SEI Welcomes Research Assistant Brett Morgan

Get to know Brett Morgan, research assistant on The floor of Sydney Harbour research project.

‘A rocky seabed with algae’ by Damsea. Sourced via Shutterstock, stock photo ID: 698840242.

We are excited to welcome Brett Morgan to the Sydney Environment Institute team. He will be working on SEI’s The floor of Sydney Harbour research project, which sits under our Oceans research area. Brett will be undertaking a scoping review study of the visual objects collection at the State Library of New South Wales, to determine how the cultural, environmental and social aspects of the harbour have changed over the years as a result of climate change.

What made you interested in working with SEI?

Throughout the course of my Honours year, I developed a keen interest in the environmental humanities, as well as a passion for research. I have also had a longstanding interest and involvement in environmental activism and pedagogy, and I figured that the SEI would be the perfect organisation to indulge in such interests.

What are the environmental issues or problems that most interest you?

Though there are a number of environmental issues that interest me, I would have to say that climate justice is the standout. In particular, I am interested in the transition away from social practices that are the biggest contributors to climate change and environmental degradation, such as fossil fuels, factory farming, and plastic pollution. I am also very interested in environmental pedagogy, and trying to overcome the various problems we encounter when attempting to promote sustainable practices and ways of living.

You recently completed Honours. What were the key environmental issues your research aimed to address?

My research centred on the agency/structure binary within the environmental humanities. My thesis traced the various ways in which individual people have been implicated in environmental discourse since the concept of ‘sustainable development’ was first introduced into the environmental lexicon in 1987. My aim, then, was to try and reconfigure the way in which the individual is framed by and thus implicated in contemporary discussions about sustainability by appealing to ‘pro-environmental intermediaries’ (groups that engage individuals in overarching environmental discourse) in order to find a way to better understand the role that individual people play in structural environmental problems.

Apart from research, what are your interests?

As I have mentioned, I have had a longstanding interest in environmental activism, and so I am involved with the Greenpeace Sydney Local Action Group. I am also quite the foodie, so I like to do a lot of cooking (whenever I can find the time!), as well as volunteer at my local sustainable food co-op. Last but certainly not least, I am a musician, and so I spend a lot of my time writing music and playing shows.