Jenny Newell in P3 Pacific Store 2018

Key Info

Email Dr Jenny Newell

Jenny Newell is Curator for Climate Change at the Australian Museum’s Climate Solutions Centre.

Jenny works on the cultural dimensions of climate change, focusing on communities in Australia and the Pacific. She aims to increase engagement in environmental stewardship through the medium of museums.

With a background in environmental history, Jenny has worked with Pacific communities and collections at the British Museum, National Museum of Australia, the American Museum of Natural History (New York) and the Australian Museum to amplify voices on climate change for broad audiences.

Jenny convenes the Museums & Climate Change Network and is a member of the International Council of Museums’ Working Group for Sustainability.


PhD (ANU), 2005


  • 2001-2008

    British Museum (Assistant Curator)

  • 2008-2012

    National Museum of Australia (Research Fellow)

  • 2012-2016

    American Museum of Natural History (Pacific curator)

  • 2016 -

    Australian Museum

Grants, awards and scholarships

  • 2016

    Principal Investigator, Constantine S. Niarchos grant, ‘Analysing the Dynamics Shaping Community Responses to Climate Change in the Marshall Islands’, collaborative project, based at the American Museum of Natural History, New York and with University of the South Pacific (Majuro) and the Marshall Islands Conservation Society.

  • 2015-2017

    Co-Principal Investigator, ‘Conceiving biocultural resilience with Pacific island communities: bridging disciplines, language, and culture’, Catalysing New International Collaborations grant, National Science Foundation. Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, AMNH.

  • 2013-2014

    Principal Investigator, ‘Rethinking Home: Climate change in New York and Samoa’, Museums Connect grant, US State Department, in collaboration with the Museum of Samoa.

  • 2011

    Humanities Travelling Fellowship, Australian Academy of the Humanities.

  • 2010

    Australian Bicentennial Fellowship, Menzies Centre, London.


  • 2021

    ‘Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Workers in a Climate-Changing World’, Stemming the Tide: Global Strategies for Sustaining Cultural Heritage through Climate Change, Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington DC, USA, 2021, pp.87-98.

  • 2021

    'The Australian Museum and Climate Change’, Australian Museums and Galleries Association Magazine, Vol 29 (2), Winter 2021, pp.41-43.

  • 2020

    ‘Climate museums: powering action’, Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, 35:6, 599-617, DOI: 10.1080/09647775.2020.1842236

  • 2020

    C. Muir, K. Wehner and J. Newell (eds) Living with the Anthropocene: Love, Loss and Hope in the Face of Environmental Crisis, NewSouth.

  • 2018

    ‘Creative Collaborations: Museums Engaging with Communities and Climate Change’, chapter in W. Leal et al. (eds), Addressing the Challenges in Communicating Climate Change across Various Audiences, Springer online.

  • 2018

    ‘Weathering Climate Change in Samoa: cultural resources for change’, chapter in Tony Crook and Peter Rudiak-Gould (eds), Appropriating Climate Change: Pacific Reception of a Global Prophecy, De Gruyter Open.

  • 2018

    ‘New Ecologies: Pathways in the Pacific, 1760s-1840s’, in Kate Fullagar and Michael McDonnell (eds), Facing Empire: Indigenous Experiences in a Revolutionary Age 1760-1840, Johns Hopkins University Press.

  • 2016

    J. Newell, L. Robin and K. Wehner (eds), Curating the Future: Museums, Communities and Climate Change, Routledge Environmental Humanities.

  • 2015

    B. Lythberg, J. Newell and W. Ngata, ‘House of Stories: The Whale Rider at the American Museum of Natural History’, Museum and Society, vol. 13, no. 2 (March 2015), pp. 188-214.

  • 2012

    ‘Old Objects, New Media: Historical collections, digitization and affect’, Journal of Material Culture, special issue, vol. 17, no. 3 (Sept 2012), p. 287-306.

  • 2011

    Pacific Art in Detail, British Museum Press. Also editions published by Te Papa Press and Harvard University Press.

  • 2010

    Trading Nature: Tahitians, Europeans and Ecological Exchange, University of Hawaii Press.


Listen to our AMplify podcast with Dr Jenny Newell and Kim McKay here.