Shortis' research centers on the question of how major shifts in international environmental politics are achieved. Specifically, her research tackles a case study of great significance in the history of environmental protection: the abandonment of a nearly completed international agreement that would have allowed mining in the Antarctic, in favor of a new agreement guaranteeing the comprehensive environmental protection of the entire continent. Shortis is often asked to provide media commentary on historical connections to current events in the United States, tailored for an Australian audience. Shortis is a semi-regular contributor to the Australian publication Crikey.com.au, a co-founder of the history blog maintainyourrage.com, and a host of the New Books in Environmental Studies podcast.
In the News
Examines Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau's U.S. campaign to save Antarctica from mining in the 1990s. Argues that Cousteau's success demonstrates the indelible impact celebrities can have on international environmental negotiations, and political developments more broadly.
Highlights the major contribution of women activists to the successful campaign against Antarctic mining in the 1980s, reinstating women in the historical record.