Researcher biography

I am an urban sociologist and an expert in urban community in all its forms. My research encompasses the outer suburbs in Australia, the gentrifying inner city and informal communities in cities in the Global South. My work focusses on how different urban places and spatial logics in the city impact on our opportunities to form attachments to neighbourhoods and each other, with a particular focus on the role of corporate capital and its tendency to homogenise our urban experience in Australia.

Internationally, I have written extensively on urban poverty in Bangladesh, India and Indonesia and I am currently involved in work on climate change and its effects on the urban poor in collaboration with colleagues in Indonesia, Brazil and Solomon Islands. My latest research concerns the impact of climate change, and natural disasters, on the urban poor. There are more than 1 billion people living in informal urban settlements, or slums. These people are among the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, however, adaptation and mitigation policies are being formulated at multiple scales, often without considering the voices of the urban poor.

I am the convenor of the Bachelor of Arts Sociology program and an award winning teacher. I teach courses at all levels in our undergraduate sociology program including Introduction to Sociology (SOCY1050), An Urban World (SOCY2340) and Advanced Studies in Social Thought: Getting the Big Picture (SOCY3345).

I am also an award winning photographer (you can see some of my work on my Flickr page.

I welcome proposals from potential Honours and PhD students who are interested in any aspect of the social life of cities from anywhere in the world.

Areas of research