Bergmann, Dr Iris

Bergmann, Dr Iris

PhD Candidate

University of Sydney
Research interests / activities:

Iris is currently completing her doctoral research entitled “The Future for Horses in Thoroughbred Racing and the Sustainability of Welfare Concepts”, based at the University of Sydney. The purpose of her research is to study the welfare conceptions held by participants of the internationally thoroughbred racing industry, and compare those to those held by representatives of animal protection organisations. It aims to find out to what degree these conceptions are sustainable, what probable, possible and preferable futures of thoroughbred welfare might look like and what that might mean for the future of thoroughbreds and thoroughbred racing. Iris has a background in capacity building for sustainability with past projects based in Australia and various countries throughout Asia. Prior to moving to the University of Sydney, Iris was a research fellow at RMIT University. During that time, she was recipient of the Voiceless Factory Farming Grant 2008.

One of Iris’ passions is the use of visual methods in exploring people’s beliefs, attitudes and perceptions. She is also engaged in visual practice myself mainly using photography. While living in Northern New South Wales, Iris was active in Wildlife rehabilitation for six years and supported WIRES as inaugural chairperson of their Northern Rivers Branch 2004-2006.


Conference presentations, publications and exhibition participations. Selected outputs: I presented a new systems analytical approach to Mapping Welfare Drivers at the Seminar of the Centre for Animal Welfare, UQ: Who Drives Animal Welfare in Australia, in February 2011. Together with my co-researcher I presented results of our factory farming study “What Factors Lead Australians to Support or Actively Reject Factory Farming?” at the International Inaugural Minding Animals Conference, in Newcastle, Australia, in July 2009. An application of some of the findings to social marketing are published in the Proceedings of the 2010 International Nonprofit & Social Marketing conference (INSM) ( Writings in the intersection of human-animal studies, ecological thought and social change for sustainabilility include book reviews and a journal article: Book Review forthcoming in 2011: Every Living Being – Representations of Nonhuman Animals in the Exploration of Human Well-Being by Marie-France Boissonneault. The Canadian Journal of Environmental Education; Book Review forthcoming in 2011: The Sustainability Handbook: Skills for a changing world by Arran Stibbe (Ed.). Environmental Education Research; 2008, Book Review: Watching Wildlife by Cynthia Chris. Visual Studies, 23 (3), 287-289; 2010, What is the Role of The Arts in the face of this? An Exploration in the Context of Whole Systems Thinking and Change for Sustainability. PAN Philosophy Activism Nature, 23-32.

Website/blog: PhD Research Profile