About us

The Sydney Environment Institute is a national and world leader in multidisciplinary environmental research, known in particular for work in the environmental humanities and social sciences.

SEI’s purpose is to extend and amplify the scope of the engagement on environmental issues; and to bring together expertise from across disciplines to address key problems in favour of the public good.

Our vision is of a University community reaching both inward across disciplines and outward into the larger world to collaboratively design and implement strategies for just and sustainable environmental transformation. Recognising the breadth of the harms unfolding, our work aims to both effect and affect the personal and cultural, the social and political, the ecological and economic. We seek to be part of the wider community of people and organisations creating the conditions under which all life can flourish.

Our objectives are broad and ambitious, but clear and consistent. We:

  • identify matters of critical environmental concern, and engage them – through creative, collaborative projects designed for real impact.
  • cross disciplinary boundaries – to ask new questions, develop new methods, and generate new forms of knowledge and awareness among the arts, the humanities, and the natural, social, and technological sciences.
  • build flourishing working communities – among academics, policymakers, cultural institutions, practicing artists, students, NGOs, and committed citizens.
  • support and mentor – ambitious, imaginative, collaborative endeavours by students, scholars, and practitioners, within the university and beyond.
  • communicate our work, and invite conversations – with the publics we serve in Sydney, across Australia, throughout the Indo-Pacific, and across the globe.
  • impact and affect communities, culture, and policy – with our direct work with partners in community organisations, cultural institutions, and government.

Engage with us

Your donation can help us improve the way we see the world. We facilitate and curate the cross-fertilization of approaches, questions, methods and outputs on ore questions of human relationships with the environment. By donating to the Sydney Environment Institute, you are helping us invite conversations and facilitate dialogue between the academy, industry, and communities and contribute to new ways of thinking.

To learn more, contact our Philanthropic Manager, Peta Magee (peta.magee@sydney.edu.au).


Prof. David Schlosberg


Department of Government and International Relations

David Schlosberg is Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and Director of the Sydney Environment Institute. His work focuses on contemporary environmental and environmental justice movements, environment and everyday life, and climate adaptation planning and policy.

He is the author of Defining Environmental Justice (Oxford, 2007); co-author of Climate-Challenged Society (Oxford, 2013); and co-editor of both The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (Oxford 2011), and The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory (Oxford 2016). His latest book, Sustainable Materialism: Environmental Movements and the Politics of Everyday Life, was published by Oxford.

David Schlosberg is one of the Research Leads on Climate Justice and Problems of Scale, Creating Just Food and Energy Policy, Environmental Disasters and Just Governance, Building an Understanding of Best Practice Local Food Interventions, Community Engagement in Food Governance and Evaluating FoodLab Sydney.

Prof. Danielle Celermajer

Deputy Director - Academic
Department of Sociology and Social Policy

Danielle Celermajer is a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney, and Deputy Director – Academic of the Sydney Environment Institute.

Her books include Sins of the Nation and the Ritual of Apology (Cambridge University Press 2009), A Cultural Theory of Law in the Modern Age (Bloomsbury, 2018), and The Prevention of Torture: An Ecological Approach (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Dany is Director of the Multispecies Justice Project and along with her multispecies community, she has recently lived through the NSW fires, writing in the face of their experience of the “killing of everything”, which she calls “omnicide”.

Danielle Celermajer is the Research Lead on Concepts and Practices of Multispecies Justice.

Ass Prof. Rosanne Quinnell

Deputy Director - Education
School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Rosanne is an Associate Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences with the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Science. Her research is focused in the botanical world where she has examined the biology of symbiotic systems, developed ways to improve botanical literacy and, most recently, she is exploring human-plant interactions through transdisciplinary partnerships (see TREES research group). Her article “grieving with plants, dancing in the leaves” is an example of this latter work. She is currently part of a institutional-wide collaboration, supported by the University’s Sustainability Strategy to create a ‘curriculum garden’ on campus.

Ass Prof. Thom van Dooren

Deputy Director - Member Engagement
Department of Gender and Cultural Studies

Thom van Dooren‘s research is situated in the broad interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities. He is currently an Associate Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2017-2021) in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies and the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney, and a Professor II in the Oslo School of Environmental Humanities at the University of Oslo, Norway.

His research focuses on some of the many philosophical, ethical, cultural, and political issues that arise in the context of species extinctions and human entanglements with threatened species and places. These themes are explored in depth in three recent books: Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction (2014), The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds (2019), and the co-edited collection Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death, and Generations (2017), all published by Columbia University Press.

Learn more about Thom van Dooren.

Thom van Dooren is the Research Lead on Animal Stories, The Living Archive and Climate Justice and Problems of Scale.

SEI Staff


Honours Research Fellows

PhD Candidates

Postdoctoral Fellows

Visiting Fellows