A/PROF Simon Batterbury

A/PROF Simon Batterbury


  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Agrarian change
  • Bicycles and sustainable transport
  • Geography, area studies, environment and development paths
  • Political ecology of natural resource management, sustainable development and the environment, urban transport, West Africa, Asia-Pacific
  • Program Evaluation & Social Impact Assessment
  • Sustainable development and the environment



  • See http://www.simonbatterbury.net for up to date cv, publications, student information. From 2017 I am the inaugural Professor of Political Ecology, Lancaster University UK (www.lancaster.ac.uk/lec) and Principal Fellow at Melbourne, based there part of the year.

    I studied geography in the UK and USA, and have moved around a fair bit and also had some fellowships. Most recently I was at Cosmopolis, VUB, Brussels (visiting researcher, 2015)

    I specialise in the interdisciplinary analysis of environment and development issues - mainly in developing countries. Understanding how farmers in dryland Africa adapted to harsh environmental and socio-political constraints and used 'development' projects as part of this. I refocused on the Asia-Pacific region, with research in East Timor (on land and custom) and New Caledonia (on social and environmental history and mining on Grande Terre).

    Research projects have been carried out with a host of collaborators and students and with several research grants. Most can be grouped under the rubric of "political ecology" and are made relevant to policymakers and activists. In Australia and the UK I have worked with environmental and development organisations and NGOs, set up a bicycle advocacy organisation in London, and organised many conferences and workshops.

    From 2008-2012 I was Director of Melbourne's taught postgrad Master of Environment, (www.environment.unimelb.edu.au). I teach political ecology; development evaluation; and African society, environments and culture. PhD and Masters students: http://www.simonbatterbury.net and publications at http:www.simonbatterbury.net/pubs.    

Has subject area


Member of

  • Royal Geographical Society. Fellow 1988 -
  • Association of American Geographers. member 1987 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • 2015 Centre for Urban Studies Fellowship, VUB, Brussels. A$10,000

    2010 Transdisciplinary research networks project. University of Melbourne  (Lauren Rickards, Batterbury et.al.)  A$30,000

    2010 "Adaptive learning – a think-tank on preparedness for climate change adaptation in local and state planning in  Victoria" Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research, Australia. 5 Jul 2010. Workshop and report.  A$10,000

    2010 "Politique du nickel entre gouvernance locale et gouvernance d’entreprise" Prof Marcia Langton and Simon Batterbury, with French and New Caledonia research  partners. CNRT ‘Nickel and the environment’ (French cooperative research centre). Uni Melb: A$23,000

    2008 “Livelihoods, land and poverty in post-conflict East Timor”. With Marcia Langton, Lisa Palmer, Thomas Reuter, Balthasar Kehi and Universidade da Paz, Dili. United States Institute of Peace, US$40,000. Research began 2008.

    2007 James Martin 21st Century School Research Fellowship, ECI, University of Oxford, UK. Residential fellowship in UK.

    2006 "Twentieth Century rural development, labour, and agrarian change on Grande Terre, New Caledonia". With Gilles Pestana (University of New Caledonia). Humanities and Social Sciences Grant, Ambassade de la France en Australie/Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and Early Career Grant, University of Melbourne. c.AU$15,000

    2006 "The social impact of changing tenure and resource management regimes on customary property relations in Timor Leste (East Timor)." Marcia Langton, Lisa Palmer, Simon Batterbury, Thomas Reuter, Balthasar Kehi.  University of Melbourne Collaborative Research Grant AU$13,000.

    2006 “Impacts of climate change on remote Indigenous communities in Northern Australia” with Donna Green (CSIRO, now UNSW). Collaborative Research Support Scheme, U



Education and training

  • New Acad. Leaders program, University of Melbourne 2010
  • Geography (PhD), Clark University 1997
  • Postgrad training soil science, Imperial College London 1991
  • Geography (MA), Clark University 1990
  • Geography (BA Hons 1st), The University of Reading 1985

Awards and honors

  • James Martin Fellowship, James Martin 21st Century School, Oxford, Jul 07-Jan 08., University of Oxford, 2007
  • Visiting Professor, Intl' Development, Roskilde University, Denmark. Sept-Dec. 2002., Roskilde University, 2002
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, 1988



Available for supervision

  • N

Supervision Statement

  • Broadly, environment and development issues, geography, development studies, environmental studies. Particular expertise in Africa, Pacific. All students and research interests are given at  http://www.simonbatterbury.net/simonbatterburystudents.pdf

    So far, my students at Melbourne have come from Australia (9), Canada (3), Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Trinidad, Philippines, South Africa, Nepal, New Zealand, Vietnam, Colombia (2), Cambodia, Ecuador and China.