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Honorary Professor, Australian National University

I am an activist-academic, who in 1989 co-founded the NGO BODHI Australia, which still exists, struggling, with partners in India, to improve health and human rights.

In 2014 I became the first Australian contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to be arrested for climate disobedience.

I was sole editor of the first edition of "Climate Change and Global Health" (CABI, 2014) and am senior editor of the second edition (in preparation). I have published (or have in press) 176 articles and chapters (plus letters etc), and have given invited lectures in 25 countries. Almost all of my academic work, since 1991, concerns the risk to civilisation from the pursuit of economic "growth" as it simplistically measured.

I was also senior editor of "Health of People, Places and Planet. Reflections based on Tony McMichael’s four decades of contribution to epidemiological understanding" (ANU Press, 2015), the festschrift of the late Professor AJ (Tony) McMichael AO.

In 2018 I was appointed as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Doctors for the Environment, Australia, a group for which I was a founding board member, in 2001.


  • 2018–present
    Honorary Professor, NCEPH, ANU
  • 1989–present
    Director, Benevolent Organisation for Health, Development and Insight (BODHI)
  • 2017–2020
    Principal Research Fellow, College of Arts, Flinders University
  • 2016–2019
    Adjunct professor, Health Research Institute, University of Canberra
  • 2012–2016
    Professor, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra
  • 2008–2012
    Associate Professor, NCEPH, ANU
  • 2006–2007
    Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, Deakin University
  • 1988–1996
    General Practitioner, Tasmania


  • 2002 
    Australian National University, PhD (epidemiology and population health)
  • 1997 
    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, MSc (epidemiology)
  • 1997 
    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Diploma (epidemiology)
  • 1990 
    Royal College Physicians, London, DTM&H
  • 1987 
    University of Newcastle, NSW, BMed
  • 1984 
    University of Newcastle, NSW, BMedSci (Hons)


  • 2017
    Limits to growth, planetary boundaries and planetary health, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
  • 2016
    Sounding the alarm: Health in the Anthropocene Vol 13, 665 , International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
  • 2015
    Health of People, Places and Planet: Reflections based on AJ (Tony) McMichael’s four decades of contribution to epidemiological understanding, ANU Press
  • 2014
    Climate Change and Public Health, CABI
  • 2012
    Kovats S, Butler CD. Global health and the global environment: linking research and policy, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 4: 44-50.
  • 2012
    Infectious disease emergence and global change: systemic thinking in a shrinking world, Infectious Diseases of Poverty 1:5
  • 2011
    AJ McMichael +CDB: Promoting global population health while constraining the environmental f/print, Annual Review of Public Health. 32: 179-197
  • 2010
    Butler C.D. The climate crisis, global health, and the medical response, World Medical Journal. 56(2):56-8
  • 2007
    Butler C.D. North and South, The., Int'l Encyclopaedia Social Sciences (Ed: A. Hedblad) New York: MacMillan Ref USA, Vol 5:542-4
  • 2006
    Butler C.D. and McMichael A.J. (2006): Environmental health, Social Injustice and Public Health (Eds: BS Levy, VW Sidel, Oxford: Oxf Univ Press, pp 318-36.
  • 2006
    McMichael A.J., Butler C.D. and Folke C. New visions for addressing sustainability, State of the Planet 2006-07 (Eds: D. Kennedy et al) Island Press, Washington DC, pp 161-6.
  • 2004
    Human carrying capacity and human health, PLoS Med
  • 2000
    Inequality, global change and the sustainability of civilisation, Global Change and Human Health
  • 1994
    Overpopulation, overconsumption and economics, The Lancet

Grants and Contracts

  • 2011
    Health and sustainability: Australia in a global context
    Sole applicant
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council

Professional Memberships

  • Medical Association for the Prevention of War
  • Doctors for the Environment, Australia

Research Areas

  • Public Health And Health Services (1117)
  • Other Environmental Sciences (0599)
  • International Relations (160607)


One of "100 doctors for the planet" French Environmental Health Association (2009) Tony McMichael public health ecology and environment award (2018)