Professor Libby Robin

Emeritus Professor

Professor Libby Robin FAHA is an historian of science and environmental ideas. She is Emeritus Professor at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University.

Career highlights include Guest Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm in the Division of History of Science and Technology (2011-2014; affiliated professor 2015-2017) and Senior Fellow in the National Museum of Australia's Reseach Centre (2007-2015).

Libby has published widely in the history of science, international and comparative environmental history and the ecological humanities. She has won national and international prizes in History (How a Continent Created a Nation), in Zoology (Boom and Bust), and in literature (Flight of the Emu, The Future of Nature).

She was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 2013.

Research interests

General themes: Environmental humanities, Conservation history and policy; Interdisciplinary environmental studies; The scientific aesthetic; Climate Change and the humanities; History of Ornithology in Australia; History of Science in Australia and the region

New Books:

2017 Lukasiewicz, Anna, Stephen Dovers, Libby Robin, Jennifer McKay, Steven Schilizzi and Sonia Graham (eds.) Natural Resources and Environmental Justice: Australian Perspectives, Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing. 284pp.

2017 Newell, Jennifer, Libby Robin and Kirsten Wehner eds. Curating the Future: Museums, Communities and Climate Change (Routledge Environmental Humanities), Abingdon, UK, Routledge, 2017. 298pp.

In Press Warde, Paul, Libby Robin and Sverker Sörlin The Environment: A History of the Idea Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore MD https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/content/environment

Projects:

Environmental Humanities

Co-convenor of Australian Environmental Humanities Hub www.aehhub.org

Key paper: Robin, Libby ‘Environmental humanities and climate change: Understanding humans geologically and other life forms ethically’, WIREs Climate Change 2017 e499, doi: 10.1002/wcc.499

Expertise for the Future

Histories of environmental prediction and policy (2011-2018) Libby Robin (ANU), Sverker Sörlin (Royal Institute of Technology KTH, Stockholm) and Paul Warde (Cambridge) (project leaders) Outcomes include The Future of Nature: Documents of Global Change (2013, Yale UP) (Winner Best Anthology at New England Book Fair, USA) Website: http://www.histecon.magd.cam.ac.uk/ees/expertise_future.html

Related website: https://expertspastpresentfuture.net/the-environment-and-its-evolution-a...

Also contribution to Past Futures: Experts Development and Sustainability (eds Rivera, Sum and Trentmann; Oekom)

Workshops:

December 14-16 2016 Environment, Society, and the Making of the Modern World The history and legacy of the UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, June 1972 Paper "Stockholm in Australia"

IASS Potsdam 28-29 April 2016 Futures Past: Experts, Development and Sustainability Paper: Experts past and future:The Environment, Integrated Global Change Science and the Anthropocene

Biological invasions and national identity ARC grant The Culture of Weeds LP120400273.

Book in prep: Thinking with Nature

Museums in the Anthropocene

Jennifer Newell, Libby Robin and Kirsten Wehner (eds) Curating the Future: Museums Communities and Climate Change Routledge Environmental Humanities, London: 2017

Libby Robin, 'Anthropocene Cabinets of Curiosity: Objects of Strange Change' in Future Remains: A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene (eds. Gregg Mitman et al) (University of Chicago Press, 2018) pp. 205--18

Understanding Australia in The Age of Humans: Localising the Anthropocene ARC Grant DP 160102648 (2016-2018) (with Iain McCalman University of Sydney, Kirsten Wehner, Jennifer Newell, and others)

The Anthropocene in Museums: Workshop Deutsches Museum Munich 3-4 December 2015 http://www.carsoncenter.uni-muenchen.de/events_conf_seminars/calendar/ws_anthropocene-in-museums/index.html

History of Science

Key recent publications:

Robin, Libby with Stephen Boyden (2018), ‘Telling the Bionarrative: A Museum of Environmental Ideas’, Historical Records of Australian Science 29(2) pp A-O https://doi.org/10.1071/HR18007 Published online: 14 June 2018 (15pp)

Robin, Libby with Max Day, ‘Changing Ideas about the Environment in Australia: Learning from Stockholm’. Historical Records of Australian Science 28(1): 37—49. doi.org/10.1071/HR17004

Maroske, Sara, Libby Robin, and Gavan McCarthy, ‘Building the History of Australian Science: Five Projects of Professor R. W. Home (1980-present)’ Historical Records of Australian Science 28(1): 1—11. doi.org/10.1071/HR16018

Special Issue: Desert Science (eds Libby Robin, Steve Morton and Mike Smith) Historical Records of Australian Science 25(2) 2014: http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/109/issue/7244.htm

Environmental Humanities Hub (Co-convenor with Thom van Dooren USyd) www.aehhub.org

  • Robin, L & Boyden, S 2018, 'Telling the Bionarrative: A Museum of Environmental Ideas [EARLY PRESS]', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. Online, pp. 1-15.
  • Robin, L 2018, 'Cane Toads as Sport: Conservation Practice and Animal Ethics at Odds', in (ed.), Animals Count, Taylor & Francis, NA, pp. 15-25pp.
  • Robin, L 2018, 'Anthropocene Cabinets of Curiosity: Objects of Strange Change', in Gregg Mitman, Marco Armiero, Robert Emmett (ed.), Future Remains: A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 205-218.
  • Robin, L 2018, 'Culling and Care: Ferals, Invasives and Conservation Icons in Australia', Australian Zoologist, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 103-113pp.
  • Robin, L 2018, 'Environmental humanities and climate change: understanding humans geologically and other life forms ethically', WIREs Climate Change, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. e499.
  • Warde, P, Robin, L & Sorlin, S 2017, 'Stratigraphy for the Renaissance: Questions of expertise for 'the environment' and 'the Anthropocene'', The Anthropocene Review, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 246-258.
  • Robin, L & Day, M 2017, 'Changing Ideas about the Environment in Australia: Learning from Stockholm', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 37-49pp.
  • Maroske, S, Robin, L & McCarthy, G 2017, 'Building the History of Australian Science: Five Projects of Professor R.W. Home (1980-present)', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 1-11pp.
  • Wilson, A, Wilson, D & Robin, L 2017, 'The Ought-Ecology of Ferals: An Emerging Dialogue in Invasion Biology and Animal Studies', Australian Zoologist, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 85-102pp.
  • Kendal, D, Robin, L, Wilson, A et al 2017, 'Led up the garden path? Weeds, conservation rhetoric, and environmental management', Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 228-241.
  • Lukasiewicz, A, Dovers, S, Robin, L et al, eds, 2017, Natural Resources and Environmental Justice: Australian Perspectives, CSIRO Publishing, Clayton South, Victoria, Australia.
  • Lukasiewicz, A, Dovers, S, Robin, L et al 2017, 'Current status and future prospects for justice research in environmental management', in Lukasiewicz, A., Dovers, S., Robin, L., McKay, J.M., Schilizzi, S., Graham, S. (ed.), Natural Resources and Environmental Justice: Australian Perspectives, CSIRO Publishing, Clayton South, Victoria, Australia, pp. 263-266pp.
  • Robin, L 2017, 'A history of global ideas about environmental justice', in Lukasiewicz, A., Dovers, S., Robin, L., McKay, J.M., Schilizzi, S., Graham, S. (ed.), Natural Resources and Environmental Justice: Australian Perspectives, CSIRO Publishing, Clayton South, Victoria, Australia, pp. 13-25pp.
  • Robin, L 2017, 'FORUM - "The Environment" and its Evolution as an Integrative Tool'.
  • Newell, J, Robin, L & Wehner, K, eds, 2017, Curating the Future: Museums, Communities and Climate Change, Taylor & Francis, 2016, UK.
  • Robin, L 2016, 'To everything there is a season', Griffith Review, vol. 52.
  • Robin, L & Muir, C 2015, 'Slamming the Anthropocene: Performing Climate Change in Museums', reCollections: Journal of the National Museum of Australia, vol. 10, no. 1.
  • Castree, N, Adams, W, Barry, J et al 2014, 'Changing the intellectual climate', Nature Climate Change, vol. 4, no. 9, pp. 763-768.
  • Dickman, C & Robin, L 2014, 'Putting science in its place: The role of Sandringham Station in fostering arid zone science in Australia', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 186-201.
  • Bergthaller, H, Emmett, R, Johns-Putra, A et al 2014, 'Mapping Common Ground: Ecocriticism, Environmental History, and the Environmental Humanities', Environmental Humanities, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 261-276.
  • Robin, L, Morton, S & Smith, M 2014, 'Writing a History of Scientific Endeavour in Australia's Deserts', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 143-152.
  • Robin, L, Avango, D, Keogh, L et al 2014, 'Three galleries of the Anthropocene', The Anthropocene Review, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 207-224.
  • Robin, L 2014, 'Wilderness in a Global Age, Fifty Years On', Environmental History, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 721-727.
  • Mauch, C & Robin, L, eds, 2014, The Edges of Environmental History: Honouring Jane Carruthers.
  • Robin, L 2014, 'Resilience in the Anthropocene:A Biography', in Jodi Frawley and Iain McCalman (ed.), Rethinking Invasion Ecologies from the Environmental Humanities, Routledge, Abingdon, UK and New York, USA, pp. 45-63.
  • Robin, L 2014, 'Biography and Scientific Endeavour', Rachel Carson Center (RCC) Perspectives, vol. 1, no. 2014, pp. 93-99.
  • Robin, L 2014, 'Biological Diversity as a Political Force in Australia', in Armiero, M., Sedrez, L. (ed.), A History of Environmentalism: Local Struggles, Global Histories, Bloomsbury, London and New York, pp. 38-55.
  • Robin, L, Sorlin, S & Warde, P 2013, 'Introduction: Documenting Global Change', in L. Robin, S. Sorlin, P. Warde (ed.), The Future of Nature, Yale University Press, Yale, USA, pp. 1-14pp.
  • Robin, L 2013, 'Commentary: Paul Sears, Deserts on the March (1935)', in L. Robin, S. Sorlin, P. Warde (ed.), The Future of Nature, Yale University Press, Yale, USA, pp. 183-186.
  • Robin, L 2013, 'Commentary: Charles S. Elton, "The Invaders" (1958)', in L. Robin, S. Sorlin, P. Warde (ed.), The Future of Nature, Yale University Press, Yale, USA, pp. 378-380.
  • Robin, L 2013, 'Commentary: Michael E. Soule, "What Is Conservation Biology" (1985)', in L. Robin, S. Sorlin, P. Warde (ed.), The Future of Nature, Yale University Press, Yale, USA, pp. 405-408.
  • Robin, L, Sorlin, S & Warde, P 2013, 'Commentary: Mike Hulme, "Reducing the Future to Climate" (2011)', in L. Robin, S. Sorlin, P. Warde (ed.), The Future of Nature, Yale University Press, Yale, USA, pp. 520-525.
  • Robin, L 2013, 'Commentary: C.S. Holling, Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems (1973)', in L. Robin, S. Sorlin, P. Warde (ed.), The Future of Nature, Yale University Press, Yale, USA, pp. 257-259.
  • Robin, L 2013, 'Commentary: Arthur Tansley, "The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts and Terms" (1935)', in L. Robin, S. Sorlin, P. Warde (ed.), The Future of Nature, Yale University Press, Yale, USA, pp. 230-232.
  • Robin, L 2013, 'Histories for Changing Times: Entering the Anthropocene?', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 329-340.
  • Robin, L 2013, Little Desert - When Diversity Won, pp. 44-46.
  • Robin, L 2013, 'The Love-Hate Relationship with Land in Australia: Presenting "Exploitation and Sustainability" in Museums', Nova Acta Leopoldina, vol. 114, no. 390, pp. 47-63.
  • Robin, L., Sörlin S. and Warde P. (eds) The Future of Nature: Documents of Global Change, New Haven: Yale University Press 2013 (565pp.) (WINNER 2013 New England Book Prize for Anthologies)
  • Robin, Libby 2013, 'Being first: Why the Americans needed it, and why Royal National Park didn't stand in their way', Australian Zoologist, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 321-331.
  • Robin, Libby, Sörlin, Sverker & Warde, Paul, eds, 2013, The Future of Nature, Yale University Press, Yale, USA.
  • Robin, L 2012, 'The global challenge of climate change: Reflections from Australian and Nordic museums', reCollections: Journal of the National Museum of Australia, vol. 6, no. 2, p. 13.
  • Robin, Libby 2012, 'Australia in Global Environmental History', in J.R. McNeill and E.S. Mauldin (ed.), A Companion to Global Environmental History, Wiley-Blackwell, UK, pp. 182-195.
  • Robin, Libby 2012, 'Global Ideas in Local Places: The Humanities in Environmental Management', Environmental Humanities, vol. 1, pp. 69-84.
  • Robin, Libby 2012, 'Conservation through Knowledge: A Short History of the First National Ornithologists' Society in Australia', in W.E. Davis, H.F. Recher, W.E. Boles (ed.), Contributions to the History of Australasian Ornithology, Nuttall Ornithological Club, USA, pp. 1-49.
  • Robin, Libby 2011, 'Perceptions of Place and Deep Time in the Australian Desert: Using Art in Environmental History', in Timo Myllyntaus, Perti Gronholm, Laura Hollsten, Jaro Julkunen, Aino Laine (ed.), Thinking Through the Environment:Green Approaches to Global History, The White Horse Press, Cambridge UK, pp. 81-99.
  • Robin, Libby 2011, 'The rise of the idea of biodiversity: crises, responses and expertise', in (ed.), Quaderni, Maison des sciences de l'homme, France, pp. 25-37.
  • Robin, Libby 2012. Seasons and Nomads: Reflections on Bioregionalism in Australia in Tom Lynch, Cheryll Glotfelty and Karla Armbruster (eds.) The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology, and Place, Georgia FL, University of Georgia Press, pp 278-294.
  • Robin, Libby and Jane Carruthers 2012, 'National identity and international science: the case of Acacia', Historical Records of Australian Science 23(1) 34-54.
  • Robin, Libby 2011. History for Global Anxiety, in The Future of Environmental History: Needs and Opportunities (RCC Perspectives 2011, Issue 3) [eds: Kimberly Coulter and Christof Mauch], Munich: Germany, pp. 41-44
  • Carruthers, J., Robin, L., Hattingh, J., Kull, C.; Rangan, H. and van Wilgen, B.W. 2011. A native at home and abroad: the history, politics, ethics and aesthetics of Acacia, Diversity and Distributions 17(5) September pp. 810-821.
  • Robin, Libby 2011, 'The global challenge of climate change', reCollections: Journal of the National Museum of Australia, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 1-8.
  • Robin, Libby, Dickman, C & Martin, M, eds, 2010, Desert channels: the Impulse to Conserve, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.
  • Carruthers, J & Robin, Libby 2010, 'Taxonomic imperialism in the battles for Acacia: Identity and science in South Africa and Australia', Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 48-64.
  • Robin, Libby, Heinsohn, R & Joseph, L, eds, 2009, Boom and Bust: Bird Stories for a Dry Country, CSIRO Publishing, Canberra.
  • Robin, Libby 2011, 2009, 'New Science for Sustainability in an Ancient Land', in Sverker Sorlin and Paul Warde (ed.), Nature's End: History and the Environment, Palgrave MacMillan, London, pp. 188-211. (new edition 2011)
  • Robin, Libby 2008, 'The Eco-humanities as Literature: A New Genre?', Australian Literary Studies , vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 290-304.
  • Robin, Libby 2007, How a Continent Created a Nation, University of New South Wales Press Ltd, Sydney.
  • Robin, Libby & Steffen, W 2007, 'History for the Anthropocene', History Compass , vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 1694-1719.
  • Robin, L, Moore, J, Willoughby, S et al 2011, 'Aliens from the Garden', State of Australian Cities, State of Australian Cities, http://soac2011.com.au/full-papers-list.php, pp. 1-10.
  • Robin, Libby 2011. "Perceptions of place and deep time in the Australian desert: using art in environmental history" in Timo Myllyntaus (ed) Thinking through the Environment , Cambridge: White Horse Press, 81-99
  • Robin, Libby 2010, 'Battling the Land and Global Anxiety; Science, Environment and Identity in Settler Australia', PAN: Philosophy Activism Nature , vol. 7, pp. 3-9.
  • Robin, E 2012, 'Seasons and Nomads: Reflections on Bioregionalism in Australia', in Tom Lynch, Cheryll Glotfelty, and Karla Armbruster (ed.), The Bioregional Imagination, University of Georgia Press, Georgia, Greece, pp. 278-294.
  • Robin, Libby 2012, 'National identity and international science: The case of Acacia', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 34-54.
  • Carruthers, J, Robin, L, Hattingh, J et al 2011, 'A native at home and abroad: The history, politics, ethics and aesthetics of acacias', Diversity and Distributions, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 810-821.
  • Robin, Libby 2010, 'Conservation Science: here and beyond', in Libby Robin, Christopher R. Dickman and Mandy Martin (ed.), Desert channels: the Impulse to Conserve, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, pp. 300-317.
  • Robin, Libby 2009, 'Book Review: The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 138-142.
  • Robin, Libby 2009, 'Dead Museum Animals: Natural order or cultural chaos?', reCollections: Journal of the National Museum of Australia, vol. 4, no. 2 (October 2009), pp. 17 pages.
  • Robin, L 2014, No island is an island in a cosmopolitan age, AEON magazine, 19 December. http://aeon.co/magazine/science/no-island-is-an-island-in-a-cosmopolitan...
  • Robin, Libby 2009, 'Conservation and Preservation', in Akira Iriye and Pierre-Yves Saunier (ed.), The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History, Macmillan Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, pp. 191-194.
  • Christensen, M, Robin, L and Mollers, N 2014, Climate change show and tell. Le Monde (English version) http://mondediplo.com/2014/11/18climate November 2014, p. 16
  • Sweet, P, Duckworth, J, Trombone, T et al 2007, 'The Hall collection of birds from Wonsan, central Korea, in spring 1903', Forktail, vol. 23, no. August 2007, pp. 129-134.
  • Robin, Libby 2007, 'Frith, Harold James (Harry) (1921 - 1982)', in Di Langmore (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography (Vol 18), Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, pp. 413-415.
  • Robin, Libby & Smith, M 2007, 'Science in place and time: archaeology, ecology and enrionmental history', in Chris Dickman, Daniel Lunney and Shelly Burgin (ed.), Animals of Arid Australia, Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW Australia, pp. 188-196.
  • Fischer, J, Manning, A, Steffen, W et al 2007, 'Mind the sustainability gap', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 22, no. 12, pp. 621-624.
  • Robin, Libby 2007, 'Ecology and identity: Australians caring for deserts', in David Callahan (ed.), Australi, Who Cares?, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, pp. 85-106.
  • Sherren, K & Robin, Libby 2006, 'A curriculum for a Cause?', in Walter Leal Filho and David Carpenter (ed.), Sustainability in the Australasian University Context, Peter Lang Publishing Group, Freiburg, pp. 33-44.
  • Robin, Libby 2005, 'The Platypus frontier: eggs, Aborigines and empire in 19th century Queensland', in Deborah Bird Rose and Richard Davis (ed.), Dislocating the Frontier: Essaying the mystique of the outback, ANU ePress, Canberra, pp. 99-120.
  • Robin, Libby & Donaldson, C 2005, 'Introduction to Desert Gardens', Desert Gardens: Waterless Lands and the problems of Adaptation, ed. Libby Robin, Conference Organising Committee, Canberra, pp. 1-5.
  • Robin, Libby 2005, 'Migrants and nomads: seasoning zoological knowledge in Australia', in T Sherratt, T Griffiths, L Robin (ed.), A Change in the Weather: Climate and Culture in Australia, National Museum of Australia Press, Canberra Australia, pp. 42-53.
  • Robin, Libby & Connell, D 2005, 'History and the environment', in R.Q.Grafton, L.Robin & RJ Wasson (ed.), Understanding the environment: bridging the disciplinary divides, University of New South Wales Press Ltd, Sydney, pp. 8-22.
  • Grafton, R & Robin, Libby 2005, 'Bridging the divides', in R.Q.Grafton, L.Robin & RJ Wasson (ed.), Understanding the environment: bridging the disciplinary divides, University of New South Wales Press Ltd, Sydney, pp. 184-201.
  • Grafton, R & Robin, Libby 2005, 'Understanding the environment: Bridging the disciplinary divides', in R.Q.Grafton, L.Robin & RJ Wasson (ed.), Understanding the environment: bridging the disciplinary divides, University of New South Wales Press Ltd, Sydney, pp. 1-7.
  • Grafton, R, Robin, Libby & Wasson, R, eds, 2005, Bridging the Disciplinary Divides, University of New South Wales Press Ltd, Sydney.
  • Robin, Libby & Griffiths, T 2004, 'Environmental history in Australasia', Environment and History , vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 439-474.
  • Robin, Libby 2003, 'Collections and the nation: science, history and the National Museum of Australia', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 14, pp. 251-289.
  • Robin, Libby 2002, 'Nationalising nature: Wattle Days in Australia', Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 73, pp. 13-26.
  • Robin, Libby 2001, The flight of the emu: a hundred years of Australian ornithology 1901-2001, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.
  • Robin, Libby 2001, 'Birds and environmental management in Australia 1901-2001', Australian Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 105-113.
  • Robin, Libby 2001, 'School gardens and beyond: progressive conservation, moral imperatives and the local landscape', Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 87-92.
  • Robin, Libby 2001, 'International ornithology comes to Australia', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 233-254.
  • Robin, Libby 2001, 'Woolly identities', in D. A. Low (ed.), Keith Hancock: the legacies of an historian, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, pp. 201-212.
  • Robin, Libby 2000, 'Paradox on the Queensland frontier', Australian Humanities Review, vol. n/a, p. 1.