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 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 led 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 different form of community research, I am part of a team working in the Solomon Islands since 2011. In collaboration with my colleague Professor Kristen Lyons, we are assisting a team of forestry researchers to better understand the social and cultural enablers and obstacles to the integration of western scientific practices to environmental protection and village level livelihoods.

I am a regular commentator on local and national media on urban affairs and also contribute regularly to the Conversation (over 100,000 readers).

I am an award-winning urban photographer (see Flickr link on this page)

I am currently teaching:

SOCY1050 Introduction to Sociology.

SOCY3345 Advanced Studies in Social Thought

SOCY2340 An Urban World

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