Kirsty Wissing
20162023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Researcher's projects

Cultural water values and Indigenous engagement in the Richmond River catchment, Northern Rivers region, Australia (Research Fellow)

School of Culture, History and Language and the Institute of Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions, Australian National University (ANU) / Environment Business Unit, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

January 2024 - January 2027

 

An application of Indigenous Australian biocultural knowledge and values in synthetic biology (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Environment Business Unit and the Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

January 2021 - January 2024

 

Victoria River Water Resource Assessment, Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment 2 (Project Activity Lead, in-house staff member)

Australian Government's National Water Grid Authority / Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Authority (CSIRO)

Project contribution August 2022 - June 2023 

 

Permeating Purity: Fluid rituals of belonging in Ghana (PhD Candidate) 

School of Culture, History & Langauge, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University (ANU)

March 2015 - December 2020 (PhD conferred July 2021)

 

Comparative research project about cultural heritage protection and mining law in Ghana and Western Australia (Consultant)

International Mining for Development Centre (IM4DC) / Faculty of Law, University of Western Australia (UWA)

Project contribution August 2014 - March 2015

 

Qualifications

PhD (Australian National University)

Biography

Trained as an anthropologist, Kirsty’s research considers Indigenous and customary values, relationships with and resource responsibility for tangible and intangible environments in Australia and Ghana. Her work sits at the intersection of cross-cultural approaches to environmental disasters such as flooding, invasive species incursions and loss of biodiversity.

Kirsty is currently undertaking a research fellowship in partnership between the School of Culture, History and Language and the Institute of Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions, the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University (ANU) and the Water Security Program, Environment Business Unit, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Her current research considers Indigenous Australians' water cultural values and perspectives on flood mitigation in the Richmond River catchment of the Northern Rivers region, Australia. 

Kirsty previously undertook a postdoctoral reserach fellowship at the CSIRO, Australia's national science agency. Here she conducted a qualitative application of Indigenous biocultural knowledge and values in synthetic biology with colleagues and community members in the Torres Strait, Australia.  

Kirsty's PhD research considered customary socio-religious attitudes to and uses of water and other fluids in relation to ideas of cleanliness/purity, resource control and morality. Based on 14 months of ethnographic field research in Ghana, Kirsty's thesis sought to bring local Akwamu values into dialogue with larger national issues of environmental resource responsibility, energy production and socio-political power.

Kirsty also has previous research experience with Australian Indigenous communities under Native Title and Aboriginal Land Rights legislation in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, having worked for the Central Land Council (CLC) and Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) respectively. She has also conducted research into and managed programs about the petroleum, mining and energy industries in Ghana for a not-for-profit policy think tank titled the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP). As a consultant within an inter-disciplinary team, Kirsty has compared customary law, cultural heritage protection and mining in Ghana and Western Australia for the University of Western Australia and the International Mining for Development Centre.

 

 

Research interests

Anthropology, Indigenous science, biocultural knoweldge, water, natural resource management, environmental biotechnology, synthetic biology, ritual, religion, Australia, Ghana

Expertise Areas

  • Environmental biotechnology
  • Natural resource management
  • Environmental anthropology
  • Social and cultural anthropology
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental knowledges
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land and water management
  • Religion, society and culture

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