Simon Batterbury

Simon Batterbury is an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia and visiting Professor of Political Ecology and former Chair at Lancaster University, UK. As a PhD student (Geography, Clark University, USA) in the 1990s, he started working in Bam Province, Burkina Faso on the impacts of soil and water conservation on Mossi communities. Later he ran an interdisciplinary project in the Zarma region of SW Niger with scientists, correlating land use change and soil characteristics with village livelihood choices and dynamics. This led to interesting reconfigurations of the 'sustainable livelihoods' framework, and development of 'productive bricolage' ideas as they applied in the West African Sahel. They were one of the early teams to link environmental changes to livelihood choices in an adverse political economy. A move to Arizona and then Australia in 2004 led to comparative work in East Timor and New Caledonia, latterly focussing on mining impacts on indigenous peoples, which remains a current interest. He has edited the open access Journal of Political Ecology since 2003, editing and publishing hundreds articles on resource politics and development issues, many from Africa.

His current interests include agrarian politics and justice, food sovereignty, and the political ecology of mining.

Fellow member
University of Melbourne