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I am an economic anthropologist and consultant specializing in consumer finance research. From 2014-2016 I was Chief Consultant on the Consumer Finance Research Methods Project, a collaboration with the IMTFI. The main output of this research was the Consumer Finance Research Methods Toolkit. My current academic research investigates the effects of cultural economy on consumer behaviour.
In 2003, after a stint of working in the UK, I enrolled in a PhD at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Professor Diane Austin-Broos. As an undergraduate I had spent three months in Chile, so I decided to head to a Spanish-speaking country in order to put my language skills to use. For fifteen months I lived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, spending most of my time living in a squatter settlement.
This research resulted in a book, Materializing Poverty: How the Poor Transform their Lives (2013, AltaMira), which explores how squatter settlement residents use their material environment to change their social and economic lives.
From 2008-2010 I lectured full-time in the Department of Anthropology at The University of Sydney, Australia, directing the Global Studies degree and teaching Anthropology Honours, Reading Ethnography, Economic Anthropology, Urban Anthropology, and Introductory Anthropology.
From 2010-2012 I worked with with Dr. Heather Horst and Dr. Espelencia Baptiste on a project called Mobiles, Migrants and Money: A Study of Mobility in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, funded by the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) at the University of California, Irvine.
An exciting outcome of our mobile money research was our collaboration with the British Museum. We collected money-related objects from Haiti, which were displayed in the Museum’s Citi Money Gallery when it was re-launched in 2012. One of our artefacts was even featured on the Museum’s giant posters in the London Underground.
In July 2011 I took up the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais at the Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. This research-only position saw me returning to the field to investigate the mobility of people, goods, and money across the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
I now live in The Hague, the Netherlands, where I run a research consultancy alongside Gawain Lynch.
Ph.D. in anthropology, University of Sydney (2009)
B.A. in anthropology (Honours I), University of Newcastle (2002)
B.f.A. in sculpture and art history, University of Newcastle (1999)
Editorial Board, Journal of Cultural Economy
Steering Committee, Charisma: Consumer Market Studies
Managing Editor, PopAnth: Hot Buttered Humanity
Research Associate, Digital Ethnography Research Centre, RMIT, Melbourne
Research Associate, Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, University of California Irvine