About Us

Vision, Mission and Objectives

Executive Committee:

Fiona Probyn-Rapsey – Chair

FionaHeadshots_5D3_0054I am Professor and Head of School for the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong where I teach and research in the areas of human animal studies, postcolonial and critical race studies and gender studies.  

From 2011-2015 I was convenor of HARN: Human Animal Research Network, a cross-faculty research group focused on human and animal interactions here at the University of Sydney. I am author of Made to Matter (SUP 2013), Co-Editor (with Jay Johnston) of Animal Death (SUP 2013), and Animals in the Anthropocene (2015).  I am on the Editorial boards of Animal Studies Journal,  Environmental Humanities and Australian Humanities Review. With Melissa Boyde, I am Series Editor for Animal Publics, through Sydney University Press

Lynn Mowson – Vice-Chair

LynnWolfsmall Dr lynn mowson is a sculptor and animals advocate.  She was awarded her PhD for her practice-led sculptural research entitled ‘beautiful little dead things: empathy, witnessing, trauma and animals’ suffering’ from the VCA, The University of Melbourne.  The sculptures created through this research feature in the book The Art of the Animal, Lantern Press 2015, and forthcoming exhibition of the same name at the National Museum of Animals and Society, LA, 2017.  Lynn exhibited in Creaturely Feelings, at the AASA Animal Publics Conference at the Dax Centre, University of Melbourne and at Animaladies, Sydney, 2016.  Lynn is currently on the Steering Committee for the HRAE Research Network at the University of Melbourne. Website: https://lynnmowson.com

Yamini Narayanan – Treasurer

yamini-3Dr. Yamini Narayanan is ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Senior Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University. Her work explores the ways in which animals – particularly those regarded as heritage or sacred icons in India, such as cattle – are invoked as symbols of human identity politics and/or as resources for growth in cities.

Her book Religion, Heritage and the Sustainable City: Hinduism and Urbanisation in Jaipur (Routledge) was published in 2015, and edited volume Religion and Urbanism: Reconceptualising Sustainable Cities in South Asia (Routledge) was published in 2016. She also publishes widely in media on issues related to animal rights, including The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, Huffington Post and Animal People Forum.                                                                                     Staff Profile

Clare Archer-Lean  –  Secretary

Discipline Leader, English Literature, University of the Sunshine Coast

Clare’s research focuses on the ways in which literary and cultural representations of animals inform human perceptions of their own identities and their place in the natural environment. She has chapter, monograph and literary articles on animals in literature particularly in Indigenous story telling. She is also experienced in trans-disciplinary approaches and is lead investigator on a $25 000 competitive state funded (DSITIA, Qld) project on communication, values and dingoes on Fraser Island, 2015.

Rick De Vos  – Membership Secretary

evI am an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University, currently completing a monograph on anthropogenic extinction, its cultural significance and the way it is articulated and practiced. Prior to this I spent over twenty years teaching and conducting research in the areas of Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Performance Studies, Film and Television, Literature and Indigenous Australian research. I have been a member of AASG/AASA since 2005, and, as a researcher who generally works independently, I have drawn great benefit from the information generated by, and the conferences organised by this group, as well as its collegiality.                                       Staff Profile

Donelle Gadenne – General Committee Member

imageDonelle is a qualified veterinary nurse who has worked for over two decades in the veterinary industry. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing, Editing and International Cultural Studies with Honours in Writing and a Master of Arts degree in English. She is an international associate of the New Zealand Centre of Human-Animal Studies and presently researches and writes as an independent Critical Animal Studies scholar. For a full list of publications see:

Annie Potts – General Committee Member

Annie Potts is the author of Chicken, an illustrated natural and cultural history of gallus domesticus (Reaktion Animal Series, 2011), and co-author, along with Philip Armstrong and Deidre Brown, of A New Zealand Book of Beasts: Animals in our Culture, History and Everyday Life (Auckland University Press, 2013). Her contribution to this book includes a detailed history of companion animals in New Zealand (including traditional pets of Maori); a critical analysis of anti-possum rhetoric in New Zealand; and an exploration of vegetarian sub-cultural identity in this country.

More recently Annie has co-authored with Donelle Gadenne a book called Animals in Emergencies: Learning from the Christchurch Earthquakes (Canterbury University Press, 2014). This book provides a historical record of animal rescue, shelter and advocacy following the earthquakes which struck Christchurch and surrounding areas in 2010 and 2011.  Annie’s latest book is the edited collection Meat Culture (Brill, 2016).

Annie is co-director of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies at Canterbury University.

Nik Taylor – General Committee Member

nik-and-lokiNik is an Associate Professor in Sociology at Flinders University where she researches various aspects of human-animal interaction including links between human and animal directed violence, methodological issues in studying human-animal relationships and the role(s) of power/knowledge in structuring human oppression of animals.  She is the Managing Editor (Social Sciences) of Society & Animals; a charter scholar of the Animals and Society Institute; a member of the Human-Animal Studies Executive Committee at the Animals & Society Institute, a Board member of the International Society for Anthrozoology and an Associate Member of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies at the University of Canterbury.  Nik is also an editorial board member of Anthrozoos.  She has published numerous books and articles on human-animal relations, the latest of which include The Rise of Critical Animal Studies: From the Margins to the Centre (with Richard Twine, Routledge 2014); Humans, Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies (Lantern Books, 2013) and Animals at Work: Identity, Politics and Culture in work with Animals (with Lindsay Hamilton, Brill Academic, 2013).

Christine Townend – General Committee Member

 CETChristine founded Animal Liberation in Australia in 1976 and together with Peter Singer founded what is now called Animals Australia in 1980. She is an author with 7 published books, her most recent being a poetry collection, Walking with Elephants, published by Island Press. She holds a Doctorate from the University of Sydney. Her book, Pulling the Wool (1986) led to a Senate Inquiry into Animal Welfare examining the Australian sheep and wool industry. From 1990 to 2006 she was managing trustee of an animal shelter in Jaipur and during this time founded two animal shelters in Kalimpong and Darjeeling.

Dinesh Wadiwel- General Committee Member

Dinesh WadiwelDinesh Wadiwel is a Lecturer and Director of the Master of Human Rights at the University of Sydney. Dinesh  is convenor of the Human Animal Research Network (HARN) at The University of Sydney, a cross disciplinary collaboration of animal studies oriented scholars. His research interests include sovereignty and the nature of rights, violence, race and critical animal studies. He is author of the monograph The War against Animals (Brill, 2015). Dinesh is currently researching a book that explores Marx, capitalism and animals.



Dr Melissa Boyde – General Committee Member

I am a reseaMinstrel-and-Melissa-300x215rcher in the fields of animal studies and in modernist art and literature. My research in Animal Studies is  particularly focused on the cattle industries in Australia. I am the founder and chief editor of Animal Studies Journal and co-editor, with Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, of the Animal Publics book series published by Sydney University Press. 


Vision, Mission and Objectives

AASA Mission:

To activate a community of animal studies scholars, scientists, creative artists and animal advocates. To encourage cross-national and disciplinary exchange and, more particularly, to promote work that has animals and human-animal relations in Australasia as a focus.

AASA Vision:

For animals and their relationships with humans and environments to be at the forefront of humane and rigorous scholarly, scientific and artistic enquiry. And for this cross-disciplinary intellectual and creative work to inform and infiltrate the treatment and understanding of animals in national, state and local educational institutions, industries and decision making forums.


The objectives of the Australasian Animal Studies Association are to:

  • Hold a biennial Australasian Animal Studies Association national conference and provide a forum for transdisciplinarity and knowledge exchange;
  • Promote local meetings, symposiums and conference presentations by Human-Animal Studies scholars.
  • Produce a regular bulletin that is distributed via email and the AASA website;
  • Encourage and support publication and production of scholarly and creative works in the field;
  • Maintain the AASA website and promote national and international events and encourage participation in the field;
  • Facilitate discussion through the AASA list-serv;
  • Develop a database of AASA participants and document their research interests, methods, outputs and expressions of interest in collaborative projects;
  • Support the protection of animals;
  • Encourage the development of human-animal studies as a field of academic research;