My long-term research fascination is human-environment relations, both conceptual and material. That is, I want to understand how humans have physically changed earth’s systems, how we think about our place in nature, and how these two things are connected. I have a particular focus on humans and plants. In recent years I have worked mostly in cultural geography, with projects on backyard gardens, wheat and invasive plants. This developed from my earlier interest in Aboriginal land use, ethnobotany and fire. I started my research career using palaeoecology and archaeology to study long term changes in the Australian landscape, and the interactions of prehistoric peoples with their environments. Today I am building on this multidisciplinary background in the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER), where a team of scholars is applying cultural research methods to the pressing issues of sustainability and climate change.
Climate change and household dynamics: Beyond consumption, unbounding sustainability (with C. R. Gibson, N. Gill, and Gordon R. Waitt), Faculty of Science - Papers (2011)
Cultural ecology: Adaptation - retrofitting a concept?, Faculty of Science - Papers (2010)
Adaptation was a core concept of twentieth-century cultural ecology. It is having a new life...
Restored Nature, Familiar Culture: Contesting Visions for Preferred Environments in Australian Cities (with D. Trigger), Faculty of Science - Papers (2010)
How are preferences for “native” and “introduced” species of plants and animals given expression in...
The gendered dimensions of bushfire in changing rural landscapes in Australia (with Christine Eriksen and Nicholas Gill), Faculty of Science - Papers (2010)
This paper examines gender differences in awareness, preparedness and attitudes towards bushfire amongst landholders in...
Wheat as food, wheat as industrial substance; comparative geographies of transformation and mobility (with Jennifer Atchison and Alison Gates), Faculty of Science - Papers (2010)
The (Aboriginal) face of the (Australian) earth, Faculty of Science - Papers (2006)
Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Change, Faculty of Science - Papers (2000)
Journeys Between Nature and Culture (with Diana W. Conroy and Jennifer Lamb), Faculty of Science - Papers (2000)
Second Nature: The History and Implications of Australia as Aboriginal Landscape., Faculty of Science - Papers (2000)
Contributions to Books
Is It Easy Being Green? On the Dilemmas of Material Cultures of Household Sustainability (with C. R. Gibson, Gordon R. Waitt, and N. J. Gill), Faculty of Science - Papers (2011)
Australasia (with Harry Allen, Tim Denham, and Richard L. Fullagar), Faculty of Science - Papers (2009)
Geographical scale in understanding human landscapes, Faculty of Science - Papers (2008)
Nature, networks and desire: changing cultures of water in Australia, Faculty of Science - Papers (2008)
Suburban gardens as landscapes of the city edge: perspectives from Australia, Faculty of Science - Papers (2006)
Planning for Natural Hazards — How Can We Mitigate the Impacts? (with E. A. Bryant and J. Morrison), Faculty of Science - Papers (2005)
Australia has the same frequency of natural hazards as any other continent; however, the types...