Simon Batterbury (Professor, Lancaster University: visiting Associate Professor, University of Melbourne)

Title: Simon Batterbury - Description: website – nothing to do with the University

    simonpjb  "at"                                   

Short cv

Resume of Failures (following Clive James quote below..)

Publications of all sorts

Blog Entries on OA publishing, etc.

Community bike workshops page

Research students past and present.


Old Homepage, 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

 This is where you are


I work on the political ecology of natural resources, and international development issues, as a university scholar and occasional consultant and activist. 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.

From Jan 2017 I will be based at Lancaster University in the UK, in the renowned LEC, as the inaugural Professor of Political Ecology, part of a new cluster of scholars in this field and teaching on extremely good geography and envt. science degrees and Masters programmes.

I was Associate Professor in an interdisciplinary university department, University of Melbourne, Australia 2004-2016 and also from 2008-12 I directed the University’s  Office for Environmental Programs, which offers interdisciplinary taught post-graduate degrees in the environmental field. It has been widely recognized for its innovative teaching model.

Lancaster is a small university in Northern England founded in the 1960s, that punches above its weight, and it is always in the top 140 worldwide. It has some significant environmental scholars in the LEC, working globally, and one of the best groups of sociologists in the world (other departments are very highly ranked too). I only moved there in Jan 2017, so I have many other things to investigate.

Melbourne is a strong research and teaching university 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. The Department I am in for only part of the year, School of Geography, has changed its name due to almost continuous university restructuring.  It is currently in the Faculty of Science. 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!).

Title: Melbourne - Description: is a small city of about 50,000, a short train ride from Manchester and a longer one from London, where I grew up. First impressions are good – it is very affordable and there is plenty to do, and beautiful countryside around, including the Lake District. It rains though!  

 Despite environmental challenges,  Melbourne is one of the world's 'most liveable cities' according  to assessments - better planned, interesting/alternative, and with a better climate than most of its northern-hemisphere equivalents.  Soon to approach 4m people, it has a strong environmental movement, many NGOs, a tram network, a bayside coast, opulent Victorian architecture, a multicultural community, large homegrown music scene, and the best coffee in the country.  It is expensive by North American standards.

PhD students: I have usually run a large group working on environment & development, international development, political ecology topics and engaged research. The situation at Lancaster is not clear to me yet – I am unlikely to have a large group given the need to find scholarships for international students, and the possible impacts of ill-advised Brexit on universities. Here is the Graduate School.

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

     Working elsewhere:

·         In 2015, visiting fellow at VUB, Brussels.

·         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 still conduct research on environment and development issues, and I have a couple of similar research projects in the Pacific and East Timor.  In my neighbourhood of Melbourne, Northcote, I sat on environmental committees and I worry about bicycle infrastructure.  

·         Press on Batterbury family garden, Bath, UK (house to be sold, 2017)


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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, Timor-Leste). Né en Angleterre, docteur de la Clark University (Etats-Unis, 1997) sur le thème du développement rural au Burkina Faso, il est aujourd’hui Professeur à Lancaster University (Melbourne, 2004-2016). 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 soixantaine d’articles et de 6 «collections», il a reçu plusieurs « research grants ».


1 Nov  2016