Simon Batterbury 

Professor (from Jan 2024), Environmental Studies, SGEAS, University of Melbourne & Academic convenor, Melbourne Climate Futures Academy

Visiting Professor, LEC, Lancaster University 2019-2023

simon batterbury

Personal  and professional website � nothing to do with the University,

    simonpjb  "at"


I work on the political ecology of natural resources, and international development issues, as a university scholar and occasional consultant and activist. I have newer interests in urban bike mobility. I'm originally from the UK but have spent many years in other places, notably Australia, the USA, West Africa and continental Europe.

This site is oriented towards research and teaching interests, and also contains (under Publications) online versions almost everything I have written since 1993. Thankyou to numerous collaborators, colleagues and students over the years.

  • Short cv
  • Resumé* of Failures (following Clive James quote below..)
  • Publications of all sorts
  • Blog 
  • Research students past and present. 
  • List of affordable Open Access journals Academics could be publishing ethically, particularly in the critical social sciences.  Generally we don't, and just stick with big publishing firms that take our copyrights or make a large profit for their execs and shareholders. And the public can't always access our work.
  • Community bike workshops page Ongoing research, on a topic virtually ignored by transport researchers - workshops where people learn to fix their own bikes and change their travel patterns aided by volunteers. I studied this during a fellowship at VUB Brussels in 2015 and again in 2020, and in 2023 as a British Academy fellow. 
  • Old Homepage, dating to 1993. research themes, teaching, links etc.  

Favourite Quotes

"It's no use trying to be clever--we are all clever here; just try to be kind--a little kind". F.J. Foakes Jackson (a Cambridge academic, talking to a new arrival at the University, early 1900s)

"Generally it is our failures that civilise us. Triumph confirms us in our habits". Clive James. 1980. Unreliable Memoirs. Picador. p65 

Melbourne is a strong research and teaching university in one of the world's nicest big cities, dating back to the 1850s. Initially modelled on Oxford and part of the Australian "Ivy league" (Group of 8) it is high in all the rankings, if anybody cares. I was Associate Professor  2004-2016 in the School of Geography and resumed this job in 2019. By 2021 we were merged into the School of Geog, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences to save money, following the effects of the global pandemic. We were the  Department of Resource Management and Geography from 2008-2014 in the  Melbourne School of Land and Environment, which was axed. Until 2006 it had the best name - SAGES - the School of Anthropology, Geography and Environmental Studies in the Faculty of Arts. This attracted me to Australia in 2004 from the Univ. of Arizona, since I teach across development studies, geography and environment (SAGES survives on Facebook!).

PhD students: I have usually run a group working on environment & development, international development, political ecology topics and engaged research, and received an award for being the University's best PhD supervisor in 2019.

I spend a great deal of time working with Masters students, now over 50 graduated, mainly from the Master of Environment, OEP, where 'streams' could be chosen including 'development' and 'conservation'. I occasionally have honours students in geography (Honours is an undergrad 4th year with a 20,000 wd. thesis in Australia)   

     Other jobs:

*From Jan 2017-June 2019 I was the inaugural Chair/Professor of Political Ecology at Lancaster University in the UK, in the renowned LEC, as, part of a new cluster of scholars in this field and teaching on extremely good geography degrees and Masters programmes. But I am a 'Brexit refugee' and missed my family back in Melbourne.

*In 2015, visiting fellow at Cosmopolis, VUB, Brussels. Also British Academy Visiting Fellow, Sociology, Lancaster University 2024

*       From 2008-12 I was seconded to direct the University's Office for Environmental Programs, which offers interdisciplinary taught post-graduate degrees in the environmental field to up to 400 students. It has been widely recognized for its innovative teaching model. Described in an OA article here

*       In 2007-8 I was a James Martin Fellow at ECI, University of Oxford, UK in a unit focussing on climate change policy.

*       I used to teach at the University of Arizona (USA), the London School of Economics (UK), where I co-managed the MSc in Environment and Development), Brunel University (UK) and briefly at the University of Colorado (USA) and Roskilde University (Denmark).

*       I've also lived in francophone West Africa, where I conducted research on environment and development issues, and I have a couple of research projects in the Pacific and formerly in East Timor, in 2023 completing a book on New Caledonia-Kanaky. 

*       In my neighbourhood of Melbourne, Northcote, I sat on several environmental committees and currently volunteer at We-Cycle  where we fix up bikes for those who need them. Visit us on Saturdays.

       Press on Batterbury family garden, Bath, UK (house sold, 2017: Sheila died in 2022.)

Dr Simon Batterbury est géographe et spécialiste de la gestion des ressources naturelles et des politiques environnementales en Afrique (Burkina, Niger) et dans la zone Asie-Pacifique (Nouvelle-Calédonie-Kanaky, Timor-Leste). Né en Angleterre, docteur de la Clark University (Etats-Unis, 1997) sur le théme du développement rural au Burkina Faso, il est aujourd'hui Professor, University of Melbourne et iil a été le premier professeur de la political ecology à l'Université de Lancaster, 2017-2019. Entre-temps, il a travaillé à l'Université de Brunel à Londres, à la London School of Economics, et à l'Université d'Arizona (Etats-Unis). Auteur d'une centaine d'articles et de 7 'collections', le dernier sur la Nouvelle Caledonie-Kanaky, il a reçu certains 'research grants' depuis 1992.

15 Nov   2023