About Us

The Australasian Animal Studies Association (AASA) is the preeminent association for animal studies in the region. Welcoming activists, academics, researchers and interested peoples, AASA provides a hub for research, opportunities and robust discussion in the field of animal studies. Our conferences, masterclasses and prizes draw new and established thinkers, while our regular communication through our website, newsletters and social media brings our growing community together. Join us! 

Vision, Mission and Objectives

Executive Committee:

Dinesh Wadiwel – Chair

Dinesh is an Associate Professor in human rights and socio-legal studies, with a background in social and political theory. Dinesh is an active critical animal studies scholar, and also has extensive research experience in disability rights.  He is author of The War against Animals (Leiden / Boston: Brill/Rodopi, 2015). His second monograph, Animals and Capital, will be released by Edinburgh University Press in 2023. 


Monograph: The War Against Animals. Boston: Brill, 2015. http://www.brill.com/products/book/war-against-animals

Staff Profile

Heather Fraser – Deputy Chair

Heather Fraser is an Associate Professor in Social Work at Queensland University, where she coordinates the Master of Social Work Program. She started her career in the 1980s as a second wave feminist mostly working with people left homeless through family and domestic violence. Today Heather identifies as a scholar-activist and a critical social worker who, in the last decade, has become involved in critical animal studies and been learning to paint animals. With Nik Taylor, Heather recently wrote Companion animals and domestic violence: Rescuing me, rescuing you (2019), London: Palgrave. And with Damien Riggs, Shoshana Rosenberg and Nik Taylor, she wrote Queer Entanglements. Intersections of Gender, Sexuality & Animal Companionship (2021), Cambridge University Press. 

Peter Chen – Treasurer

Dr Peter J. Chen is a senior lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, where he teaches Australian and regional politics, media politics, and public policy. He is the author of Animal welfare in Australia: politics and policy (2016) and Australian politics in a digital age (2013), as well as the co-editor of Double disillusion: the 2016 Australian federal election (2018) and Australian Politics and Public Policy (2019).

Chantelle Bayes – Secretary

Chantelle Bayes is an adjunct researcher, a writer and a sessional lecturer at Griffith University in Queensland. Her research focuses on the relationships between humans and nonhumans (including other animals) in urban environments and in response to urbanisation. Her book Reimagining Urban Nature: Literary Imaginaries for Posthuman Cities comes out in March 2023 with Liverpool University Press. She is also working on a book of short stories informed by critical animal studies in collaboration with Josephine Browne. 

General Committee Members:

Sue Pyke

Sue teaches indigenous studies and creative writing at the University of Melbourne. She also researches global animal welfare policy with the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. She is the author of Animal Visions (2019 ) and has published a range of chapters and articles relating to non-human animals, most recently with a focus on the snakes of the Eastern Maar Nation. Sue gets her hands dirty most days working on co-creating safe habitat for those snakes and all the other critters who, like her, love living in the Stony Rises. More details on Sue’s publications can be found at  http://suehallpyke.com. She also Instagrams @suzimez and twitters @suehallpyke

Clare Archer-Lean

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.

Laura Jean McKay

Laura Jean McKay is the author of The Animals in That Country (2020), winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Victorian Prize for Literature, the ABIA Small Publishers Adult Book of the Year and an Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. She is an adjunct lecturer in creative writing at Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa. She was awarded an NZSA Waitangi Day Literary Honour in 2022. She is also the author of Holiday in Cambodia (2013) and her next book is a collection of short fiction, Gunflower (2023). 

Alexandra McEwan

Alexandra is an interdisciplinary scholar and Lecturer in Law at the College of Law, Criminology, and Justice at CQUniversity (CQU). Alexandra’s research agenda focuses on animals, the law, and ethics, and her thinking is informed by Pierre Bourdieu’s social theory. In 2021, she introduced Animal Law into CQU’s undergraduate law program and in December 2022, led an international study tour focusing on wildlife law and protection in Vietnam.

Alexandra’s recent research and publications have focused on wildlife trafficking in Vietnam, and on Ag-gag laws. She also has an interest in the role of transformation learning principles in growing lawyers for nature.

Summary: animal protection law, wildlife law and protection, transformation learning, Bourdieu

My staff profile: https://staff-profiles.cqu.edu.au/home/view/22680

Josephine Browne

Josephine Browne is a multidisciplinary researcher and sessional academic at Southern Cross University. She has an earlier career as a Narrative Therapist specialising in disenfranchised grief and domestic violence. At Monash University in the 1990s, her initial research led to the establishment of Australia’s first pet bereavement service, Agape. Her current research is focused on human-animal relations and masculinities in sociology and literature. She publishes fiction, non-fiction, reviews and academic work. Her forthcoming chapter on utopian and dystopian sociology, examining ‘The Animals In That Country’ (McKay 2020), will be published by Routledge in a collection co-edited with Zoei Sutton in 2023. She is also writing a collection of narratives with Chantelle Bayes on more-than-human subjectivities. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Feminisms, Gender & Advocacy (formerly Outskirts).

Lynley Tulloch

Lynley Tulloch is a lecturer in early childhood education (ECE) at
Wintec/Te Pūkenga in Hamilton, New Zealand. She has a PhD in the field of sustainability education and ideologies of nature.

Lynley is a vegan animal rights activist with research interests in critical animal studies. She has published in this field including an autoethnography of vegan praxis and encounters with the meat-eating cyborg (in Review of Contemporary Philosophy, 2016); and an autoethnography of anti-dairy vegan activism in New Zealand (Animal Studies Journal, 2018).

Lynley has also published an article on video activism, the dairy industry and the politics of sight (with Paul Judge in Video
Journal of Education and Pedagogy, 2018). An advocate of grounded scholarship, Lynley founded Starfish Bobby Calf Project in 2015 and is involved in the rescue of animals from the dairy industry, particularly bobby calves. Starfish Bobby Calf Project focuses on educating the public to think more deeply and critically about human-animal relations and the depravations of dairy farming. Her work has been showcased in a series of photos by Jinki Cambronero. She is currently working with Paul Judge and Bridget Sutherland on a documentary film chronicling the activities of Starfish Bobby Calf Project and the wider animal save movement.
—photo by Jinki Cambronero

Fernando do Campo

Dr Fernando do Campo (b. Mar del Plata, Argentina 1987) is an artist based in Sydney where he is Art Domain Coordinator and Lecturer at UNSW Art & Design. Since 2015 he also produces work as the HSSH (House Sparrow Society for Humans). Fernando’s practice engages the histories of non-human animals via anthropomorphism, speculative fiction and archival research. The global south and the legacies of colonialism and modernism that hold these animal narratives are a focus for both his research and the material studio explorations. Recent projects have focused on the possibility of painting as a diaristic archival process and listening as a performative gesture through which to complicate the anthropocentric gaze of both the maker and viewer of artworks. Fernando has presented solo exhibitions in Australia and the USA, and group exhibitions internationally. He is a Sir General John Monash Foundation Scholar, the first artist to ever receive this prestigious award for emerging Australian leaders to study abroad. Fernando is currently working on an ongoing research project with the Green-Wood Cemetery and the Brooklyn Museum, New York and an iterative solo exhibition being co-presented by Contemporary Art Tasmania, UNSW Galleries and PICA across 2021-22 and touring nationally in 2023. He is Artist-in-Residence at the State Library of NSW 2021-22 and represented by Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Sydney. 

Emily Major – Post Graduate Committee Member

Emily Major is a PhD candidate at the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her research uses an antispeciesist Critical Animal Studies lens to consider the ethics of government-sanctioned pest control methods towards the ‘invasive’ brushtail possum in Aotearoa New Zealand, questioning whether positive empathy and/or compassionate conservation could potentially alleviate the mass suffering and unwarranted slaughter of these introduced ‘pest’ animals. Emily’s volunteer work includes academic activism with SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) in New Zealand and she is the Canterbury region’s Roots & Shoots coordinator for the Jane Goodall Institute of New Zealand. Most currently, she has become a committee member for the AASA (Australasian Animal Studies Association), hoping to combine her academic and volunteer aspirations towards the protection of animals whom need compassion the most.

lynn mowson – Public Officer

Lynn is a sculptor and animals advocate.  lynn is currently a research assistant at the University of Melbourne.   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 sculptures created through this research feature in the book The Art of the Animal, Lantern Press 2015, and exhibition SPOM: Sexual Politics of Meat, The Animal Museum, LA, 2017.  Lynn exhibited in Creaturely Feelings, at the AASA2015 Animal Publics Conference at the Dax Centre, University of Melbourne 2015,  Animaladies, Sydney 2016 and Animal Intersections, AASA2017 in Adelaide.  Her current work ‘feeler’, created for OktoLab, was exhibited in Hobart and Germany, and a version touring Australia as part of Experimenta Life Forms: International Triennial of Media Art. Website: https://lynnmowson.com

Rowena Lennox – Guest Editor, Animail

Rowena Lennox lives on Gweagal Country and is the author of two books: Dingo Bold: the life and death of K’gari dingoes (Sydney University Press, 2021) about emotional relationships between people and dingoes on K’gari/Fraser Island; and a biography of an East Timorese church leader, Fighting Spirit of East Timor: the life of Martinho da Costa Lopes (Pluto/Zed, 2000), which won a NSW Premier’s History Award. She holds a doctorate of creative arts from the University of Technology Sydney, where she is an honorary adjunct at the Centre for Public History, and her poems, essays and stories have been widely published. Her current research interests are settler colonialism, dingoes, decolonisation and maritime history. Rowena brings her experience as a book editor to her role editing Animail, the online magazine for AASA members.

Natalie Lis – Guest Editor, AASA Updates

Natalie Lis is PhD candidate in the School of Architecture at the University of Queensland. Her research explores how architecture influences bird and human relationships. She investigates how human-built structures such as chicken coops, cockfighting arenas, observation hides, sky burial sites and penguinariums act as an intermediary for material exchanges in addition to cultural and social symbolism. Natalie also works as a casual academic at UQ, tutoring architectural design, theory and history. She has the new role of newsletter coordinator at AASA and works to deliver your fortnightly updates.

Ant McKenna – Webmaster

Currently working as the Project Lead for the Creative Business Champion with the Regional Arts Services Network, leading 14 professional creative mentors and working with a large number of creative businesses across the state.

Previously, Ant worked as one of the mentors on the progam. Ant has also worked as Program Manager of Brisbane Multicultural Art Centre (BEMAC), Arts Qld Partnership Manager and Team Leader of Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s creative team. He was also previously EO of QMusic.

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 influence 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:

  • To foster the development of Animal Studies as a field of academic research in Australasia and elsewhere. 
  • To activate and support a community of Animal Studies scholars, artists and advocates.
  • To encourage approaches to Animal Studies that foreground and respect the interests, perspectives and rights of nonhuman animals.
  • To encourage and support the production and publication of scholarly, creative and community work in the field.
  • To promote the work of AASA members both within Australasian academic contexts and internationally.
  • To inform members of local and international Animal Studies events.
  • To achieve these objects by activities which may include, but are not limited to, promoting a biennial Australasian Animal Studies Association Inc. conference, maintaining strong online presence, supporting the scholarly journal Animal Studies Journal, hosting and disseminating strategic communication among members.