The Royal GeographicalSociety of Queensland Ltd
Dr Annie Lau grew up in Hong Kong where she completed her high school education and her undergraduate and M. Phil degrees. She completed her PhD in Singapore. Annie is currently a Lecturer in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, UQ, specializing in geomorphology, coastal science, coastal change, storms, and tsunamis in the Pacific and Australia. Annie is an RGSQ Councilor and Treasurer.
Dr Annie Lau in 2016 visiting Lavena, Taveuni, Fiji
Why did you first become interested in being a geographer?
I have always loved maps and spent hours reading road maps with my younger brother. Geography was my favourite subject in school. I enjoyed learning about mountains, rivers, population change and urban development. I was particularly amazed by the fact that I could apply the concepts learned in class to better understand the natural disasters reported in the news. I feel blessed that I am still working in the field of natural hazards, and that I can share my passion with students as I teach the “Environmental hazards” course at UQ now.
What do you see as your main contributions to Geography?
My research focuses on using landforms, rocks, and sediments to understand how and why coastlines change through time. Some changes are gradual (e.g. accumulation of sand to form dunes), while some happen within minutes (e.g. erosion caused by natural hazard events). The results of my work can help stakeholders and policymakers to make better decisions in risk and land management for protecting coastal environments, habitats, and people.
What has been your greatest joy in your work as a geographer?
Spending time and talking with people in coastal communities, especially in more isolated, remote places, motivates me to research coastal hazards as I can help people to understand the past and be better prepared for future hazards like cyclones and tsunamis. At the same time, I always feel very contented and excited to learn about nature as local people share their knowledge with me generously.
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The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Ltd.Level 1/28 Fortescue St, Spring Hill QLD email@example.com | +61 7 3368 2066ABN 87 014 673 068 | ACN 636 005 068
Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM, Governor of Queensland