Dr Jessica Weir

Senior Research Fellow

Shoulder-up image of Jessica Weir in a white shirt and necklace

Dr Jessica K Weir is a human geography, environmental humanities and science and technology studies scholar who investigates human-environment relations, justice, societal norms and public sector governance. Her research practice is part of the environmental humanities agenda to resituate humans within their environments, and more-than-humans within cultural and ethical domains. Her book Murray River Country (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2009) is internationally recognised as outstanding scholarship in this field.

Jessica's research practice is fundamentally informed by her collaborations with Indigenous peoples in southeast and western Australia. She seeks to work as an ally within a decolonial ethic. With the support of her research collaborators, her research practice examines how diverse knowledge practices interact to circumscribe and transform public sector and societal understandings of topical issues, including climate change, fresh water, natural hazards, academic knowledge, and evidenced-based policy and practice. Through this, she demonstrates how greater reflexivity matched with material action can lead to more just outcomes for people and nature. This work is also informed by over two decades of experience in the public, private and community sector in Australia and the community sector in Asia.

Jessica is currently leading two projects funded by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (BNHCRC). She is also an editorial board member of the Routledge Environmental Humanities Book Series, and a Visiting Fellow at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University. Jessica has held positions as Research Fellow at the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Canberra.


  • PhD, 2008, The Australian National University
  • MEnv&Dev, 1999, The Australian National University
  • BA, 1994, Macquarie University

Research Focus

  • Socio-ecological justice
  • Knowledge practices
  • Public sector governance

Honours and Awards

  • 2017-2020: 'Culture, Hazards and Indigenous Communities’, Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, $450,000
  • 2016-2017: 'Research Utilisation Grant’, Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, $10,000
  • 2014-2017: 'Scientific Diversity, Scientific Uncertainty and Risk Mitigation Policy and Planning', Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, $560,000
  • 2014: Visiting Scholar, Joseph A Myers Centre for Research on Native American Issues, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2013: Editorial Board, Environmental Humanities Book Series, Routledge
  • 2012-13: Senior Research Fellow, University of Canberra
  • 2007-2012: Research Fellow, AIATSIS
  • 2012: Visiting Faculty, BIARI Institute Climate Change and Water, Brown University
  • 2012: Keynote, Tapping the Turn international conference, The Australian National University
  • 2011-2013: 'Changes to Country and Culture, Changes to Climate: Strengthening Institutions for Indigenous Resilience and Adaptation', Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency's National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) Grants Program, $420,000
  • 2011-2012: 'Managing Weeds on Native Title Lands', Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, $187,000
  • 2011: Inclusion in the inaugural volume Best Australian Science Writing 2011, Pincock, S (ed), NewSouth, Sydney
  • 2011: Founder of the AIATSIS Centre for Land and Water Research
  • 2011: Internal bid to establish AIATSIS Centre for Land and Water Research, $45,000
  • 2011: Program Convener of the National Native Title Conference 2011, 1-3 June 2011, Brisbane
  • 2011: AIATSIS Award for Excellence and Commitment
  • 2010: Special project for AIATSIS Council, $20,000
  • 2009: Murray River Country book launch at the Melbourne Writers' Festival by Monica Morgan and John Doyle
  • 2007-2013: Founding member of the Ecological Humanities group
  • 2007-2012: Editorial Board, Native Title Research Unit Publications, AIATSIS

Selected Publications

Thomassin, A, Neale, T & Weir, JK 2018, 'The natural hazard sector's engagement with Indigenous peoples: a critical review of CANZUS countries'Geographical Research, DOI: 10.1111/1745-5871.12314.

Weir, JK & Duff, N 2017, 'Who is looking after country? Interpreting and attributing land management responsibilities on native title lands'Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 76, no. 4, pp. 426-442.

Weir, JK 2016, 'Hope and farce: Indigenous peoples' water reforms during the Millennium Drought', in E Vincent & T Neale (eds), Unstable relations: Indigenous people and environmentalism in contemporary Australia, UWA Publishing, Perth, pp. 122-67.

Neale, T & Weir, J 2015, 'Navigating scientific uncertainty in wildfire and flood risk mitigation: a qualitative review'International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, vol. 13, pp. 255–265.

Strelein, LM, Bauman, T and Weir, JK (eds) 2013, Living with native title: the experiences of registered native title corporations, AIATSIS Research Publications, Canberra.

Weir, JK 2013, 'Karajarri: native title and governance in the West Kimberley', in LM Strelein, T Bauman JK Weir (eds), Living with native title: the experiences of registered native title corporations, AIATSIS Research Publications, Canberra, pp. 147-75.

Weir, JK, Crew, DRJ & Crew, JL 2013, 'Wetland forest culture: Indigenous activity for management change in the Southern Riverina, New South Wales'Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 193-207.

Weir, JK (ed.) 2012, Country, native title and ecology, ANU Epress, Canberra.

Weir, JK 2009, Murray River country: an ecological dialogue with traditional owners, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

Weir, JK 2008, 'Connectivity'Australian Humanities Review, no. 45, pp. 153-64.

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Jessica Weir presents 'Life on the inside of Country' at University of California, Berkeley (double click for full screen).