Cassandra is a palaeoecologist and palynologist with experience working across northern Australia, Britain, Papua New Guinea and throughout Southeast Asia. Her research focusses on long-term environmental dynamics and human-environmental relationships within monsoonal regions, understanding vegetation composition, distribution and change with emphasis on tropical-savanna landscapes, dry-rainforest associations and island flora. Cassandra’s interests have been pursued in collaboration with archaeological science and Earth-system modelling, and are complemented by work in research support-tool database developments.

Cassandra joined JCU in 2015 having previously worked at a number of academic institutions and a background collaborating with museums, conservation NGOs and Indigenous organisations. Additionally she has worked on private industry contracts within Australia and overseas. Cassandra forms part of the CSTE (Earth and Oceans) ‘What is natural? Humans, megafauna and climate in northern Australia’ research team. For further examples of project work refer to the QUEST program, the APSA, Jawoyn Homeland Project Connecting Country, and the Maritime Settlement of Southern New Guinea Project.


  • Quaternary tropical environmental variability
  • Savanna composition and dynamics
  • Fire regimes and biodiversity
  • Pollen morphology
  • Cultural landscapes
  • Climate change verses human impact signals in the palaeoenvironmental record
  • Environmental history applications to landscape and habitat management
  • 2015 to 2019 - Research Fellow, James Cook University (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2010 to 2013 - Research Fellow, Monash University (Melbourne, Australia)
  • 2007 to 2009 - Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Bristol (Bristol, England)
  • 2006 to 2007 - Postdoctoral Fellow, Australian National University (Canberra, Australia)
  • 2001 to 2005 - PhD Candidate, Monash University (‘A Holocene history of vegetation change in the western Torres Strait region, Queensland, Australia’)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 31+ research outputs authored by Dr Cassandra Rowe from 2001 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian Institute of Nuclear Science & Engineering - Postgraduate Research Award

Fire and Environmental Change in Northern Australia during the Late Holocene

Indicative Funding
This project addresses the lack of palaeoenvironmental and palaeofire records available for northern Australia. I will analyse both micro-(<125?m) and macroscopic (>125?m) charcoal from sediment cores collected from lacustrine sites in Cape York and Arnhem Land. I will also analyse modern charcoal collected in fire traps placed during fieldwork to create a modern analogue. Collaboration with AINSE/ANSTO will result in a high-resolution chronology for each site, with implications for the wider region.
Emma Rehn, Michael Bird, Cassandra Rowe, Sean Ulm and Craig Woodward (College of Science & Engineering, College of Arts, Society & Education and The University of Queensland)
Fossil charcoal; Holocene; Stratigraphy; Palaeoenvironments; Indigenous Australia; Fire

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Environmental Change and Anthropogenic Fire in northern Australia during the late Holocene (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  • A2.220, A2 (Cairns campus)
  • E1.005G, Health & Sciences (Cairns campus)
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