Academic. Activist. Multispecies ethnographer.
Hello and welcome to morethanhumanworlds
I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sydney’s School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry. As an environmental anthropologist,my research explores the intersections of capitalism, ecology, and indigeneity in the Pacific. In particular, I'm interested in the changing relationships between plants and people across indigenous, corporate, and scientific contexts. My theoretical thinking is inspired by interdisciplinary posthumanist currents including multispecies ethnography and the environmental humanities, as well as plant science and Science and Technology Studies. I'm now embarking on a new project that will investigate the nutritional and cultural impacts of agribusiness on indigenous food-based socialities, identities, and ecologies.
I received my Bachelor of Arts in Oriental Studies (First Class) and Master of Science in Social Anthropology from The University of Oxford. My PhD at Macquarie University was funded by an International Endeavour Scholarship and was awarded the Australian Anthropological Society PhD Thesis Prize, the Asian Studies Association of Australia John Legge Prize for Best Thesis in Asian Studies, and the Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation. This research was based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in rural West Papua, where I examined how deforestation and monocrop oil palm expansion reconfigure the multispecies lifeworld of indigenous Marind communities and their plant and animal kin.
Prior to my PhD, I worked for international indigenous rights organization Forest Peoples Programme in the United Kingdom and Indonesia. I have also undertaken consultancies for United Nations bodies including the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the United Nations Working Group on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises.
I am currently Secretary on the Executive Committee of the Australian Anthropological Society, Co-Convenor of the Australian Food, Society, and Culture Network, Co-Convener of the Biopolitics of Science Research Network, and Co-Convenor of the HDR Multispecies Justice Reading Group.
I am keen to forge meaningful collaborations and conversations with indigenous and decolonial academics, artists, and activists in Australia and beyond, towards a better understanding of and relation to, morethanhuman worlds.
We live in an era in which humans have become the single most influential geological force on the planet. This epoch, coined the Anthropocene, is also one of mass species extinction, ecological destruction, and precarious futures for humans and for the myriad other-than-human lifeforms that our existence and wellbeing depend upon. Addressing the anthropogenic crisis will require nothing less than recognizing and protecting the morethanhuman worlds that we inherit, inhabit, and eventually pass on. Morethanhuman worlds encompass plants, animals, elements, climates, and differently situated human communities that unequally bear the burden of ecological ruin and repair. Importantly, morethanhuman worlds invite us to rethink the diverse entanglements of humans with otherthanhuman life, matter, and meaning. Making and remaking such morethanhuman worlds requires care, courage, creativity, and collaboration, as we work within and across species lines towards more livable shared futures.
Below are selected peer-reviewed articles published in anthropology and interdisciplinary journals, as well as pieces published in non-academic outlets including popular anthropology magazines and NGO reports. For a complete list, please see my CV.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE PALMS: PLANTS AND PEOPLE IN WEST PAPUA
Duke University Press
CHILDREN OF THE PALMS: GROWING PLANTS AND GROWING PEOPLE IN MERAUKE, WEST PAPUA.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 28(2). Forthcoming.
THE BEETLE OR THE BUG? MULTISPECIES POLITICS IN A WEST PAPUAN OIL PALM PLANTATION
American Anthropologist 132(2). Forthcoming.
SAGO: A STORIED SPECIES OF WEST PAPUA
In Vieira, Patricia, Monica Gagliano, and John C. Ryan (eds). The Mind of Plants. Santa FE, N.M.: Synergetic Press. Forthcoming.
LIVING IN THE ANTHROPOCENE: INSIGHTS FROM WEST PAPUA
In Pountney, Laura, and Tomislav Maric (eds). Introducing Anthropology: What Makes Us Human? Second edition. Cambridge, M.A.: Polity Press. Forthcoming.
INTRODUCING OCEANIC SOCIETIES IN COVID-19
Oceania. 90 (S1): 1 – 3. DOI: 10.1002/ocea.5257. With Ute Eickelkamp.
OCEANIC SOCIETIES IN COVID-19
Oceania. Vol 90, Supplement 1. Co-edited with Ute Eickelkamp. Forthcoming.
WRATHFUL ANCESTORS, CORPORATE SORCERERS: RITUALS GONE ROGUE IN MERAUKE, WEST PAPUA
Oceania 89(3): 266 - 283. DOI: 10.1002/ocea.5229.
THE PLASTIC CASSOWARY: PROBLEMATIC ‘PETS’ IN WEST PAPUA
Ethnos 84(5): 828 – 848. DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2018.1502798.
SEED CARE IN THE OIL PALM SECTOR
Environmental Humanities 10(2): 421 – 446. DOI: 10.1215/22011919-7156816. Available online.
'THERE ARE NO STRAIGHT LINES IN NATURE’: MAKING LIVING MAPS IN WEST PAPUA
Anthropology Now 9(1): 16 – 33. DOI: 10.1080/19428200.2017.1291014.
MATTERS OF CARE: SPECULATIVE ETHICS IN MORE THAN HUMAN WORLDS, BY MARIA PUIG DE LA BELLACASA. BOOK REVIEW.
Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. . 6(2): 1 – 5. DOI: 10.28968/cftt.v6i2.34034. Available online.
ENGAGED ANTHROPOLOGY: POLITICS BEYOND THE TEXT. BOOK REVIEW.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
THE ROAD: UPRISING IN WEST PAPUA. BOOK REVIEW.
Australian Foreign Affairs 10: 103 - 106.
PALMA AFRICANA. BOOK REVIEW.
American Anthropologist 121(3): 784 - 785. DOI: 10.1111/aman.13280.
FROM ‘STONE AGE’ TO ‘REAL-TIME’: EXPLORING PAPUAN TEMPORALITIES, MOBILITIES AND RELIGIOSITIES. BOOK REVIEW.
The Australian Journal of Anthropology 27(3): 410 – 411. DOI: 10.1111/taja.12214
ELUSIVE CAIMANS AND THE ANTHROPOLOGIST AS DEVIL
Anthropology Now 8(1): 132 – 138. DOI: 10.1080/19428200.2016.1154775.
SAGO: A STORIED SPECIES OF WEST PAPUA
23 May 2019
The Living Archive: Extinction Stories from Oceania. Available online.
THE TRUTH ABOUT “SUSTAINABLE” PALM OIL
13 June 2019
CULTURE, FOOD, AND ENVIRONMENT: INDIGENOUS EXPERIENCES OF HUNGER IN WEST PAPUA
12 June 2019
IS HUNGER CULTURE-BOUND?
6 June 2019
Somatosphere. Available online.
IN DEFORESTATION’S WAKE, WILD ANIMALS TURN TROUBLESOME
20 September 2016
SAPIENS (Voted Editor’s Top Choice in 2016). Available online.
RESPECTING COMMUNITIES' RIGHTS TO THEIR LANDS AND TO FREE, PRIOR, AND INFORMED CONSENT THROUGH THE HIGH CARBON STOCK APPROACH
In HCS Approach Toolkit, edited by Grant Rosoman, Su Shin Sheun, Charlotte Opal, Patrick Anderson, and Ravin Trapshah, 4 – 25. Singapore: HCS Approach Steering Group. With Marcus Colchester and Patrick Anderson. Available online.
KALAU TANAH ADAT DAN HUTAN ADAT KITA HABIS, KITORANG MAU KE MANA LAGI?
With Seksi Justice, Peace and Integration of Creation (JPIC) and Paroki Santa Teresia Kanak-Kanak Yesus Muting. Available online.
CONFLICT OR CONSENT? THE PALM OIL SECTOR AT A CROSSROADS
Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme and Sawit Watch. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.
AGRIBUSINESS LARGE-SCALE LAND ACQUISITIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: UPDATES FROM INDONESIA, THAILAND, PHILIPPINES, MALAYSIA, CAMBODIA, TIMOR-LESTE AND BURMA
THE ROUNDTABLE ON SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL AND COMPLAINT RESOLUTION: GUIDANCE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS AND AFFECTED LOCAL COMMUNITIES
MONITORING PROTOCOL ON HIGH CONSERVATION VALUE AREAS 5 AND 6, WITH GUIDELINES ON BEST PRACTICES IN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme and Zoological Society of London. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND AGRIBUSINESS: PLURAL LEGAL APPROACHES TO CONFLICT RESOLUTION, INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING AND LEGAL REFORM
Moreton-in-Marsh and Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme and Sawit Watch. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.
DIVERS PATHS TO JUSTICE: LEGAL PLURALISM AND THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
Chiang Mai and Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme, Rights and Resources Initiative, and Asia Indigenous Peoples Network. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.
OIL PALM EXPANSION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: TRENDS AND EXPERIENCES OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme, Samdhana Institute, Rights and Resources Initiative, and The Centre for People and Forests. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.
ASSAULT ON THE COMMONS: DEFORESTATION AND DENIAL OF RIGHTS IN INDONESIA
Moreton-in-Marsh: Forest Peoples Programme. With Marcus Colchester and Patrick Anderson. Available online.
‘A SWEETNESS LIKE UNTO DEATH’: VOICES OF THE INDIGENOUS MALIND OF MERAUKE, PAPUA
Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme, Pusaka, and Sawit Watch. Available online.
FOREST PEOPLES: NUMBERS ACROSS THE WORLD
FREE, PRIOR, AND INFORMED CONSENT AND THE RSPO: ARE THE COMPANIES KEEPING THEIR PROMISES?
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AND LAND CONFLICTS IN THE PT ASIATIC PERSADA CONCESSION IN JAMBI: REPORT OF AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO LAND DISPUTES AND FORCED EVICTIONS IN A PALM OIL ESTATE.
Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme, HuMa, and Sawit Watch. With Marcus Colchester, Patrick Anderson, Asep Yunan Firdaus, and Fatilda Hasibuan. Available online.
RESPECTING FREE, PRIOR AND INFORMED CONSENT: PRACTICAL GUIDANCE FOR GOVERNMENTS, COMPANIES, NGOS, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN RELATION TO LAND ACQUISITION
FAO Governance of Tenure Technical Guide No. 3. Rome: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.
IN THE MEDIA
Below are selected essays, interviews, and podcasts I have published in national, international, print, and digital media outlets.
FROM PHD TO BOOK
EXPERIENCES IN THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY
24 November 2020
A webinar on turning a thesis into a book, hosted by the Asian Studies Association of Australia. With Nathan Hollier (University of Melbourne Press), Kevin Carrico (Monash University), and Benjamin Hegarty (Melbourne University).
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A LANGUAGE DIES
19 Nov 2020
A review of anthropologist Don Kulick's A Death in the Rainforest, published by SAPIENS, the magazine of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
EP #62. JOB FANTASIES, WORKING WITH OTHERS, EXTRACTIVE CALLS, AND RECIPROCITY REVISITED
24 Aug 2020
A current affairs podcast produced by the Australian National University's The Familiar Strange. With Alexander d’Aiola, Deanna Catto, and Michael Dunford.
AFTER 75 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN INDONESIA STILL STRUGGLING FOR EQUALITY
14 August 2020
An essay on the rights and realities of Indigenous peoples in Indonesia, published by The Conversation as part of a series to commemorate Indonesia Day. With Fidelis Sastriastanti.
INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN A MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLD
6 - 7 August 2020
SOPHIE CHAO AWARDED JOHN LEGGE PRIZE FOR BEST THESIS IN ASIAN STUDIES 2019
24 July 2020
The John Legge Prize for Best Thesis in Asian Studies is awarded annually by the Asian Studies Association of Australia. This year's Judging Panel was composed of Antonia Finnane (Melbourne), Garry Rodan (Murdoch), and Kirin Narayan (ANU).
EP #60. ADAPTING METHODS, HUMAN DIFFERENCE, VIRTUAL DOJOS, AND FOGGY FIELDNOTES
27 July 2020
A current affairs podcast on COVID-19, memory and fieldwork, and ontological difference, produced by the Australian National University's The Familiar Strange. With Alexander d’Aiola, Deanna Catto, and Simon Theobald.
HEALTH, HARM, HABITUS
7 July 2020
An essay on pandemic phenomenologies in COVID-19, published by critical theory and historical sociology journal Thesis Eleven as part of the online collection "Living and Thinking with Crisis."
THE CULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF FOOD INSECURITY IN PAPUA
14 July 2020
An essay on the cultural dimensions of food, hunger, and the environment among Marind in West Papua, published by investigative research organizationsThe Gecko Project and Mongabay.
RACISM AND SYSTEMIC OPPRESSION
9 June 2020
A short interview on the resonances of Black Lives Matter and structural racism in West Papua, published by the ethical Indonesian jewellery venture Gardens of the Sun.
7 September 2020
A podcast on the values of applied anthropology beyond academia, organized by the Australian Network of Student Anthropologists (ANSA) and produced by the Australian National University's podcast and blog series The Familiar Strange. With Sophie Chao, Jayne Curnow, Derek Elias, Marcus Barber, Bronwyn Hall, Leslie Pyne, and Hanna Jagtenberg.
THE PALM OIL FRONTIER
SOPHIE CHAO AND WALKING THE FOREST WITH THE MARIND PEOPLE
1 June 2020
A podcast on plants, ontology, and capitalism in West Papua, produced by the Australian National University's The Familiar Strange. With Alexander d'Aiola.
NATURE IN CULTURE
MULTI-SENSORY MAPPING WITH THE MARIND PEOPLE
20 May 2020
A podcast on indigenous cartography in West Papua for the Re(e)mergence of Nature in Culture Podcast Series, hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute. With Christine Winter.
This podcast was reviewed by Christine Winter, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Sydney Environment Institute and Convenor of The Re-(E)mergence of Nature in Culture Multimedia Series. Read Christine's reflection and check out her interview with morethanhumanworlds.com.
HOW COVID-19 MAKES US USE OUR BODIES DIFFERENTLY
11 May 2020
An essay on techniques of the body in COVID-19, published by the Australian National University's anthropology blog, The Familiar Strange.
CULTURE, FOOD, AND ENVIRONMENT
19 March 2020
A podcast on the interconnections between processed food, hunger, and Indigenous sovereignty in West Papua, hosted by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. With Natali Pearson.
AGRIBUSINESS, ANTHROPOLOGY, AN ACTIVISM
19 March 2020
A podcast on conducting anthropological research in West Papua, transitioning from activist to academic, and the palm oil industry's impact on the Marind communities of West Papua, Indonesia, hosted by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. With Natali Pearson.
ANTHROPOLOGY AND ACTIVISM
20 January 2020
A podcast on anthropology and activism with Anthropod, the podcast of the Society for Cultural Anthropology that explores conceptual, methodological, and pedagogical issues across the discipline, while striving to make anthropology more widely accessible to all publics. With Cory-Alice André-Johnson and Bianca C. Williams.
ANSA INTERVIEW: DR. SOPHIE CHAO
An interview on applied anthropology and the climate crisis published by the newsletter of the Australian Network of Student Anthropologists, Australia's largest anthropological student association.
FOOD, HUNGER, AND CULTURE
A short essay on the relationship between food, hunger and culture in West Papua's plantation nexus, published in the University of Sydney's biannual SOPHI Magazine.
SOPHIE CHAO AWARDED AUSTRALIAN ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY PHD THESIS PRIZE 2019
12 December 2019
Dr. Chao was awarded the 2019 Australian Anthropological Society (AAS) PhD Thesis Prize for her dissertation, "In the Shadow of the Palms: Plant-Human Relations Among Marind-Anim, West Papua".
IN WEST PAPUA, OIL PALM EXPANSION UNDERMINES THE RELATIONS OF INDIGENOUS MARIND TO FOREST PLANTS AND ANIMALS
16 October 2019
An article on the morethanhuman impacts of deforestation and oil palm expansion in Merauke published in The Conversation, a not-for-profit media outlet that publishes news stories written by academics and researchers.
INSIGHTS ON WEST PAPUA
28 November 2019
A podcast hosted by the Australian National University's Pacific Institute, bringing together voices and scholarships to support and highlight the ongoing debates and struggles of West Papua. With Sophie Chao, Miranda Forsyth, Veronika Koman, Jacob Rumbiak, Reverend James Bhagwan, Hipolitus Y.R Wangge, and Chris Ballard.
WEST PAPUAN FOREST PEOPLES' SURVIVAL
9 December 2019
An interview about indigenous foodways and agribusiness expansion in West Papua on The Daily at Sydney-based community radio channel 2SER (107.3 FM).
HUNGER AND CULTURE IN WEST PAPUA
31 October 2019
An article on indigenous experiences of food insecurity in West Papua, published by Inside Indonesia, a quarterly magazine on the people, culture, and politics of Indonesia.
RITUALS GONE ROGUE IN WEST PAPUA
26 August 2019
Video recording of a guest seminar on ritual success and failure in West Papua, co-hosted by the University of Sydney's Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and Department of Indonesian Studies.
26 August 2019
An article on free, prior, and informed consent in the West Papuan oil palm sector, published in New Mandala, a news outlet hosted by the Australian National University and providing scholarly analysis and perspectives on Southeast Asia.
RACE, RIGHTS, AND RESISTANCE
4 September 2019
An op-ed on the anti-racism protests in West Papua, published in Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT World), the national public broadcaster for Turkey.
CAN THERE BE JUSTICE HERE?
18 August 2019
Video recording of a presentation on social and environmental justice in the West Papuan oil palm sector, hosted by Sydney Environment Institute's Multispecies Justice FutureFix project.
HUNGER IN THE RUBBLE OF THE FOREST
9 August 2019
An article on indigenous phenomenologies of hunger, published in Others (他者), a special section on indigenous cultures in the Chinese-language online magazine The Paper (澎湃).
BIODIVERSITY AND EXTINCTION – CAN WE ACHIEVE JUSTICE FOR ALL?
19 June 2019
A talk on biodiversity, conservation, and agribusiness in West Papua with Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney's premier public lecture series.
HOW LAND GRABBERS WEAPONIZE INDIGENOUS RITUAL AGAINST PAPUANS: AN INTERVIEW WITH ANTHROPOLOGIST SOPHIE CHAO
28 March 2019
A full-length interview with international environmental news platform Mongabay and environmental NGO The Gecko Project on contemporary land grabs and indigenous experiences of monocrop oil palm developments in West Papua.
VICE-CHANCELLOR'S COMMENDATION FOR SOPHIE CHAO
15 February 2019
Sophie Chao receives a Vice-Chancellor's Commendation for her doctoral thesis titled, “In Shadow of the Palms: Plant-Human Relations among Marind-Anim, West Papua.”
FOREST PEOPLES' LANDMARK APPEAL TO CURB DEFORESTATION
21 March 2014
An article on deforestation and indigenous peoples' rights, published in the United Nations University news and analysis outlet, Our World 2.0.
SEEING THE PEOPLE FOR THE TREES
8 June 2012
An article on forest peoples and indigenous land rights, published in Our World 2.0.
1.3 BILLION PEOPLE DEPEND ON FORESTS TO SURVIVE
26 May 2012
An interview on indigenous peoples rights and deforestation with New Scientist, a weekly, English-language magazine that covers all aspects of science and technology.
STUDYING ANTHROPOLOGY AT OXFORD
12 July 2010
A two-part podcast on studying anthropology at the University of Oxford, hosted by the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology. With Jennie Rothera, Darryl Stellmach, Santhy Balachandran, and Mette Berg.
24 November 2020
FROM PHD TO BOOK: EXPERIENCES IN THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY
Asian Studies Association of Australia. Postgraduate webinar. University of Melbourne.
10 November 2020
TAKING PLANTS AND PEOPLE SERIOUSLY: MULTISPECIES ENTANGLEMENTS IN THE WEST PAPUAN OIL PALM NEXUS
4A_Lab: Art Histories, Archaeologies, Anthropologies, Aesthetics. Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut.
2 October 2020
THE BEETLE OR THE BUG? MULTISPECIES BIOPOLITICS IN THE WEST PAPUAN OIL PALM NEXUS
Department of Anthropology Seminar Series. London School of Economics.
25 September 2020
LAND USE CHANGES AND THEIR IMPACTS ON HEALTH AND LIVELIHOODS: INSIGHTS FROM WEST PAPUA
Planetary Health. Centre of Health Research & Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Universitas Udayana. Available online.
16 September 2020
THE BEETLE OR THE BUG? MULTISPECIES POLITICS IN A WEST PAPUAN OIL PALM PLANTATION
Anthropology and Development Studies Seminar Series. University of Melbourne.
24 August 2020
MULTISPECIES BIOPOLITICS IN A WEST PAPUAN OIL PALM PLANTATION
Department of History and Philosophy of Science Seminar Series. University of Sydney.
18 February 2020
INVASIVES OR ALLIES? THE MULTISPECIES BIOPOLITICS OF OIL PALM ECOLOGIES IN WEST PAPUA, INDONESIA
When Species Travel: On the Rise and Consequence of Invasive Ecologies in Asia and the West Pacific. Asia Research Institute and Yale – NUS College. Singapore.
28 January 2020
PLANTS AS KIN, PLANT AS FOE: SAGO AND OIL PALM ONTOLOGIES IN WEST PAPUA
Oriental Society of Australia Lunchtime Seminar Series. Sydney.
2 December 2019
APPLIED ANTHROPOLOGY ROUNDTABLE
Australian Network of Student Anthropologists. Australian Anthropological Society Conference. Canberra.
28 November 2019
DEVELOPMENT, DEFORESTATION, DISPOSSESSION: INDIGENOUS EXPERIENCES IN MERAUKE, WEST PAPUA
Insights on West Papua. Pacific Institute, Australian National University. Canberra. Available online.
19 June 2019
MORE-THAN-HUMAN ENVIRONMENTAL SUBJECTIVITIES IN THE WEST PAPUAN PLANTATIONOCENE
Tomorrow's Country: Environmentality After "Recognition." Alfred Deakin Institute. Melbourne.
13 September 2019
THE PLASTIC CASSOWARY: PROBLEMATIC "PETS" IN WEST PAPUA
Department of Gender and Cultural Studies Seminar Series. University of Sydney.
22 August 2019
MAPS THAT WON'T SIT STILL: CARTOGRAPHIC CONUNDRUMS IN A PAPUAN VILLAGE
Anthropology Seminar Series. Department of Anthropology. University of Sydney.
7 August 2019
PRESSURE POINTS: TOPOGRAPHIES OF VIOLENCE IN MERAUKE, WEST PAPUA
Thinking Space Seminar Series. School of Geosciences. University of Sydney.
6 August 2019
CHILDREN OF THE PALMS: GROWING PLANTS AND GROWING PEOPLE IN WEST PAPUA
Pacific Studies Network Seminar Series. The University of Sydney and Macquarie University.
12 July 2019
MAPPING MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLDS IN AN AGE OF EXTINCTION: INDIGENOUS CARTOGRAPHY IN WEST PAPUA
The Re-(E)mergence of Nature and Culture II. Sydney Environment Institute. The University of Sydney.
8 July 2019
CULTURE IN CONVERSATION: CREATING INCLUSIVE FOOD COMMUNITIES
Sydney Environment Institute, FoodLab Sydney, YARN Australia, and the University of Sydney Union. The University of Sydney. Read online.
19 June 2019
BIODIVERSITY AND EXTINCTION: INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVES ON MULTISPECIES JUSTICE IN WEST PAPUA
Biodiversity and Extinction – Can we Achieve Justice for All? Sydney Ideas. The University of Sydney. Listen online.
13 June 2019
ECONOMIES AFTER PLANTATIONOCENE CAPITALISM: LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE PALM OIL SECTOR
Economies after Anthropocene Roundtable. Multispecies Justice Symposium. The University of Sydney.
4 June 2019
FOOD, CULTURE, HUNGER: TOWARDS A FIELD IN ETHNONUTRITION?
Charles Perkins Centre Breakfast Seminar Series. The University of Sydney.
31 May 2019
STRANGE FLESH, STRANGE FLUIDS: TRANSFORMING BODIES AND SELVES IN A WEST PAPUAN AGRO-INDUSTRIAL ZONE
Meeting the Human Halfway Symposium. Biopolitics of Science Research Network. The University of Sydney.
23 April 2019
KEAMANAN PANGAN DAN BUDAYA SAGU DI MERAUKE, PAPUA: PENILAIAN METODOLOGI DAN TEORI ANTHROPOLOGIS
Dialog Selasa Siang. Department of Indonesian Studies. The University of Sydney.
17 April 2019
EATING AND BEING EATEN: GASTRO-POLITICS IN A WEST PAPUAN VILLAGE
Department of History Seminar Series. The University of Sydney.
13 March 2019
HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE PALM OIL SECTOR
The Stakes of Sovereignty: Energy on the Battlefield. Institut des Hautes Études pour la Science et la Technologie, Paris.
12 October 2017
THE PLASTIC CASSOWARY: PROBLEMATIC PETS IN WEST PAPUA
Macquarie University Anthropology Colloquium. Sydney.
28 April 2015
GASTRO-POLITICS IN A MARIND VILLAGE, WEST PAPUA
Pacific Research Cluster Talanoa. Macquarie University. Sydney.
GRANTS, AWARDS, AND SCHOLARSHIPS
My research has been supported by a number of academic, national, and international funding bodies, including the Australian Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Australian Ministry of Education and Training, the University of Sydney, and Macquarie University.
PhD Thesis Prize, 1,000 AUD, Australian Anthropological Society, 2019
College Prize for First in the Final Honor School Examinations, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2009
College Scholarship, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2009
College Scholarship, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2008
Dudbridge Prize for Outstanding Performance in Moderations, Chinese Institute, University of Oxford, 2007
College Prize for a Distinction in the First Public Exam (FPE), St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2007
College Scholarship, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2007
College Exhibition for a Distinction in Exams, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2006
College half prize for a Distinction in the Qualifying Exam, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2006
Discovery Project Grant, 173,000 AUD, Australian Research Council, 2020 - 2022
Post-PhD Research Grant, 19,760 USD, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2019
Sydney Southeast Asia Center Conference Fund, 2,000 AUD, University of Sydney, 2019
Faculty Research Support Scheme, 5,000 AUD, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney, 2019 - 2020
Postdoctoral Startup Grant, 15,000 AUD, Charles Perkins Center, University of Sydney, 2019 - 2021
Engaged Anthropology Grant, 5,000 USD, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2018
Biennial Conference Postgraduate Award, 190 AUD, Asian Studies Association of Australia, 2017
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, 9,196 USD, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2015
Fieldwork Research Grant, 10,000 AUD, Macquarie University, 2015
Postgraduate Travel Grant, 300 AUD, Australian Anthropological Society, 2015 (declined)
Endeavour International Postgraduate Scholarship (PhD), Australian Ministry of Education and Training, 2015 - 2018
Tuition Gap International Research Excellence Scholarship, Macquarie University, 2015 - 2018
International Macquarie Research Excellence Scholarship (IMQRES), Macquarie University, 2015 - 2018 (declined)
February - June 2016, 2018
July - November 2018
This undergraduate course explores anthropological approaches to nature and society, with a particular focus on the Anthropocene. It introduces students to the entanglements of humans and non-humans in contexts including mass species extinction, capitalist extractivism, indigenous cosmologies, and biodiversity conservation.
This undergraduate course explores the anthropology of health, illness, and healing. It introduces students to central concepts, methods, and theories of medical anthropology, including evolutionary biology, Western biomedicine and traditional therapeutic systems, the illness experience, and the social, psychological, and biological origins of disease.
July - November 2017
This undergraduate course explores psychological anthropology, including emotional, cognitive, developmental, and perceptual dynamics across cultures. It introduces students to the conceptual roots of psychological anthropology and to contemporary anthropological debates about the relationship between self, psyche, and culture.
February - June 2017, 2019
This postgraduate course explores research paradigms in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. It introduces students to a range of theoretical frameworks, the assumptions that underwrite these diverse approaches, their inter-disciplinary relevance, their strengths, and their conceptual relationships.
July - November 2018
This undergraduate course introduces students to methods and principles of sociocultural anthropology through topics including exchange and reciprocity; language and culture; kinship; magic, ritual, and witchcraft; race, ethnicity and inequality; the body and culture; globalization; and sex and gender.
In addition to designing, coordinating, and delivering courses, I have guest-lectured in undergraduate and postgraduate modules at a range of universities, and in topics including: Food Across Cultures, Anthropology of Law, Culture, Myth, and Religion, Ethnology of the Pacific, Science, Ethics, and Society, Posthumanism, Indonesian Studies, International and Global Studies, Population Health and Sustainable Development, History & Historians, Development Practice, and Fundamentals of Regulation. I have also led interdisciplinary case studies and research projects in courses on Medical Science and Interdisciplinarity and Interdisciplinary Impact.
Since 2015, I have tutored, lectured, and convened undergraduate and postgraduate courses in anthropology and the social sciences more generally at Macquarie University. I continue to give guest lectures as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sydney. My teaching philosophy is anchored in a strong work ethic, the pursuit of excellence, and respect for intellectual diversity. My goal as a teacher is to support my students lead lives of impacts as engaged citizens and creative thinkers. For further details, please see my Teaching Dossier.
Since 2015, I have tutored, lectured, and convened undergraduate and postgraduate courses in anthropology and the social sciences more generally at Macquarie University. I continue to give guest lectures as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sydney. My teaching philosophy is anchored in a strong work ethic, the pursuit of excellence, and respect for intellectual diversity. My goal as a teacher is to support my students lead lives of impacts as engaged citizens and creative thinkers. For further details, please see my Teaching Portfolio.
Co-convener, HDR Multispecies Justice Reading Group (2020 - present)
Co-secretary, Charles Perkins Centre Early and Mid Career Researchers Network (2019 - 2020)
Honorary Postdoctoral Fellow, Macquarie University (2019 – 2021)
Full Member, Royal Society of New South Wales (RSNSW)
Member, Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)
Member, Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA)
Fellow, Australian Anthropological Society (AAS)
Member, Australian Association for Pacific Studies (AAPS)
Member, Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA)
Member, World Public Health Nutrition Association (WPHNA)
Member, The Pacific Circle
Member, Planet Politics Institute
Member, Oriental Society of Australia (OSA)
Member, AgriFood Research Network (AFRN)
Member, Food Studies Research Network (FSRN)
Member, Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy (ANHA)
Member, Charles Perkins Centre (CPC)
Researcher, Sydney Environment Institute (SEI)
Academic Member, Sydney Southeast Asia Center (SSEAC)
Academic Member, Chinese Studies Center, The University of Sydney
Member, Sydney Food and Nutrition Network (SFNN)
Member, Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC)
Member, Mosaic Network, The University of Sydney
Member, Human Animal Research Network (HARN)
Member, UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab
Advisory Board Member, Cultural and Medical Anthropology Division, Adventurous Midwives
Cultural Horizons Prize Jury Member, American Anthropological Association, 2015