Researcher biography

Gerhard has a BA in Social Anthropology and Politics/International Relations and an MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent at Canterbury and was awarded a PhD in anthropology and sociology from La Trobe University. From 2014-2017 he was an Australian Research Council DECRA research fellow. In 2023-2024 he is the Lee Kong Chian NUS-Stanford Fellow on Contemporary Southeast Asia 2024 spending time at the National University of Singapore and the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University.

He conducts research in development studies, on refugee and immigration policy and spiritual and existential security as well as religion and the state. He is a regular commentator in newspapers, radio and online media on topics of his research.

His first book entitled Modern Muslim Identities: Negotiating Religion and Ethnicity in Malaysia is published by NIAS Press. He is co-editor of a volume on human security and Australian foreign policy published by Allen and Unwin/Routledge as well as one on Urban refugees: Challenges in Protection, Services and Policy, published by Routledge.

He is a senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is also course director for World101x: Anthropology of current world issues, UQs fifth edX massive open online course. The course offers 9 weeks of anthropological episodes with an array of additional resources, including a host of interviews with fellow anthropologists. There is also a curated list of interviews with anthropologists and panels on the youtube and facebook channel.

Areas of research