Our Team


DeathTech is an interdisciplinary team of scholars in working in anthropology, human computer interaction, media and communication, and science and technology studies.


Michael Arnold

Professor, History and Philosophy of Science, The University of Melbourne

Michael Arnold’s on-going research activities lie at the intersection of contemporary technologies and daily life; for example, studies of digital technologies in the domestic context, online memorials and other technologies associated with death, social networking, community informatics, and ethical and normative assessments of technologies. Michael is also interested in theoretical approaches to technologies, in particular, Heidegger, Actor Network Theory, and Object Oriented Ontology. Michael has been first-named investigator on 6 ARC research projects and dozens of other projects, and has published research books and over 100 peer reviewed papers.

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Tamara Kohn

Professor of Anthropology, School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne

Tamara Kohn is a social anthropologist with extensive fieldwork experience in the Scottish Hebrides, the eastern hills of Nepal, and more recently Japan. She has held research and teaching positions in England (Oxford and Durham) and now at the University of Melbourne. Tamara is interested in identity, the study of trans-cultural communities of practice (from caring practices to sports and other embodied arts), mobility (migration, intermarriage, leisure/travel), death studies, and sensory anthropology.

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Martin Gibbs

Associate Professor, Department of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne

Martin Gibbs is a member of the Interaction Design Lab. In collaboration with colleagues at The University of Melbourne, Martin is currently investigating how people use a variety of interactive technologies (video games, community networks, mobile phones, etc.) for convivial and sociable purposes in a variety of situations (intimate strong-tie relationships, local neighborhoods, work-based occupational communities, online computer games

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Elizabeth Hallam

Research Affiliate, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford. Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology & Honorary Curatorial Fellow, University of Aberdeen

Her research and publications focus on the anthropology of the body; death and dying; material and visual cultures; human anatomy; three-dimensional models, especially in medical education; making and design; mixed-media sculpture; time, history and anthropology; experimental research with images and texts; collaborative museum, exhibition and installation projects. She is currently the editor of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.


Bjorn Nansen

Senior Lecturer, Media and Communications, The University of Melbourne

Bjorn Nansen is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on emerging and marginal forms of digital media use in everyday life, using a mix of ethnographic, participatory and digital methods. His current research projects explore changing home media infrastructures and environments, children’s mobile media and digital play practices, technologies for death and memorialising, and the digital mediation of sleep.

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Hannah Gould

ARC Research Fellow, School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne

Hannah Gould is a socio-cultural anthropologist and curator working in the areas of death, religion, and material culture. Her research is focused on how the deceased are memorialised and materialised in everyday life, with a regional focus on North-East Asia. Hannah’s current doctoral research project investigates transformations to the spiritual economy of domestic Buddhist Altars (仏壇) and associated mourning rituals in contemporary Japan.

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Fraser Allison

ARC Research Fellow, Media and Communications, The University of Melbourne

Fraser Allison is a research fellow in the Interaction Design Lab at The University of Melbourne. He is primarily a human-computer interaction researcher, with a focus on natural user interfaces, complex user experiences and the ways in which people draw meaning from technologically mediated leisure activities. His doctoral research concerns the design and usage of voice-operated videogames. Fraser is also an experienced market research consultant, with nearly a decade of experience working on projects for some of Australia’s best-known brands to understand the drivers of consumer behaviour in industries including tourism, travel, leisure, healthcare, retirement living, animal welfare, telecommunications, retail, superannuation and banking.

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Samuel Holleran

PhD Student, Media and Communications, The University of Melbourne

Holleran’s PhD examines public participation in the reimagination of urban burial sites. He is also an interdisciplinary artist and writer whose work examines the power and politics imbued in urban design. In particular, he is interested in the  use of everyday objects in cities, like street furniture, parks, and signage.
He has worked as an art director, researcher, and educator in the field of civically-engaged design with the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) in New York City and the Chair for Architecture & Urban Design at ETH-Zürich. 

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Research Collaborators

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