My research areas include Australian colonial history, urban and environmental history and cross-cultural history, and I'm interested in promoting historical understandings and awareness to wide audiences through writing, film, art, museums and online. At the moment I am a Trustee of Sydney Living Museums (the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales) and the online Dictionary of Sydney project. In 2012 I spent a wonderful three months at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich as a Carson Fellow.
My current major project is an ethnographic environmental history of Castlereagh in Western Sydney, a story that spans around 50,000 years of human history. The book will be pulished by CSIRO Press.
I am also working on an essay revisiting historical/archaeological work I did in 1987/1988 on Cox's famous road over the Blue Mountains, reflecting upon what that old road can tell us about colonial society, environmental history and settler-Aboriginal relations in the bicentennial year of the so-called 'First Crossing' of the Blue Mountains in 1813.