Professor Andrea Gaynor the author of the widely acclaimed Harvest of the Suburbs: An Environmental History of Growing Food in Australian Cities and a senior lecturer in Australian and Environmental History at the University of Western Australia. Harvest of the Suburbs describes changing attitudes and techniques around food production in Australian cities, and explores a range of contemporary ideas relating to work, social organisation, gender roles, health and the body, and nature.

Photo credit: Luke Taylor, Director, National Sustainable Living Festival

Photo credit: Luke Taylor, Director, National Sustainable Living Festival

After studying in areas from environmental science to law to desktop publishing, working nights and weekends as a waitress, Andrea found a home in environmental history. In 2001 she finished writing a PhD thesis and rode her bicycle through China, Laos and Cambodia before returning to lecture in Australian History at UWA, where she currently teaches units in Australian history, environmental history, and historiography.

In addition to Harvest of the Suburbs, Andrea has authored and edited an extensive collection of books, chapters and peer refereed articles in areas relating to urban environmental history, western Australian environmental history, animals in history, history of fish and fishing, agricultural history, water history.  Her research has continually sought after an understanding concerning three main questions, specifically; what factors have shaped human dealings with the natural world? How have people changed the environment? And how has environmental change (anthropogenic or otherwise) affected people’s lives? 

Andrea is currently working on projects looking at the environmental history of the southern mallee lands, and environmental history and emotions in Australian urban wildlife encounters. 

You can find her recent essay on ‘How to Eat A Wilderness: The past and future of the wheatbelt’ in the Griffith Review, and her ‘Grow Your Own’ campaign resurgence article at the UAF blog. Andrea will be speaking at the 2017 Sustainable Living Festival in partnership with Sustain: The Australian Food Network. 

See Andrea at the Food History and Futures forum at the 2017 Sustainable Living Festival, a feature event of the SLF Big Weekend, details here