Skip to main content
Flowers Magdalene College

Dr Alexander Cullen

Dr Alexander Cullen is Director of Studies in Geography at Magdalene.

Dr Cullen is a human geographer that primarily examines issues of livelihood transitions, territoriality and environmental subjectivity through a political ecology lens. His research has been attentive to state–community tensions in relation to land rights and post-conflict conservation governance across Southeast Asia, but with particular interest in Timor-Leste.

Prior to joining Cambridge University, Dr Cullen was a Lecturer at the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne where he also completed his PhD. He is also an experienced international development practitioner having worked broadly across issues including local governance, land conflict, microfinance and public transport in Southeast Asia.

Research Interests

  • Customary resource management and rural livelihood transitions
  • Conservation, climate and conflict governance in the global south
  • The role of nature in the construction of post-conflict national identity, subjectivities and citizenship
  • Participatory GIS and local ontologies


  • 2016: PhD Geography, University of Melbourne
  • 2004: BSci (Hons) Geography, University of Western Australia

Selected Publications

Cullen, A., 2021. Governing Climate Across Ontological Frictions in Timor-Leste, Chapter 9 in: Governing Climate Change: Critical Perspectives From Southeast Asia, Edited by Marquardt, J., Delina, L. and Smits, M., Routledge

Cullen, A., 2020. Transitional environmentality  – Understanding uncertainty at the junctures of eco-logical production in Timor-Leste. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, v. 3, p.423-441. doi:10.1177/2514848620908201.

Mooney, W. and Cullen, A., 2019. Implementing the Aboriginal Waterways Assessment tool: collaborations to engage and empower First Nations in waterway management. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, v. 26, p.1-19. doi:10.1080/14486563.2019.1645752.