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Dr Paul Munro


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.

Selected Publications

Journal articles

Samarakoon S; Munro P; Zalengera C; Kearnes M, 2022, 'The afterlives of off-grid solar: The dynamics of repair and e-waste in Malawi', Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, vol. 42, pp. 317 - 330,

Samarakoon S; Bartlett A; Munro P, 2021, 'Somewhat original: energy ethics in Malawi’s off-grid solar market', Environmental Sociology, pp. 1 - 12,

Munro P, 2021, 'Energy political ecologies in the South Pacific: the politics of energy transitions in Vanuatu', Cambridge Journal Of Regions, Economy And Society,

To LS; Bruce A; Munro P; Santagata E; MacGill I; Rawali M; Raturi A, 2021, 'A research and innovation agenda for energy resilience in Pacific Island Countries and Territories', Nature Energy,

Munro PG; Samarakoon S; van der Horst GA, 2020, 'African energy poverty: A moving target', Environmental Research Letters, vol. 15,

Munro P, 2020, 'On, off, below and beyond the urban electrical grid the energy bricoleurs of Gulu Town', Urban Geography, vol. 41, pp. 428 - 447,

Munro P; Schiffer A, 2019, 'Ethnographies of Electricity Scarcity: mobile phone charging spaces and the recrafting of energy poverty in Africa', Energy and Buildings, vol. 188-189, pp. 175 - 183,

Munro PG; Bartlett A, 2019, 'Energy bricolage in Northern Uganda: Rethinking energy geographies in Sub-Saharan Africa', Energy Research and Social Science, vol. 55, pp. 71 - 81,

Book Chapters

Jenkins K; Samarakoon S; Munro P, 2019, 'Energy economics as an energy justice dilemma: Case studies of normative trade-offs in Malawi, Mexico and Germany', in Soytaş U; Sarı R (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Energy Economics, Routledge, London, pp. 317 - 328,