Emeritus Professor Tom Griffiths

Position: Emeritus Professor
School and/or Centres: School of History

Position: Foundation Director
School and/or Centres: Centre for Environmental History

Email: tom.griffiths@anu.edu.au

Phone: (02) 612 53345

Location: Level 5, RSSS Building, 146 Ellery Crescent


BA (Hons) (Melbourne University) MA (Melbourne University) PhD (Monash University) FAHA (Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities)

Researcher profile: https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/griffiths-tr

Website: https://history.cass.anu.edu.au/people/tom-griffiths

Tom Griffiths AO is the W K Hancock Professor of History in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University, Chair of the Editorial Board of the Australian Dictionary of Biography and Director of the Centre for Environmental History at ANU. His research, writing and teaching are in the fields of Australian social, cultural and environmental history, public history, comparative global environmental history, the writing of non-fiction, and the history of Antarctica. His books and essays have won prizes in history, science, literature, politics and journalism including the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction, the Ernest Scott Prize for History, the Eureka Science Book Prize, the Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay advancing Public Debate, and the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History. He is the author of Beechworth: An Australian Country Town and its Past (1987), Hunters and Collectors: The Antiquarian Imagination in Australia (1996), Forests of Ash: An Environmental History (2001) and Slicing the Silence: Voyaging to Antarctica (2007). In the summer of 2002/03 he travelled to Antarctica as a Humanities Fellow with the Australian Antarctic Division, and in 2012 he was invited by the Australian Government to join the centennial voyage to Mawson’s Huts in Antarctica. In 2008 he was the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at the University of Copenhagen and was then appointed by the Vice-Chancellor as Adjunct Professor of Climate Research at Copenhagen (2009-13). In 2012, his co-edited volume (with Marcus Haward), Australia and the Antarctic Treaty System, was joint winner of the Best Tertiary Scholarly Resource in the Australian Educational Publishing Awards. In 2009 his Alfred Deakin prize-money funded a community historical project with people in the Yarra Valley who suffered in the Black Saturday firestorm: two collaborative books and a film have been released, including the book Living with Fire (co-authored with Christine Hansen, 2012). Tom’s most recent book is The Art of Time Travel: Historians and their Craft (Black Inc., 2016), which was awarded the 2017 Ernest Scott Prize and the 2017 ACT Book of the Year Award. In 2014 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for ‘distinguished service to tertiary education, particularly social, cultural and environmental history, and through popular and academic contributions to Australian literature’.




Australian cultural and environmental history; the comparative environmental history of settler societies; the history of Antarctica.

Current Research Projects:

  •  Antarctic history and policy: An ARC funded investigation into fifty years of Australian engagement in the Antarctic Treaty System
  • Victorian Bushfire Research Project: A collaborative community response to Back Saturday
  • Climate and Culture in Australia: Historical research into the history of weather and climate
  • The International IHOPE Project: The Integrated History and Future of People on Earth
  • Desert Channels: The Impulse to Conserve: An exploration of the understandings of the distinctive Desert Channels country of south-western Queensland
  • Australian Environmental Historiography: Research into the distinctive character of Australian environmental historiography and nature writing. For further details, visit http://ceh.environmentalhistory-au-nz.org/

Supervision of doctoral candidates in the School of History (Australian National University)

National Environmental History PhD Workshop

History@ANU Postgraduate Workshops

Masterclasses in Environmental History and Non-Fiction Writing

Honours courses in Environmental History and Public History

Adjunct Professor of Climate Research (University of Copenhagen)

Updated:  26 February 2024/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications