Interdisciplinarity in a More-Than-Human World: Part II – School of Humanities Interdisciplinarity in a More-Than-Human World: Part II – School of Humanities

Interdisciplinarity in a More-Than-Human World: Part II

Interdisciplinarity in a More-Than-Human World: Part II

This is a Sydney Environment Institute event

This event is Part 2 of 2 workshops for Interdisciplinarity in a More-Than-Human World.

The challenges that the more-than-human world is facing clearly exceed the reach of any one discipline. Researchers working across the natural and social sciences and the humanities on the major social and environmental challenges of our time are increasingly realising that if our work is to make the type of contribution we wish to make to understanding and addressing these challenges, it needs to be inter-disciplinary.  But how does interdisciplinarity actually work out in practice? What is interdisciplinarity’s life cycle? What opportunities and challenges does interdisciplinarity entail? How do scholars working across different disciplines come together to shape the design of research questions, research methodologies, the writing up and dissemination of findings, and applied outcomes in the real world?

This virtual workshop brings together four pairs of scholars who will share their experiences putting interdisciplinarity into practice in studying the more-than-human world. It will be structured as two x two-hour sessions, each involving two pairs in conversation with one another (one in the social sciences/arts/humanities and one in the physical sciences), followed by broader discussion. Participants will be invited to share their experiences, including challenges and strategies, creating an interdisciplinary learning experience. We invite both academics and HDR students to participate in this conversation.


Sophie Chao is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sydney School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry and the Charles Perkins Centre. Her research explores the intersections of capitalism, ecology, and indigeneity in the Pacific. She is interested in the changing relationships between plants and people across indigenous, corporate, and scientific contexts. Her theoretical thinking is inspired by interdisciplinary posthumanist currents including multispecies ethnography and the environmental humanities, as well as plant science and Science and Technology Studies. Her new project investigates the nutritional and cultural impacts of agribusiness on indigenous food-based socialities, identities, and ecologies.


Discussion 1

Danielle Celermajer is a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney. Her research stands at the interface of theories exploring the multi-dimensional nature of injustice and the practice of human rights, focusing on the relational intra-space between human and non-human animals. Along with her multispecies community, she has recently lived through the NSW fires, writing in the face of their experience of the “killing of everything”, which she calls “omnicide”. Danielle is the Research Lead on Concepts and Practices of Multispecies Justice. Her publications include Sins of the Nation and the Ritual of Apology (Cambridge, 2009) and The Prevention of Torture; An Ecological Approach (Cambridge, 2018).

Arian Wallach is a Lecturer in the School of Life Sciences at the UTS Sydney. Her research investigates the ecological role of large predators on biodiversity and functioning of novel ecosystems. Her fieldwork is mainly conducted across the Australian arid zone, where she is researching the influence of dingoes on biodiversity and native-non-native coexistence. Arian’s research has challenged established paradigms on the cause and treatment of biodiversity decline in Australia, by showing that protecting dingoes enables species to thrive in modern ecosystems, and that lethal control of introduced species is both unnecessary and counterproductive. Her work on predators featured in the journals Nature and Science, and together with a collaborative research team has been awarded the 2013 Eureka Prize for Environmental Research.

Discussion 2

Bradley Moggridge is from the Kamilaroi Nation (N-W NSW) and is a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra’s Institute for Applied Ecology and part-time Indigenous Liaison Officer for Threatened Species Recovery Hub. He holds university qualifications in hydrogeology from UTS and environmental science from ACU and has been awarded the 2017 ATSI Community Alumni award from ACU and a Fellow of the Peter Cullen Trust Science to Policy Leadership 2018 Course. Bradley has an ambition of leading in his area of expertise and also promoting Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge and finding commonalities between Traditional Science and Western Science so this can influence policy and the way we manage the Australian landscape. He has significant networks in the water and environmental area, government and ongoing relationships with the broader Aboriginal community.

Emily O’Gorman is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University. She researches at the nexus of environmental history, more-than-human geography, and the broader environmental humanities. Her research focuses on how people live with rivers, wetlands, and climates. She is the author of Flood Country: An Environmental History of the Murray-Darling Basin (2012) and co-editor of Climate, Science, and Colonization: Histories from Australia and New Zealand (2014, with James Beattie and Matthew Henry) and Eco-Cultural Networks and the British Empire: New Views on Environmental History (2015, with Beattie and Edward Melillo). She is also co-editor of the Living Lexicon in the journal Environmental Humanities.


Sonja Van Wichelen is an Associate Professor of Sociology at The University of Sydney. Her general research interests include sociology of globalization, science and technology studies, feminist and postcolonial theory, legal anthropology, global health and social medicine. Sonja is the director of the Biopolitics of Science Research Network and research leader of the BioHumanity Theme. She is co-editor of the Palgrave MacMillan Biolegalities Book Series, book review co-editor for Catalyst, and on the editorial board of The Sociological Review.

Please send your Expression of Interest (EOI) to Genevieve Wright ( should you wish to attend this event by Wednesday 5 August 2020.


Aug 07 2020


10:00 am - 12:00 pm




Sydney Environment Institute
+61 2 9351 5445

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