of grass pollen aerobiology and its importance for respiratory health in Australasia’, Science of the Total Environment, vol. 534, pp. 85-96.

Johnson, C, Rule, S, Haberle, S et al 2015, ‘Using dung fungi to interpret decline and extinction of megaherbivores: Problems and solutions’, Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 110, pp. 107-113.

Fletcher, M, Wood, S & Haberle, S 2014, ‘A fire-driven shift from forest to non-forest: evidence for alternative stable states?’, Ecology, vol. 95, no. 9, pp. 2504-2513.

Proske, U, Heslop, D & Haberle, S 2014, ‘A Holocene record of coastal landscape dynamics in the eastern Kimberley region, Australia’, Journal of Quaternary Science, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 163-174.

Haberle, S, Bowman, D, Newnham, R et al 2014, ‘The macroecology of airborne pollen in Australian and New Zealand urban areas’, PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 9, no. 5, pp. e97925-e97925.

McWethy DB, Higuera PE, Whitlock C, Veblen TT, Bowman DMJS, Cary GJ, Haberle SG, Keane RE, Maxwell BD, McGlone MS, Perry GLW, Wilmshurst JM, Holz A, Tepley AJ (2013) A conceptual framework for predicting temperate ecosystem sensitivity to human impacts on fire regimes. Global Ecology and Biogeography 22: 900-912.

Reeves,J. M., Bostock, H. C., Ayliffe L.K. , Barrows,T. T., De Deckker,P., Devriendt, L. S.,Dunbar, G. B. et al. 2013, ‘Palaeoenvironmental change in tropical Australasia over the last 30,000 years e a synthesis by the OZ-INTIMATE group’, Quaternary Science Reviews, pp. 1-18.

Haberle, S, Lentfer, C, O’Donnell, S. and Denham,T. (2012) ‘The palaeoenvironments of Kuk Swamp from the beginnings of agriculture in the highlands of Papua New Guinea’, Quaternary International 249, 129-139.

Proske, U & Haberle, S 2012, ‘Island ecosystem and biodiversity dynamics in northeastern Australia during the Holocene: Unravelling short-term impacts and long-term drivers’, Holocene, vol. 22, no. 10, pp. 1097-1111.

Rule, S. et al 2012, ‘The aftermath of megafaunal extinction: Ecosystem transformation in Pleistocene Australia’, Science, vol. 335, no. 6075, pp. 1483-1486.

Sniderman, J.M.K. and Haberle, S.G. (2012) Fire and vegetation change during the Early Pleistocene in southeastern Australia. Journal of Quaternary Science 27(3), 307-317.

Mooney, S.D., Harrison, S.P., Bartlein, P.J., Daniau, A.-L., Stevenson, J., Brownlie, K.C., Buckman, S., Cupper, M., Luly, J., Black, M., Colhoun, E., D’Costa, D., Dodson, J., Haberle, S.G., Hope, G.S., Kershaw, P. Kenyon, C., McKenzie, M., Williams, N. (2011) Late Quaternary fire regimes of Australasia. Quaternary Science Reviews 30, 28-46.

Haberle, S, Heijnis, H, Roberts, P et al 2010, ‘Paleofire in the wet tropics of northeast Queensland, Australia’, PAGES News, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 78-80.

Denham, T & Haberle, S 2008, ‘Agricultural emergence and transformation in the Upper Wahgi valley, Papua New Guinea, during the Holocene: theory, method and practice’, Holocene, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 481-496.

Bowman, D, Brown, G, Braby, M et al 2010, ‘Biogeography of the Australian monsoon tropics’, Journal of Biogeography, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 201-216.

Denham, T & Haberle, S 2008, ‘Agricultural emergence and transformation in the Upper Wahgi Valley, Papua New Guinea during the Holocene: theory, method and practice’, Holocene, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 481-496.

Haberle, S 2007, ‘Prehistoric human impact on rainforest biodiversity in highland New Guinea’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B, vol. 362, pp. 219-228.

Black, M, Mooney, S & Haberle, S 2007, ‘The fire, human and climate nexus in the Sydney Basin, Eastern Australia’, Holocene, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 469-480.

Donders, T, Haberle, S, Hope, G et al 2007, ‘Pollen evidence for the transition of the Eastern Australian climate system from the post-glacial to the present-day ENSO mode’, Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 26, pp. 1621-1637.

Haberle, S, Tibby, J, Dimitriadis, S et al 2006, ‘The impact of European occupation on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem dynamics in an Australian tropical rain forest’, Journal of Ecology, vol. 94, pp. 987-1002.

Haberle, S 2005, ‘A 23,000-yr pollen record from Lake Euramoo, Wet Tropics of NE Queensland, Australia’, Quaternary Research, vol. 64, no. 3, pp. 343-356.

Haberle, S & Bennett, K 2004, ‘Postglacial formation and dynamics of north Patagonian rainforest in the Chonos Archipelago, Southern Chile.’, Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 23, pp. 2433-2452.

Gagan, M, Hendy, E, Haberle, S et al 2004, ‘Post-glacial evolution of the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool and El Nino-Southern Oscillation’, Quaternary International, vol. 118-119, pp. 127-143.

Haberle, S & David, B 2004, ‘Climates of change: Human dimensions of Holocene environmental change in low latitudes of the PEPII transect.’, Quaternary International, vol. 118-119, pp. 165-179.

Haberle, S 2003, ‘The emergence of an agricultural landscape in the highlands of New Guinea.’, Archaeology in Oceania, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 149-159.

Denham, T, Haberle, S, Lentfer, C et al 2003, ‘Origins of Agriculture at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of New Guinea’, Science, vol. 301, no. 5630, pp. 189-193.

Haberle, S 2003, ‘Late quaternary vegetation dynamics and human impact on Alexander Selkirk Island, Chile’, Journal of Biogeography, vol. 30, pp. 239-255.

Conference Papers

Bowman, D & Haberle, S 2010, ‘Paradise burnt: How colonizing humans transform landscapes with fire’, PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 107, no. 50, pp. 21234-21235.

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