Dr Karen Olsen

Research Fellow Rural Remote and Indigenous Landscapes


Dr Karen Olsen is a horticulturist and historian, with over 20 years experience in cultural landscapes and historic gardens conservation. Karen's work is underpinned by principles of environmental sustainability and partnership/collaboration, so as to best understand and engage with the past values, present needs and future possibilities for cultural landscapes and their communities.

Karen's long term industry and academic experience in cultural landscape heritage includes conservation analysis and management, 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.

As the current Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Rural, Remote and Indigenous Landscape, Karen's present research investigates the cultural values, narratives and prospective futures of the places and their connected communities, with specific reference to landscapes in the Murray-Darling Basin.

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 since 1999.


Architecture Landscape Architecture Urban and Cultural Heritage

Research Hub, Centre or Institute

Research directions

Cultural and Sustainable Landscapes Indigenous Place

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