Andrew Watson

Membership:  2015

Member Bio

Andrew Watson is a Canadian environmental historian, specializing in sustainability, rural household economies, commodities trading, and energy. He obtained his PhD from York University in Toronto in 2014. His dissertation explored how changing social relationships, patterns of economic exchange, and environmental conditions shaped sustainability in the Muskoka region of Ontario, Canada. His current research focuses on the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of efforts to connect Ontario coal consumers with coal producers in Canada, the United States, and Britain between the First and Second World Wars. Andrew is also collaborating with RCC fellow Jim Clifford on a project tracing the economic and environmental history of global leather tanning commodities during the nineteenth century. Currently, Andrew is a sessional instructor in the Department of History at York University, where he teaches courses on the history of food, urban environments, and the ecological consequences of the conquest of North America by Europeans.


  • “Poor Soils and Rich Folks: Household Economies and Sustainability in Muskoka, Ontario, 1850-1920.” PhD diss., York University, 2014
  • “Coal in Canada.” In Powering Up: A Short History of the Fuels and Energies that Created Modern Canada, edited by R.W. Sandwell. Kingston: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2016. forthcoming.
  • Publications