Aynsley holds a PhD in political studies from the University of Otago. He is an emeritus professor at the University of Tasmania, where he taught from 1981–1984 and 1999–2018. He was foundation Professor of Social Sciences in the Australian School of Environmental Studies at Griffith University 1992–1998, a member of the Joint Academies Committee on Sustainability, and an expert reviewer for the United Nation’s WGII Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. His books include Transforming Power and International Toxic Risk Management (both Cambridge), and Science and Public Policy: The Virtuous Corruption of Virtual Environmental Science and Negotiating Climate Change (both Edward Elgar).