Members of the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Environmental History Network have diverse interests in environmental history and are found all over the world. Some are independent scholars and writers; others work within universities, government, museums and private enterprise.

Here we are building a list of member profiles, to facilitate networking and collaboration among our diverse and growing membership, and enable non-members looking for environmental history expertise to locate it. We encourage everyone who subscribes to our newsletter to email us with a brief profile (to 70 words) and photo (preferably around 150×133 pixels) for inclusion here.

You can also find a regular round-up of member publications here.

Member profiles

Warwick Anderson portraitWarwick Anderson has been writing about the history of environmental (especially climatic) impacts on health and well-being since the 1980s, perhaps most cogently in his Cultivation of Whiteness: Science, Health and Racial Destiny in Australia (2002, 2006). A historian at the University of Sydney, he is now studying the development of planetary health, which explains the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on health. He is also chair of the climate change and health steering committee of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.
Alessandro Antonello is interested in the environmental histories of Antarctica, the global cryosphere, and oceans in the twentieth century. His most significant work is his 2019 book The Greening of Antarctica: Assembling an International Environment (Oxford University Press). He works at Flinders University in Adelaide.
Deb Anderson is an academic and journalist based in Melbourne. Born in north Queensland, she spent more than a decade working with the independent press in Australia and overseas, mainly on issues of education and science for The Age, before joining in Monash University in 2013. Her research explores the experience of extreme weather and perceptions of climate change, and how the past shapes present interpretations of risk.
Robyn Ballinger established her history and heritage based consultancy, History Making Pty Ltd, in 1999 and has since specialised in cultural landscape and place history and teaching cultural heritage subjects at a tertiary level. Robyn has worked on a number of municipal heritage studies across regional Victoria and has completed significance assessments for varied places, landscapes, collections and objects. Her oral history work has included projects about landscape change for the History Council of Victoria, DEWLP, and Trust for Nature. In addition, Robyn has developed a training manual on assessing cultural landscapes for the Federation of Australian Historical Societies.
Portrait of Alda Balthrop-LewisAlda Balthrop-Lewis is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at Australian Catholic University. She is a scholar of religion, and her research focuses on how religious thought and practice has shaped environmental philosophies and politics. Her first book offers a new image of Henry David Thoreau for contemporary environmental politics: Thoreau’s Religion: Walden Woods, Social Justice, and the Politics of Asceticism (Cambridge University Press 2021).
James Beattie is an environmental, garden and world historian whose work focuses on the Asia-Pacific region, mostly over the last 200 years. He is especially interested in cross-cultural exchanges occasioned by British imperialism, and the nexus between environment, gardens, health, science and art. He is founding editor of International Review of Environmental History, and co-edits the book series, Palgrave Studies in World Environmental History.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is da6c0b18ec8320ddc3e32988061e9dba.jpegClaire Brennan is a lecturer in History at JCU.  She teaches and supervises at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her current research focuses on crocodile hunting in tropical Australia.  She is regularly interviewed by the media. Claire supervises a wide range of topics at doctorate, masters, and honours levels.
Susan Broomhall is Director of the Gender and Women’s History Research Centre at the Australian Catholic University. Her research is interested in how gender ideologies have informed the experiences of women and men as they interact with the environment and natural world, particularly in the early modern world. An ARC Discovery grant (2021-2023) explores how early modern Europeans managed two key assets, water and forests, using a cultural history approach to identity and compare evidence drawn from legal, economic, scientific, literary and artistic sources.
Angi Buettner is Senior Lecturer and Acting Programme Director in Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. She works on environmental communication and political ecology. Her research focus is on the social, political, psychological, and historical power of images. She is currently completing a book on Climate Change and Popular Culture (Routledge). Angi is the author of Holocaust Images and Picturing Catastrophe (2016) and co-author of Understanding Media Studies (2010).
Mark Butz, having trained as an environmental scientist, has been dabbling across four decades in earth sciences, history, human/social ecology, and heritage interpretation. Based in Ngunnawal Country Canberra, under the banner of Learnscapes his current work seeks to re-story landscape, to build environmental literacy and responsibility. He is the author of The best system of trenches in Australia, a larger history (in-press) of the floodplain that is Jerrabomberra Wetlands, and another (in-principle) calling him to articulate Black Mountain. Contact: [email protected]
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is J-Conterio-e1494591685982.jpgJohanna Conterio is a Lecturer in Modern European and International History at Flinders University, specialising in Modern Russia. Her research interests include urban environmental history; environment and health; nature conservation; maritime history, particularly the history of the Black Sea; agriculture, and food culture. She is moving into her second project into global history.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is M-Cook.jpgMargaret Cook is an environmental and social historian. Her current research interests include floods and climate, urban history, cotton and Australian settler societies. Her book, A River with a City ProblemA History of Brisbane Floods will be published by Queensland University Press in 2019.
Nancy Cushing is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Newcastle, teaching and researching in environmental history. Her particular research interests lie at the intersection of human-animal relations and food studies, and in the environmental history of Newcastle, the subject of her 2015 book with Howard Bridgman, Smoky City. She was convenor of the AHA Green Stream in 2016 and 2017 and chaired the interim committee of the EHN.
John Dargavel, Honorary Associate Professor in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at ANU, is so ancient that he fears becoming more a topic than a researcher, but he keeps on trying. He has been interested in John Evelyn ever since he found a 3rd edition of Sylva in an Edinburgh bookshop. After sixty years of forestry, its politics and history, he is now enjoying slowly writing about how we experience the environment in everyday life: dust and dusting, extinctions and sanctuaries, gardens and balconies and theme parks. He is delighted to be celebrating Evelyn’s 400th birthday on this site. Whooo!
James Dunk portraitJames Dunk is a Research Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Sydney. He teaches in Australian history and the history of medicine and public health, and his research explores the way the physical environment has figured in mental health and psychology. He works with scholars in biomedicine and psychology to understand how ideas of health are becoming more ecological. His articles appear in medical and historical journals and he writes regular essays and reviews for Griffith Review and Australian Book Review.
Andrea Gaynor is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Western Australia, where she researches and teaches environmental history, and welcomes visiting environmental historians! Her current research interests encompass Australia’s southern mallee country, urban water, comparative conservation, urban agriculture, and nature in urban modernity. She is a member of The Beeliar Group: Professors for Environmental Responsibility and convenor of the Australian & New Zealand Environmental History Network.
Heather Goodall portraitHeather Goodall researches and publishes on Indigenous histories, on decolonisation histories in the eastern Indian Ocean and on environmental histories, focussing on water and river environments. She has co-authored with Aboriginal activists Isabel Flick and Kevin Cook. Her most recent book is Georges River Blues: swamps, mangroves and resident action, 1945-1980, (ANU Press, 2021).


Peter Griggs portraitPeter Griggs is an independent researcher living in Brisbane, having spent his teaching career at James Cook University, after being awarded a PhD in historical geography.  He has published on the environmental impact of growing sugarcane in Queensland and aspects of the Great Barrier Reef’s environmental history (in partnership with Ben Daley and Helene Marsh).  He is currently working on a project titled ‘Changing Southern Queensland: An Environmental History, 1824-1974.’ [email protected]
Tom Griffiths writes and teaches about forests, fire and ice, historical consciousness and heritage, the environmental humanities and the practice of history. His key books are Hunters and Collectors (1996), Forests of Ash (2001), Slicing the Silence: Voyaging to Antarctica (2007) and The Art of Time Travel: Historians and their Craft (2016). He is the W K Hancock Professor of History and Director of the Centre for Environmental History at the Australian National University. For more details, see:
David Harris has published on different aspects of Victoria’s history including heritage conservation, public housing and early-twentieth century social reform, and the nineteenth-century environmental history of the Gippsland Lakes. He is an honorary associate in the Centre for the Study of the Inland at La Trobe University.
Margaret Hickey is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at La Trobe University, Victoria. Her current research focusses on notions of the pastoral in contemporary Australian literature and how this is reflected in rural communities. Margaret’s research interests include land management, rural communities, co-pastoral literature and connection to place. Margaret’s short stories have been published in literary journals and her plays have been performed in Australia and overseas. She lectures in Academic Communication and Critical thinking at La Trobe University and lives in the hills behind a small country town.
Katie Holmes is Director of the Centre for the Study of the Inland, La Trobe University, Melbourne. Her work in oral and environmental history seeks to understand the experience of Australian settlement, and integrates gender history, cultural history and literary studies. She is the author of Spaces in Her Day (1995) and Between the Leaves: Stories of Australian women, writing and gardens (2011) and co-author of Reading the Garden: the settlement of Australia (2008). She is currently writing an environmental history of the mallee lands of southern Australia with Andrea Gaynor, Richard Broome and Charles Fahey.
Jarrod Hore is an environmental historian of settler colonial landscapes, nature writing, and geology. His work on wilderness photography, early environmentalism, and the Romantic tradition in the antipodes has been published in Australian Historical Studies and History Australia. Jarrod holds a PhD from Macquarie University and is currently completing a book, Visions of Nature: How Landscape Photography Made Territoriality in Australasia and California due for release in 2021. Contact: [email protected]
Rebecca Jones is an environmental historian with particular expertise of climate, weather, rural health and well-being. She also works in the field of health humanities and social sciences. She is the author of Slow Catastrophes: Living with Drought in Australia (2017) and Green Harvest: A History of Organic Farming and Gardening in Australia (2010). Rebecca’s current research is ‘Crazy Weather’ exploring the physical and emotional impacts of extreme weather, and adaptation in arid Australia. She is the CH Curry Fellow at the State Library of NSW in 2020-21 and held a National Library of Australia Research Fellowship in 2018. Contact: [email protected] 
Astrid Mignon Kirchhof is an Assistant Professor at the Deutsches Museum, Munich working within the collaborative research project History of Nuclear Energy and Society (HoNESt). Previously she was the Volkswagen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Georgetown University, USA. From 2010 to 2014, she was a research associate and lecturer at the Chair of Modern and Contemporary History at Humboldt University, Berlin, and the principal investigator of a DFG-research project about nature conservation in East and West Berlin. Forthcoming with UPittPress: Nature Protection and the Iron Curtain. Environmental Policy and Social Movements in Communist and Capitalist Countries 1945-1990, ed. with John McNeill.
Janine Kitson has been actively involved in many of NSW’s key environment groups—the National Trust (NSW), Stead Foundation, National Parks Association of NSW, Nature Conservation Council of NSW and the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. Through this involvement Janine has developed a particular passion for the history of the environment movement. Since 2014 Janine has run a series courses on Environmental History at the Workers Educational Association, Sydney.
Catherine Knight is an independent researcher. She has published extensively on topics of New Zealand and Japanese environmental history. She has published two books: Ravaged Beauty: An environmental history of the Manawatu (Dunmore Press, 2014), which won the Sherrard Award for excellence in local and regional history, and New Zealand’s Rivers: An environmental history (Canterbury University Press, 2016). She lives in the Manawatu in New Zealand, where she works as a policy consultant.
George Main works as a curator in the People and Environment program at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. He is the author of Heartland: the Regeneration of Rural Place (2005), Gunderbooka: a ‘Stone Country’ Story (2000) and The Paddock Report (2012-2016). George is currently working on the development of a new permanent gallery of environmental history, due to open in 2020.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0502160955small.jpgErin Stewart Mauldin is an environmental historian and Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, USA. Her latest book is Unredeemed Land: An Environmental History of Civil War and Emancipation in the Cotton South (Oxford 2018), and future work will look at the role of industrial pollution in racializing urban geographies in the South. She is also the Book Review Editor of Agricultural History.
Andrew May is Professor of History at the University of Melbourne, director of the Melbourne History Workshop in the School of Historical & Philosophical Studies, and director of the ongoing Encyclopedia of Melbourne project ( As a social historian he has broad interests across urban, colonial and imperial history. He has published widely on the social experience of the Australian city, its public spaces and communal rituals, its suburban qualities, and its cosmopolitan cultures. He also has an  interest in imperial networks of science, religion and governance. Ongoing projects include a biography of Australian/American entomologist and actor Henry Edwards (1827-1891).
Daniel May is a PhD candidate in the School of History at the Australian National University, exploring the history of fire within Australia. He is focussing upon the politics of non-Indigenous understandings of Indigenous burning. His research interests include Indigenous history; transnational environmental history; the history and philosophy of science within Australia; and the power of digital media to shape historical consciousness.
Joy McCann is an environmental and cultural historian focusing on the Southern Ocean, Antarctica and rural Australia. Her research interests include human relationships with the non-human world, the ecological humanities, and community-based history and story-telling. Her book, Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean was published by NewSouth Publishing (2018) and the University of Chicago Press (2019).
Russell McGregor is an Adjunct Professor of History at James Cook University. His latest book, Idling in Green Places, (shortlisted for the 2020 National Biography Award) recounts the life of the popular nature writer, Alec Chisholm. Like Chisholm, Russell is a keen birder, an interest that enlivens his current research into the history of birdwatching in Australia.
Julie McIntyre is an ARC Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle. She considers how the growing, making, selling and drinking of wine reveals desire and opportunism in human entanglements with non-human nature. Julie’s research appears in major journals and the award winning First Vintage (2012). Her forthcoming book for NewSouth is on the Hunter Valley wine community and environment, and she is a member of the A&NZ EHN steering committee.
Gretchen Miller is an internationally recognised audio documentary producer. She made over 80 longform features in her 20 years at ABC RN, largely around environmental issues. She is now researching how we continue to enact small rescues in a milieu of environmental crisis, using podcasting as her methodology, via a PhD with UNSW’s Environment and Society group, FASS.
Ruth Morgan is a Senior Research Fellow in History at Monash University, where she holds an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. She has published widely on the environmental histories of climate and water in urban and rural Australia, including her award-winning book, Running Out? Water in Western Australia (2015). Her current research examines the circulation of climate and hydrological knowledge around the Indian Ocean world during the long nineteenth century.
Geoff Mosley has been investigating and writing about the history of the national parks movement since he carried out research on the Peak District for his Master of Arts degree in 1953-1955. He has extensively researched the history of environmental protection in Australia. Amongst his books on this topic are Battle for the Bush: The Blue Mountains, The Australian Alps and the Origins of the Wilderness Movement (1999), Saving the Antarctic Wilderness (2009) and The First National Park: A Natural for World Heritage (2012).
Emily O’Gorman is a Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University. She is an environmental historian with research interests in more-than-human geography and the wider environmental humanities. Her research focuses on rivers, wetlands, and climate. She is the author of Flood Country: An Environmental History of the Murray-Darling Basin (2012) and co-editor of Climate, Science, and Colonization: Histories from Australia and New Zealand (2014, with James Beattie and Matthew Henry) and Eco-Cultural Networks and the British Empire: New Views on Environmental History (2015, with Beattie and Edward Melillo).
K. Jan Oosthoek is an environmental historian based in Brisbane, Australia. His interests include forest history, history of industrial pollution and more recently the transformation of nature in Australia since European settlement. He has also served as vice-president of the European Society for Environmental History (2005–2007) and manages the website “Environmental History Resources” (
Nandini Oza is a researcher and a writer. She is a former activist of the resistance group Narmada Bachao Andolan. She has authored two books tiled, “Whither Justice- Stories of Women in Prison” and “Ladha Narmadecha” (Struggle for Narmada) in Marathi, based on the oral histories of two senior tribal leaders of the people’s movement, the Narmada Bachao Andolan. She is on the board of Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, a centre set up to research, analyse and monitor water and energy issues from the perspective of just, equitable and sustainable development. She is on the advisory board of Sambhaavnaa Institute of Public Policy and Politics and Green Peace, India. For details see:
Eric Pawson spent his teaching career at the University of Canterbury, after training in historical geography at Oxford. He chaired the Advisory Committee of the New Zealand Historical Atlas (1997), which piqued his interest in environmental history. A subsequent partnership with Tom Brooking produced books including Seeds of Empire (2011) and Making A New Land (2013). He is now working on futures for post earthquake Christchurch in the Anthropocene.
Alison Pouliot is an independent researcher and environmental photographer whose work centres around understanding people’s relationships with nature, particularly fungi. Her research spans Australian and Europe and involves a lot of crawling around the forest floor and encouraging others to do so. For more information:
Kirstie Ross is a history curator at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa where she co-curated the major permanent environmental history exhibition Blood Earth Fire | Whāngai, Whenua, Ahi Kā. The transformation of Aotearoa New Zealand. Her research focusses on popular culture and nature in the 20th century, including outdoor recreation; children, nature and the school curriculum; the creation and use of urban, suburban and national parks; and the role of museums in popularising environmental knowledge. This research has been presented in exhibitions, at conferences, in print, and online for both popular and academic audiences. Contact: [email protected].
Daniel Rothenburg is interested in the interrelations of environmental change with social transformations, ecological ideas and everyday practices. His research focus is farming communities in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia in the 20th and 21st century and their salinity problems. Especially, he takes a close look at the role of civil society in environmental issues and the connectedness of local, regional, national and global issues, ideas and trends.
Philip Steer teaches English at Massey University. His research explores the intersection of literary culture, economics, and environment in colonial New Zealand and Australia. He is author of Settler Colonialism in Victorian Literature: Economics and Political Identity in the Networks of Empire (Cambridge, 2020), and coeditor of Ecological Form: System and Aesthetics in the Age of Empire (Fordham, 2019).
Karen Twigg is an environmental and oral historian whose research focuses on rural settlement and community. She has a particular interest in exploring how gender has shaped the ways in which the environment was experienced, imagined and changed. Karen is currently working on a book: Along Tyrrell Creek: An Environmental History of a Mallee Community.
Alexandra Vlachos is an environmental historian from Switzerland with a focus on land management practices, human-nature relations and conservation in the Commonwealth settler societies of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. She explores rural communities and ecosystem resilience through the history of Indigenous, local, agricultural, and scientific knowledge. She is a visiting research fellow at the Australian National University (ANU) and has spent 2018-2019 in both WA and the ACT.
Jonathan West has been a historian in the New Zealand public service for ten years, most recently leading the team of historians at the Office for Māori Crown Relations–Te Arawhiti.  His research focuses on New Zealand environmental history, and he is especially interested in histories of freshwater, the ocean, the high country and wilderness, and local history. Jonathan’s book The Face of Nature: An Environmental History of the Otago Peninsula, was shortlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards for Illustrated Non-Fiction in 2018. As the 2019 JD Stout Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington Jonathan will work on a new project, ‘Mirrors on the Land: An Environmental History of New Zealand’s Lakes’, which will examine how Māori and Pakeha New Zealanders have lived with lakes, and how that relationship has shaped their histories.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mugshot-2.jpgBenjamin Wilkie is an Australian historian whose research touches on environmental, migration, and imperial and colonial histories. He is broadly interested in histories of Australian conservation with a focus on diverse protected areas from national parks to military training areas. Ben is also an Associate of the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Otago, and has been particularly interested in Scottish social networks, business connections, migrations, and culture in the diaspora.
Fiona Williamson is a social and environmental historian based at Singapore Management University with a particular interest in interactions between climate and society. Her three main research areas explore nature-induced disaster (especially floods), climate change, and the history of meteorology in the British colonies of Malaya and Hong Kong. She also undertakes multi-disciplinary collaborative work recovering historic records to enrich our record of anthropogenic climate change. Contact: [email protected]