Peter Morton was educated at the University of London and the University of Sussex before arriving in Australia. He completed his PhD in 1976 while working as a tutor in the English Department at Flinders.
He has remained on the staff at Flinders, apart from two lengthy breaks from academia while he was working as a commissioned author and historian, particularly to the Department of Defence, Canberra.
His major research interests have been the scientific and technological history of Australia, the history of nineteenth-century Adelaide, and various studies in the history and literature of Victorian England.
His major publications are After Light: The City of Adelaide and its Council, 1878-1928 (1996), Fire Across The Desert: Woomera and the Anglo-Australian Joint Project 1946-1980 (1989; 1997) and The Vital Science: Biology And The Literary Imagination 1860-1900 (1984).