Researcher biography

I am an urban sociologist, and I research a wide range of issues that influence the way we live in cities and the way our social lives influence how cities look, feel and work. I have investigated the ways new communities form in master planned outer suburban estates, in collaboration with one of Australia's largest property developers. I have also researched inner city neighbourhoods in Brisbane to understand that way that top down gentrification influences the culture and community in these places. I was involved in a large Australian Research Council project in the aftermath of the 2011 Brisbane floods designed to better understand the relative importance of local community, government institutions and strangers in the way that affected suburbs recovered from this disaster in the short and medium term. My research has also taken me to Bangladesh where I have conducted research in collaboration with local universities, to investigate ways the urban poor understand themselves as citizens and how they access government services directly and through systems of patronage.

In a very non-urban activity, I have been involved in an ACIAR project in the Solomon Islands over the past seven years, in collaboration with my colleague Professor Kristen Lyons, assisting a team of forestry researchers to better understand the social and cultural enablers and obstacles to the successful introduction of smallholder teak plantations at the village level in the Western Province.

I have appeared on ABC Radio National, ABC Melbourne and Brisbane, and Channel 7 News.

I teach Introduction to Sociology, The Logic of Social inquiry (for Honours students), and Sociology the City. I have also previously taught qualitative methods to undergrad students.

Thesis supervision: I would be happy to speak with you if you are interested in higher degree research in any of the research fields below.

Areas of research