I have taught across all undergraduate levels in the areas of Australian history and historiography, twentieth century world history, research methods and writing, and global environmental history.
I welcome the opportunity to supervise Honours and postgraduate research in the areas of environmental history, urban history, rural history, and the history of science. I am especially interested in topics relating to Australia, its connections with the wider world, and the means by which these connections were developed. These connections might involve people and ideas, commodities and resources, or plants, animals and microbes, across all sorts of terrains, climates, and spaces from the eighteenth century to the present. I am also interested in how these stories might be shared beyond the academy, and the possibilities that public history offers for communicating narratives of environmental change.
I recently joined my colleague Dr Susan Carland to talk about the histories of some of the environmental challenges facing Australia today. These interviews complement the Australian Journey: The Story of a Nation in 12 Objects series, produced by the National Museum of Australia and Monash University. Australian Journey is a free web-based video series exploring the nation’s history through captivating objects from the National Museum of Australia. This series is aimed at high school and tertiary students.
I spoke about the challenges facing the Great Barrier Reef, while offering a wider historical and cultural context for “Cook’s cannon“, one of six that Lieut. James Cook and his crew heaved over board when the Endeavour ran aground the Reef in 1770.
In another interview (after a haircut!), I spoke with Susan about the drying climate of southwestern Australia and its implications for Perth and the wider region. This interview complemented an episode that focused on cultural responses to the continent’s aridity, which featured the windmill of Kenya station in central Queensland.
Completed and Current Postgraduate Supervision
Lee Andrews, ‘Plant Exchange Between California and Victoria, 1848-1901’, PhD (ongoing, with David Garrioch).
Brian Doolan, ‘Institutional Continuity and Change in Victoria’s Forests and Parks, 1900-2010‘, MA (2015, with Stephen Legg).
Kathleen Raulings, ‘Landscapes and People of the Mitta Valley, 1830-1914: An Environmental History’, MA (2017, with Seamus O’Hanlon).