Ruth Morgan


Accepting PhD Students


Research output per year

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Personal profile


Ruth Morgan is an environmental historian and historian of science with a particular focus on Australia, the British Empire, and the Indian Ocean. Most recently, she has co-curated a Virtual Exhibition on Water Crises in Australian Cities.

Ruth holds an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award and is a Senior Research Fellow in History. During 2017, Ruth was based in Munich, Germany at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU, where she held a Humboldt Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship.

She joined Monash in mid-2012 after completing her doctoral studies at The University of Western Australia in Perth.

Ruth is a member of the Executive Committee of the Australian Historical Association and is Vice President of the International Consortium of Environmental History Organisations. She is also Treasurer of the International Water History Association, Vice President of the International Commission on the History of Meteorology, and a member of the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub.

Her first monograph, Running Out? Water in Western Australia, was launched by former WA Greens Senator, Scott Ludlam, in the gardens of UWA Publishing in February 2015.

In 2016, Running Out? was awarded the State Library of Western Australia Prize for Western Australian History at the WA Premier’s Book Awards, and was runner-up for the W.K. Hancock Prize of the Australian Historical Association.

Further information about her research activities can be found on her website.

Supervision interests

I have taught across all undergraduate levels in the areas of Australian history and historiography, twentieth century world history, research methods and writing, and global environmental history.

I welcome the opportunity to supervise Honours and postgraduate research in the areas of environmental history, urban history, rural history, and the history of science. I am especially interested in topics relating to Australia, its connections with the wider world, and the means by which these connections were developed. These connections might involve people and ideas, commodities and resources, or plants, animals and microbes, across all sorts of terrains, climates, and spaces from the eighteenth century to the present. I am also interested in how these stories might be shared beyond the academy, and the possibilities that public history offers for communicating narratives of environmental change.

I currently co-supervise Joanna Lee, who is researching the environmental history of British Malaya, and Phoebe Tang, who is undertaking a comparative history of water management in Hong Kong and Melbourne since the 1800s.

Research area keywords

  • Environmental History
  • Climate History
  • Water Water
  • Imperial history
  • Australian History

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.


Research Output

Overcoming Abundance: Social Capital and Managing Floods in Inner Melbourne during the Nineteenth Century

Dobbie, M. F., Morgan, R. A. & Frost, L., 2020, In : Journal of Urban History. 46, 1, p. 33–49 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

The Allure of Climate and Water Independence: Desalination Projects in Perth and San Diego

Morgan, R. A., 2020, In : Journal of Urban History. 46, 1, p. 113-128 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Climate, weather, and water in history

Morgan, R. A., 1 Jan 2019, In : Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change. 10, 1, p. 1-13 13 p., e561.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Drought, Mud, Filth, and Flood: Water Crises in Australian Cities, 1880s–2010s

Morgan, R., Frost, L., Gaynor, A., Gregory, J., Shanahan, M. & Spearritt, P., Jul 2019, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.

Research output: Other contributionOtherpeer-review

Open Access

Natural Worlds: Cultures of climate concern in the age of empires

Morgan, R. A., 2019, A Cultural History of Western Empires in the Age of Empire. McKenzie, K. (ed.). London UK: Bloomsbury Academic, Vol. 5. p. 67-85 19 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


  • 2 Editorial responsibility
  • 1 Membership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (External organisation)

Ruth Morgan (Member)

Activity: Industry, Government and Philanthropy Engagement and PartnershipsMembership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

International Review of Environmental History (Journal)

Ruth Morgan (Associate editor)
1 Oct 2017 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility

Environment and History (Journal)

Ruth Morgan (Editorial board member)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility