John Dargavel is actively engaged in several aspects of environmental and forest history research.
He has forestry degrees from the Universities of Edinburgh and Melbourne. His doctorate from ANU presented a radical analysis of the development of the Tasmanian wood industries. He worked as a forester in government and industry for twenty years, and spent a year researching and teaching in the University of Georgia before moving to ANU in 1982. He has researched and taught in the areas of forest economics, planning, politics and history.
He is the author of over 70 papers and has editied 10 books covering forest science, management, industrial and labour history, trade, environmental politics, and cultural aspects of landscape and remembrance.
His book on Australian forest history, Fashioning Australia's Forests (Oxford University Prss) was published in 1995 and his biography, The Zealous Conservator: a Life of Charles Lane Poole (University of Western Australia Press) was published in 2008. His most recent book on the history of forest science over the last three centuries was written with Elisabeth Johann, Science and Hope: a Forest History (White Horse Press) was published in 2013.
Dargavel, John and Elizabeth Johann (trans. Ingrid Vogel) 2018, Die Geschichte der Forstwissenschaft – eine Geschichte der Hoffnung (Remagen: Kessel Verlag).
Dargavel, John 2017, The travels of a slim book: Rockhampton stonemasons, 1890-1899 and beyond’, The Queensland Journal of Labour History, no.24, pp.39-43.
Dargavel, J. 2016, ‘An initial inventory of Australian foresters’ lives’, Australian Forestry, vol. 79, no. 4, pp. 265-270.
Gordon Dadswell, John Dargavel and Philip D. Evans 2015, ‘Wood collections in Australia: a history of expansion and retraction’, Australian Forestry, vol. 78, no. 1, pp. 18-28.
Dargavel, John, Philip D. Evans and Gordon Dadswell 2014, ‘From Science to Heritage: the History of a Wood Collection’. Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 43-54.