Researcher biography

I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland, conducting research into understanding the role of dust pollution in the health of the Anindilyakwa people of the Groote Eylandt Archipelago. This research involves carrying out motor skill & cognitive testing as well as collecting hair and ambient air samples with and alongside the local Anindilyakwa people that live near & far from mining operations. Of particular value in this study, was the opportunity to work closely with and learning from some wonderful Anindilyakwa people (through previously established relationships), to develop and maintain a culturally-sensitive approach to carrying out this research in their remote communities, which included (but not limited to):

  • creating bilingual media for communication & consent procedures
  • utilising cutting-edge laser technology that allows for minimal sampling of hair (to quantify metal accumulation)
  • developing fun & engaging tasks for assessing cognitive & motor skill

Now in its 3rd year, our culturally-sensitive approach has enabled successful participation from hundreds of Anindilyakwa children and adults from all over the Groote Eylandt Archipelago.

Prior to this Postdoctoral Research Fellow appointment at UQ, I was a Senior Research Officer, also in the School of Biological Sciences, investigating the Health benefits of going on-country for Aboriginal women in the Groote Eylandt Archipelago. I have also completed short-term contracts in the Computer Human Interaction Lab at QUT as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (consulting with Anindilyakwa people on Groote Eylandt for the study investigating Community digital noticeboards in remote Aboriginal communities) and a non-scientific role as a project officer in the Groote Eylandt Linguistics centre (assisting the preservation and promotion of Anindilyakwa language and culture).

Prior to the aforementioned roles, I completed a PhD titled Evolutionary perspectives on human cooperation in sportwhich received a University of QLD Dean's Award for Outstanding Research Higher Degree thesis.

Research Interests

  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Indigenous-environmental health
  • Indigenous research ethics
  • Understanding & predicting modern human behaviour

Qualifications

  • PhD Human Evolutionary Ecology (2009-2013), University of QLD
  • BSc with Honours Class 1, Ecological Genetics (2007), University of QLD
  • Bachelor of Science, majors Zoology & Genetics (2004-2006), University of QLD