Luke Keogh

Luke Keogh

Luke Keogh

Sargent Award Recipient and Visiting Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum


PhD Environmental History, The University of Queensland
BS (Hons) Environmental Science, Griffith University
BS Environmental Management, Australian National University

Research Interests

As an environmental historian and curator, I am interested in the global movement of plants in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I received my doctorate in environmental history from The University of Queensland, Australia. During my time in Queensland, I was first introduced into the fascinating history of plant-human interactions, where I looked at the cross-cultural history of the Australian Indigenous plant pituri (duboisia hopwoodii). In 2013-14, when I worked as a curator at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany, on the major exhibition “Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Earth in Our Hands”, I encountered the Wardian Case as an important early invention in the Anthropocene. Invented in 1829, these plant cases are named after the surgeon and amateur naturalist Nathanial Bagshaw Ward who accidentally discovered that plants enclosed in airtight glass cases can survive for long periods without watering. The Wardian Case, as it became known, revolutionised the movement of plants around the globe, and it is this object that is the focus of much of my research.

As one of the 2015 Sargent Award winners, I will be delving into the Arboretum’s archives to look at the movement of plants between continents and how the United States featured in this global transfer.

Selected Publications

  • Keogh, L. 2015. Animated Strata: Indigenous Peoples and the Reach of Resources. In Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Earth in Our Hands, edited by Nina Möllers, Christian Schwägerl and Helmuth Trischler, 69-73. Munich: Deutsches Museum.
  • Keogh, L., & N. Möllers. 2015. Pushing Boundaries: Curating the Anthropocene at the Deutsches Museum. In Climate Change, Museum Futures: The Roles and Agencies of Museums and Science Centres, edited by Fiona Cameron and Brett Neilson, 78-89. London: Routledge.
  • Robin, L., D. Avango, L. Keogh, N. Möllers, B. Scherer, & H. Trischler. 2014. Three Galleries of the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene Review 1: 207-224.
  • Keogh, L. 2013. The First Four Wells: Unconventional Gas in Australia. Media-Culture 16.
  • Keogh, L. 2011. Duboisia Pituri: A Natural History. Historical Records of Australian Science 22: 199-214.