About

McCann-35aa (1)Welcome to my blog. I’m an Australian environmental historian and writer with a PhD from the Australian National University and a particular interest in exploring human relationships with oceans and rural landscapes in the Southern Hemisphere.

During my career I have worked as a public historian, researcher and curator in the heritage, museums and libraries sector. In 2013 I decided to depart from the familiar and much-loved writing landscapes of rural Australia to embark on a new type of journey: I began to research and write a book about the Southern Ocean.

Towards the end of my writing, I embarked on an expedition into the Southern Ocean, sailing south to the Antarctic Peninsula via the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Shetlands. That voyage changed me forever. It may sound a touch dramatic, but that stormy region firmly imprinted on my soul.

How to convey that experience in words? There were seabirds of course, wheeling and diving in the wake of the ship and making light work of the strong winds. There was noise too, so much noise. I didn’t expect this to be a quiet voyage, but the sounds of the Southern Ocean took my breath away. Perhaps that is the way to recount my experiences – as a voyage oWild Sea_front_FINAL (hi-res) CROPPEDf the senses.

This is the resulting book, Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean (NewSouth Publishing, 2018). In this blog I share some of the insights I gained during my writing journey, and I invite you to venture into this remote and little-known place and explore its treasures for yourself.

I also include some of the feedback that I’ve received since my book was published, and I’ll continue to add updates as well as details of my latest writing projects. For the next year I am honoured to be a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University’s School of History, as well as an Honorary Research Fellow with the ANU’s Centre for Environmental History.