Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Rohan Howitt is a lecturer in environmental history at Monash University, where he teaches History and International Studies. Rohan is a global and environmental historian of the Southern Ocean World. His research examines the deeply interconnected histories of Australia, Antarctica, New Zealand, the subantarctic islands, and the Southern Ocean itself, focusing on processes of environmental transformation, globalisation, and imperial expansion. This is the focus of his current book project, 'The Southern Frontier: Australia, Antarctica, and Empire in the Southern Ocean World', as well as ongoing projects exploring the history of 'phantom islands' in the Southern Ocean (supported by the Australian Historical Association's Allan Martin Award), the role of icebergs in shaping experiences of maritime voyages to and from Australia in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the short-lived industry extracting oil from penguins at Macquarie Island. Other research interests include Australian migration history, animal history, and the history of chartered companies. 


Rohan currently teaches ATS2106: An Environmental History of the World: People & Our Planet and ATS3626: Global Disasters: Catastrophe & Social Change at Monash. His areas of research supervision include environmental history, animal history, global history, and Australian history.


Prior to joining Monash, Rohan was the inaugural Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Environmental History at the Australian National University in 2022. He completed his PhD at the University of Sydney and has lectured in History and Global Studies at the University of Sydney and the University of Wollongong. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Australian Historical Association as an Early Career Researcher Representative (2022-24), the editorial board of The Great Circle, and the council of the Pacific Circle.   


Research area keywords

  • Environmental History
  • Global History
  • Australian history
  • Antarctica
  • Southern Ocean World
  • Colonialism
  • Migration history

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or