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DR Karen Olsen


  • cultural heritage landscape conservation



  • Dr Karen Olsen is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Rural, Remote & Indigenous Landscapes.

    Karen's research investigates the cultural values, narratives, and prospective sustainable futures of these places and their connected communities, with specific reference to key landscapes in the Murray-Darling Basin.

    Karen's long term industry and academic experience in cultural landscape heritage includes the analysis, conservation, and interpretation design for significant heritage landscapes, with a focus on changing and changed-use landscapes. Her interests and work span a wide range of public and private landscapes across both rural and urban settings, from intensively-designed historic gardens to public parks, farmlands, archaeological ruins and abandoned places.

    Karen's PhD in Environmental Resource Management developed a framework for understanding historic garden visitor interpretation, leading to new understanding of cultural heritage visitor interpretation as incorporated into the Australia ICOMO Burra Charter in 1999.   


Selected publications


Education and training

  • Dr, University of Melbourne 2001

Awards and honors

  • Dr Jan Schapper Postdoctoral Fellowship in Rural, Remote, and Indigenous Landscapes, University of Melbourne, 2017
  • E. A. Crespin Scholarship, 1998
  • Melbourne Abroad Travelling Scholarship, 1998
  • ILFR Departmental Research Scholarship, 1998
  • Australian Postgraduate Award, 1997
  • Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, 1996
  • Dux Graduate Diploma Applied Science (Environmental Hort.) University of Melbourne, 1993


Available for supervision

  • N