Mr Taylor Coyne

Mr Taylor Coyne

Casual Academic

From the University of New South Wales: 

- Master of Environmental Management (excellence) 2019 

- Bachelor of Science (Honours - First Class) 2018

- Bachelor of Arts (Distinction) 2017 

From the University of Sydney: 

- Bachelor of Visual Arts 2011 

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Humanities & Languages

Research Overview:

Taylor is a Human Geography PhD Candidate, with a focus on urban political ecology, hydrosocial history and critical design theory. He is based in the Environment and Society Group at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Taylor works in the space of creating meaningful, community-centric, culturally inclusive water sensitive urban design. He is currently involved in a number of collaborative projects in Sydney, Melbourne and Europe. He spends most of his time researching for his PhD work and teaching into a range of subjects across Human Geography and Environmental Humanities. 

Taylor does research within unceded Gadigal, Bidjigal, Gweagal and Wangal Country in Sydney, Australia. Taylor's PhD research focuses in on the history and politics of Sydney’s urban stormwater infrastructure. In particular, asking how and why did Sydney’s waterscapes come to be the way they are today. Further, he questions what are the major challenges and opportunities for how these spaces have been designed, managed, and governed. Embedded within this is a questioning which stories, knowledges, and experiences of Sydney's waterscapes are represented in the way current stormwater infrastructures are set within the city.



Through his work, Taylor explores the relationships between water, design, sound, history, and justice across Sydney, with consideration of other settler-colonial cities in Australia and elsewhere in the world. Developing a narrative for historical shifts in how ‘infrastructures’ have been considered by various socio-cultural groups is at the heart of Taylor’s research. By contrasting contemporary accounts of waters across – and under – Sydney with collections of archival material created after British arrival Taylor works towards making sense of what kinds of narratives have been created for why waters have been controlled in the ways that they have. All of Taylor’s research interests are threaded together by the overarching aim to address matters that are important to marginalised communities in Sydney, with a particular focus on bringing Indigenous knowledges and queer histories to the fore. Taylor is working towards addressing how urban and landscape design and environmental history might come together to respond to flooding, with recent research being centred on disaster risk reduction.



Taylor completed his Masters at UNSW in Environmental Management and took the opportunity to be part of a research project that focused on understanding historic and current general public knowledges of stormwater and Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) assets in Georges River Catchment. The aim of the project was to inform local governments on how best to approach the creation of culturally inclusive WSUD. Listening to the 'voice' of the river was a way for Taylor to consider ways of knowing that extend beyond the human, and thereby work towards designing considered urban water infrastructures that address multispecies injustices.

Taylor was involved in a number of research projects in northern Uganda throughout 2017 and 2018 that were connected to studying a Bachelor of Arts (Indigenous Studies/Development Studies) and a Bachelor of Science (Geography) (First Class Honours). This research in Uganda ranged from investigating land tenure issues, sustainable charcoal production, and urban electricity access. His largest project in Uganda used political ecology to investigate issues surrounding the small-scale fish farming industry that emerged as a "sustainable livelihoods" option for many in the aftermath of conflict. This project, which emerged to produce a localised, situated environmental history of conflict in the region, drew heavily on the notion of listening, with a strong focus on how local actors involved in the supply chain of fish told their stories.

Much of Taylor’s current work draws on his interdisciplinary background engaging with creative arts to think through how socio-ecological issues might be thought of and communicated more affectively. Expanding on work done in his Bachelor of Visual Arts (USYD, 2011), Taylor works with recording sounds of waterscapes across the city. This has led Taylor to the underground and thinking through how the histories and sounds of subterranean waters might offer depth to the way epistemic injustices might be thought of and resolved. By working with sound recordings, Taylor is pushing for greater attention to be given to the way sounds, voices and noises are situated within historical and material understandings of the city. The focus on sound has enabled Taylor to pay greater attention to the ‘quiet geographies’ of cities, where injustices are often un-heard. Presenting these recorded soundscapes through situated environmental histories of Sydney’s queer ecologies will enable Taylor to better understand the affective role that sounds have in shaping how the waters of a place are known, felt and valued. Underpinning this is a drive to unpack and reorient what environmental history is, and what it can do for bringing justice for marginalised histories.



N'Arwee't C. Briggs, Buckley, J., Chesworth, D., Coyne, T., Farr, A., Harper, L., Ho, X., Heyns, A.L., Leber, S., Melo Zurita, M.d.L., Raby, O., 2023, 'Listen - Look up! Listen - Look down! Experiencing the counter-city through a sonic and augmented reality experience of urban undergrounds in southeast Melbourne', Cities, Vol. 142,

- T Coyne, 2023, ‘Emily O’Gorman, Wetlands in a Dry Land: More-than-Human Histories of Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin’, Journal of Australian, Canadian, and Aotearoa New Zealand Studies 3 (September 2023): 187-188,

- T Coyne, 2023, 'Listen Deep to Subterranean Kinfrastructures', Swamphen: Journal of Cultural Ecology Vol.9 

- N Naserisafavi, Coyne, T, Melo Zurita, M, Zhang, K & Prodanovic, V, 2022, 'Community values on governing urban water nature-based solutions in Sydney, Australia', Journal of Environmental Management, Vol.322, No.15,

- T Coyne 2022, 'Queering the Swamp', Succession Vol.2 Queering the Environment, Network in Canadian History & Environment (Nouvelle initiative Canadienne en histoire de l'environnement) 

- T Coyne, 2021, review of Country by Bruce Pascoe and Bill Gamage, ed. Margo Neale, The Conversation

- Coyne et al. 2020, 'Culturally inclusive water urban design: a critical history of hydrosocial infrastructures in Southern Sydney, Australia', Blue-Green Systems, Vol.2, No.1, 


Professional Affiliations:

- Member - Institute of Australian Geographers

- Member - Geographical Society of New South Wales (Postgraduate Councillor 2022, ongoing) 

- Member - Association for the Study of Literature, Environment and Culture (ANZ) 

- Member - Royal Geographical Society

- Member - American Association of Geographers 

- Member - Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Environmental History Network (HDR Representative 2022, ongoing)

Morven Brown Building, LG48
  • Journal articles | 2024
    Coyne T, 2024, 'Reimagining urban design of stormwater infrastructure in settler-colonial Sydney', Geographical Research,
    Journal articles | 2023
    Briggs NC; Buckley J; Chesworth D; Coyne T; Farr A; Harper L; Ho X; Heyns AL; Leber S; Melo Zurita MDL; Raby O, 2023, 'Listen - Look up! Listen - Look down! Experiencing the counter-city through a sonic and augmented reality experience of urban undergrounds in southeast Melbourne', Cities, 142, pp. 104513,
    Journal articles | 2022
    Naserisafavi N; Coyne T; Melo Zurita MDL; Zhang K; Prodanovic V, 2022, 'Community values on governing urban water nature-based solutions in Sydney, Australia', Journal of Environmental Management, 322, pp. 116063,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Coyne T; Melo Zurita MDL; Reid D; Prodanovic V, 2020, 'Culturally inclusive water urban design: a critical history of hydrosocial infrastructures in Southern Sydney, Australia', Blue-Green Systems, 2, pp. 364 - 382,

- The Orica Ronnie Harding Award (best performance in the Master of Environmental Management)

- Finalist: Association Rés-EAUx “Regards de pêche (Fishing Reflections)” Photography Exhibition, Paris Nanterre University 

- Casual Staff Teaching Award 2021 - The University of New South Wales, School of Humanities & Languages - in recognition of outstanding contributions to learning and teaching.

- ‘Empowering Students to be Agents of Change’ People’s Choice Award Winner, UNSW EduFest 2022 


- PhD research: Swamp City - Designing Inclusive Historical, Political and Cultural Geographies of Sydney's Urban Waterscapes.  

- Research Assistant: SUB Sustainable use of underground space

- Research Assistant: Hidden Rippon Lea

My Teaching

Taylor has been the Course Convener and Lecturer for ARTS2240 Environment, Sustainability and Development in 2021 and 2022. He is the current Course Convenor for ARTS2248 Disasters and Society. Taylor has guest lectured for

- ARTS1240 Environment and Society

- ARTS1250 Human Geography: Society, Space and Territory

- ARTS3242 Environmental History 

- ARTS3241 Environmental Justice

- ARTS2248 Disasters and Society

- BEES6601 An Introduction to the Sydney Environment. 


He has been an Academic Tutor for:

- ARTS1240 Environment and Society (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)

- ARTS1241 Environmental Activism and Advocacy (2019)

- ARTS2240 Environment, Sustainability and Development (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)

- ARTS2248 Disasters and Society (2021, 2023)