Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Engineering
Dr Juan Carlos Afonso joined the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in early 2009. After graduating with a PhD from Carleton University (Ottawa), he undertook postdoctoral research at the Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera (CSIC, Barcelona) on the development of new methods to study the thermal and compositional structures of the lithospheric/sublithospheric upper mantle. His background is in theoretical and computational geophysics/geodynamics. His current research integrates different disciplines such as mineral physics, potential field modelling, thermodynamics, and physics of the mantle in general, to explore and improve our understanding of plate tectonics. In particular, he is interested in the evolution of the lithospheric mantle, the mechanical and geochemical interactions between tectonic plates and the sublithospheric mantle, and their effects on small- and large-scale tectonic processes.
Department of Japanese Studies and Asian Studies Program, University of Sydney
Lionel Babicz is a lecturer in Japanese studies and Asian studies at the University of Sydney. He is also associate researcher at the Japan Research Center of L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He completed his PhD in Japanese history at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris. Before coming to Sydney, he was a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a researcher at the Maison Franco-Japonaise in Tokyo. He also has a degree in Arabic and Islamic studies.
Lionel Babicz is carrying out research on the history of the Japanese-Korean relations and the intellectual history of the Meiji period (1868-1912). He has published on a wide variety of topics, from the exploration of one day in the history of Japan (February 11, 1889) to a comparison of the colonial situations, decolonisation processes and post-colonial relations of two former colonial 'couples', Japan-Korea and France-Algeria.
Lionel Babicz is looking into ways of using big history as a framework for a deeper understanding of the history of Asia in general, and of the Korea-Japan relationship in particular. He also considers big history as a potential tool for reconciliation in East Asia.
Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Arts
Dr Matthew Bailey is the Open Universities Program Coordinator in the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations. From 2015, the program will include Big History in its offerings. It is accessible to students from all nationalities studying from anywhere in the world. Enrolment information can be found at http://www.open.edu.au/. Matthew's research focuses on histories of retailing and consumerism, particularly the development and usage of large-scale shopping centres, on which he has published a number of articles and book chapters. He is currently writing a monograph on the history of regional shopping centres in Australia. Matthew is also engaged in learning and teaching research, with a current focus on student's pathways into and through tertiary education.
School of Education; Department of History, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Bob Bain is Associate Professor in the Department of History and the Department of Educational studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is chair of the Secondary Teacher Education Program and has been a faculty lead on the design, development and assessment team for the Big History Project. Before joining the UM faculty in 1998, he taught high school history for 26 years. He has been honored for excellence in teaching more than ten times at the high school and collegiate level and twice has been Michigan's Social Studies Professor the Year. Bob's research focuses on teaching and learning history and the social sciences. Recent publications include: "Using Disciplinary Literacy to Develop Coherence in History Teacher Education" in The History Teacher (2012) and "Challenges of Teaching and Learning World History" in A Companion to World History (2012).
Director of the Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists
The Medici Archive Project
Sheila Barker directs the Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists at the Medici Archive Project in Florence, Italy. She took her PhD from Columbia University in Art History and has held post-doctoral fellowships at the Smithsonian, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Medici Archive Project. In addition to discovering and publishing new documents on the women painters of Renaissance Florence, she also carries out research on the history of early modern medicine, pharmacy, and botany at the Medici court. She teaches courses ranging from Renaissance art history to archival studies and Italian paleography. One of her current research projects investigates "Big History in the Renaissance: Syncretic Visions of Time and Space from the Supplementum Chronicarum to the Sistine Chapel".
School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Dr. Behmand currently serves as Associate Provost at Dominican University of California. She earned her MA and PhD in English and American Studies at the University of Dusseldorf, Germany, with minors in Medieval Studies and Political Science. She has been teaching in Dominican's Department of Literature & Languages since 2007, with an affinity for specialty courses on 19th century women's literature, Gothic novels, and world literature. In January of 2010, she was elected by her students as Dominican's Teacher of the Year.
During her tenure at Dominican, she has held a number of administrative positions: Director of Faculty Development, founding Director of First Year Experience "Big History," and Director of the General Education program. Dr. Behmand has published and presented widely on medieval Persian epics and passion plays, Big History pedagogy, curricular revision and faculty development. She is the creator and co-editor of the forthcoming book Teaching Big History to be published by UC Press in August 2014.
Department of History, Grand Valley State University
Craig Benjamin is a Professor of History in the Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, USA, where he teaches Big History, world history, and Ancient Central Asian history. Craig was introduced to big history while a graduate student working under David Christian, and is a frequent presenter at conferences worldwide, and the author of numerous books and articles, on big history and ancient history. He is author of The Yuezhi. Origins, Migration and the Conquest of Northern Bactria (2007); co-author of Big History: Between Nothing and Everything (2014); and editor of Vol. 4 of the forthcoming Cambridge History of the World. Craig has recorded programs for the History Channel, The Teaching Company and Scientific American magazine. Craig is current Treasurer of the International Big History Association; and current President (2014/15) of the World History Association.
Elise Bohan is currently undertaking doctoral research in Big History under the supervision of Professor David Christian. She is researching the history and shared metaphysical sensibilities of Big Historical and transhumanist ideas. These two fields have each gained significant cultural capital over the past two decades and are helping to accelerate the ongoing metaphysical shift from traditional and teleological visions of humanity, life and the universe, to an empirical and evolving scientific account. Elise argues that this is a timely and essential shift for individuals, nations, and humanity as a whole, as we grapple with the unceasing tide of cultural and technological evolution in the twenty-first century, which brings unprecedented benefits, upheavals, and existential risks.
Faculty of Law, University of Auckland
Klaus Bosselmann, PhD, is Professor of Law and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law at the University of Auckland where teaches in the areas of international and comparative environmental law. Taking an ecological perspective, he has pioneered the field of sustainability law and global environmental constitutionalism. Klaus was a co-founder of the Green parties in Germany (1980) and New Zealand (1990) and is currently Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law Ethics Specialist Group and Co-Chair of the Global Ecological Integrity Group. He has authored numerous books including Earth Governance (2015), National Strategies for Sustainability (2015), The Principle of Sustainability (2008) and When Two Worlds Collide (1995). In 2009 he received the Senior Scholarship Prize of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, the global body of environmental law scholars.
Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University
Prof. Lex Bouwman obtained his PhD in 1995 from Wageningen University. He is Professor at the Geochemistry department, Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, and senior researcher at PBL-Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. He initiated various research lines on the quantitative analyses and scenario analysis of global land use, agricultural production systems and associated emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. His current work focuses on the modelling of nutrient delivery to streams and rivers from wastewater, agriculture, aquaculture and natural sources, and instream biogeochemistry processes and biodiversity, and impacts of nutrient loading in coastal marine ecosystems.
Foundation Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation
Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, BA, MIR (Hons), MBA, DipLR, PhD, FAIM, FCHSM, FFPHRCP (UK) is Foundation Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Director, Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, and Professor of Health Systems Research, Faculty of Medicine, and Health Sciences, Macquarie University. His research examines the changing nature of health systems, attracting funding of more than AUD$59 million (EUR€40 million, GBP£33 million).
He is very interested in the Anthropocene and the impact of human activity on human and species' health, population and climate. He blogs at http://www.jeffreybraithwaite.com/
Director of Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Business and Economics
Dr Yvonne Breyer is Director of Learning and Teaching at the Faculty of Business and Economics. Yvonne completed her PhD at Macquarie University and has worked in the Faculty of Arts as part of the Learning & Teaching team with Prof Sherman Young and Dr Ambler. Her main interests lie in the implementation and use of technology in higher education.
During her Masters degree, Yvonne first came to Australia through an Exchange program with Macquarie University. It was then that Yvonne first encountered "Big History" as part of her coursework, and she became hooked on this modern origin story. Yvonne has since worked extensively with David Christian on redesigning the Big History unit for the online environment.
Cynthia Brown is the resident big historian at Dominican University of California, where since 2010 all freshmen are required to take the Big History Program of two successive courses. As the world's first university to implement this requirement, the big history faculty at Dominican has collaborated to write Teaching Big History (University of California Press, December 2014).
Brown retired from full-time teaching in 2001 from the School of Education, where she directed the single-subject teaching credential program for many years. She taught part-time in the history department and created her first big history course in 1993, after learning the idea and the term from David Christian. She has written several books, including Refusing Racism: White Allies and the Struggle for Civil Rights (New York: Teachers College Press, 2001).
Brown's book, Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present (1st ed. 2007, 2nd ed. 2012), written for the general public, is affectionately known as 'big history lite." She collaborated with David Christian and Craig Benjamin to write the first college-level textbook: Big History: Between Nothing and Everything (McGraw-Hill, 2014).
Brown was a founding member of the International Big History Association and served on its board for three years. Currently she serves as chair of the publication committee.
Associate Professor in Education at Western Sydney University
David R Cole is an Associate Professor in Education at Western Sydney University, Australia and the leader of the Globalisation theme in the Centre for Educational Research. He has published eleven academic books, and numerous (100+) journal articles, book chapters,conference presentations and other public output. He has been involved with major educational research projects across Australia and internationally, and is an expert in mixed-methods design and execution, and the application of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze to education. David's latest monograph is called: Capitalised Education: An immanent material account of Kate Middleton (Winchester: Zero Books, 2014).
Head of Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Arts
Greg Downey is Head of Department and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Macquarie University. An expert in neuroanthropology, or the relation between human cultural and neurological variation, Greg has done field research on sport in Brazil, Australia and the United States. He is author and editor of a number of books and writes regularly for Neuroanthropology, a weblog at the Public Library of Science (PLOS).
Greg was the recipient of the Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013, and he created one of the first Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) on Open2Study, 'Becoming Human: Anthropology,' a joint effort of Open Universities Australia and Macquarie University.
Research affiliate, Sydney Environment Institute
Dr Frances Flanagan is a research affiliate with the Sydney Environment Institute and is the author of Remembering the Revolution: dissent, culture and nationalism in the Irish Free State (Oxford University Press, 2015). She holds a DPhil and MSt in historical research from the University of Oxford, and bachelors degrees in arts and law from the University of Western Australia. She has been a senior scholar at Hertford College Oxford, a Royal Historical Society Marshall Fellow at the London Institute of Historical Research, and a postdoctoral researcher at Birkbeck, University of London. She is currently working on a project concerning the commemoration of ecological loss in the Anthropocene.
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences - Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Engineering
Professor Simon George is the leader of the organic geochemistry group at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He is also the Acting Head of Department during 2014.
I have more than 25 years experience in organic geochemistry, including 15 years specialising in petroleum geochemistry at CSIRO. Organic geochemistry involves the study of the chemical and isotopic signatures in rocks and sediments, which tell us information about the past. We can reconstruct the nature and timing of important events in the evolution of life. Biomarkers are hydrocarbons that retain the structural information from the original lipids from which they were derived. Biomarkers and other hydrocarbons in oils, rocks and sediments provide us the ability to understand source inputs, subsequent burial and heating history (thermal maturity) and alteration events (such as oil biodegradation). The chemistry of insoluble fractions of organic matter, such as kerogen and asphaltenes, provides further useful information.
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering
Michael Gillings is a member of the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University, where he is Professor of Molecular Evolution. His research interests lie in the exploration of genetic diversity and the movement of mobile DNA between species. In the past five years he has published research on bacteria, fungi, invertebrates, plants, sharks, bony fish and mammals. He has also published opinion pieces on DNA Technology, the Anthropocene, and human evolution. He convenes one of the largest 1st year classes at Macquarie (Human Biology) with over 1000 students per semester.
School of History, ANU
Tom Griffiths AO FAHA is the W K Hancock Professor of History at the Australian National University and Director of the Centre for Environmental History. His books include Hunters and Collectors: The antiquarian imagination in Australia (1996), Forests of Ash: An environmental history (2001) and Slicing the Silence: Voyaging to Antarctica (2007). His next book is The Art of Time Travel: Historians and their Craft (Black Inc., 2016). In 1992 he established a first-year course at Monash University, called A Short History of the World, which was inspired by David Christian's advocacy for Big History.
Senior Scientist at Planetary Science Institute
David Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at Planetary Science Institute, is an astrobiologist who studies the possible conditions for life on other planets. In 2013, he served as inaugural Baruch S. Blumberg/NASA Chair in Astrobiology at the John W. Kluge Center of the United States Library of Congress, researching and writing a forthcoming book about human influence on Earth, seen in cosmic perspective. His book, Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Research Nonfiction. Grinspoon was awarded the 2006 Carl Sagan Medal for Public Communication of Planetary Science by the American Astronomical Society.
Department of History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Professor Yuval Noah Harari lectures at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His most recent book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, surveys human history from the evolution of Homo sapiens in the Stone Age up to the political and technological revolutions of the Silicon Age. The book's central thesis is that Homo sapiens rules the world because it is the only animal that believes in things that exist purely in its own imagination, such as gods, states, money and human rights. It has been translated into more than 30 languages worldwide.
Department of Modern History, Faculty of Arts
I have published and worked as an historian since 1986, researching various aspects of Australian history. My first book, Bligh, Macarthur and the Rum Rebellion (co-authored with Ross Fitzgerald), was published in 1988. I subsequently published widely in the field of labour history. Between 2002-4 I was a Sesquicentenary Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the discipline of Work and Organisational Studies, School of Business , University of Sydney . In recent years my research has focused on aspects of culture and governance in the period 1890-1914. In 2006-7 I was the C.H. Currey Memorial Fellow, State Library of New South Wales, researching the fin de siècle Imagination in Australia , 1890-1914.
My current research focuses on aspects of the history of ideas and governance in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Australia. I have a particular interest in the fin de siècle Imagination in Australia, 1890-1914. The fin de siècle represented a break with traditional Victorian values, seeking new sources of imaginative, personal and social freedom from the modernist ideas that had emerged from the mid nineteenth century, including Darwinism, socialism and psychology. My research considers the experience of individuals who embraced fin de siècle ideas, and explores how fin de siècle values and ideas influenced Australian society and liberal governance.
Department of Geography and Planning, Faculty of Arts
Richie Howitt is Professor of Human Geography, Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University, Sydney. He is also Director of Macquarie's innovative partnership with Ryde City Council and an elected member of the Macquarie University Council, the University's governing body. His research is generally is concerned with the interplay across scales of social and environmental justice, particularly in relation to Indigenous rights and well-being in local communities of diversity. He advocates deep integration of social, environmental and economic dimensions of justice into governance systems at various scales.
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering
Professor Lesley Hughes is an ecologist in the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University who studies the impact of climate change on Australian species and ecosystems. In addition to teaching and research at Macquarie, Lesley is active in a number of different conservation and climate-change associated organisations, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), WWF Australia, the Climate Council of Australia, and the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. At Macquarie University she also is the co-director of the Climate Futures Research Centre, the Director of the Biodiversity Node of the NSW Climate Adaptation Hub and the Acting Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science.
Associate Professor, College of Liberal Studies, Seoul National University
Dayk Jang is an associate professor in College of Liberal Studies/Program in History & Philosophy of Science/Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science at Seoul National University, where he teaches philosophy of biology, evolutionary biology & psychology, scientific understanding of human nature. He was a visiting fellow at Center for Cognitive Studies of Tufts University, USA. He has been working on conceptual issues in evolutionary sciences and neuroscience. For the past few years, his research has been focused mainly on naturalization of human sociality, morality and culture. He is author of Darwin's Table (in Korean) which was awarded as the best book of the year 2009 in science and technology in Korea. His most recent book is What Sciences Have Taught About Human Nature (in Korean, 2013). He is currently involved in transdisciplinary studies of culture-brain dynamics at Seoul National University. He has been a founding member of Cho's Big History Cooperative Association in Korea since 2015.
Research professor, Ewha Womans University
Seohyung Kim is a research professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. She got her Ph.D. as the United States History at Ewha Womans University. She is the first to teach Big History in university and middle school in Korea. Seohyung has come to emphasize convergences between disciplines, especially between Natural Sciences and Humanities. She sees this convergence as one of the most important issues in Korean education and thinks that Big History can serve as a bridge between these two fields of study. Her focus on working with middle school students seeks to develop creativity by using a Big History perspective. So she is the member of committee of 20 volumes of Big History series in Korean, of which purpose is to spread Big History to Korean students. She translated the book of one of the founders of Big History, David Christian's This Fleeting World: A Short History of Humanity, into Korean, and is now translating Berkshire Essentials: Big History to help Koreans better understand this new field. Also, she is one of the authors of Teaching Big History and will publish Korean Big History book about the origin of agriculture next year.
My name is Amir Kolini. I was born in Iran and completed my high-school degree in Iran. I received my bachelor in biology from UC Berkeley and the doctorate of dentistry from UC San Francisco in 1996. I was introduced to big history by Dr David Christians forty eight lectures in 2009 and got interested to promote the concept and project to Farsi speaking students. I translated one of David Christian's book called "This Fleeting World" to Farsi in 2013. I recently with the help of Dr Ali Nayeri, Physicist, produced fifteen lectures describing the big history thresholds and processes, in Farsi and broadcasted them by satellite tv to Iran and other Farsi-speaking countries. My aim is to introduce, promote and possibly teach big history to Farsi speaking communities.
Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Human Sciences
Jan-Louis Kruger is Head of the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University. He holds a PhD in English on the translation of narrative point of view. He has been involved in the teaching of and research into audiovisual translation for the past 16 years and has completed projects on the state of subtitling, subtitler training and subtitling and multilingualism in South Africa. His main research interests at present include studies on the reception and processing of audiovisual translation products including aspects such as cognitive load, comprehension, attention allocation, and psychological immersion. He is particularly interested in the role of Audiovisual Translation in narrative perspective, as well as in educational uses of subtitling. He is a co-editor for Perspectives, Studies in Translatology. His current research projects include eye tracking and EEG studies on the processing of subtitles in order to establish how subtitles can be used most efficiently in learning. He is a founding member of the Asia-Pacific Translation and Cognition Research Group (APTRAC).
Chair Professor of Physics and Dean of Science, The University of Hong Kong
Prof. Kwok is a Chair Professor of Physics and Dean of Science at The University of Hong Kong. Previously, Prof. Kwok has served as Faculty Professor of the University of Calgary in Calgary, Canada, and Director and Distinguished Research Fellow of the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics of Academia Sinica of Taiwan. Prof. Sun Kwok is the current President of Commission 34 (interstellar Matter) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), as well as Vice President of IAU Commission 51 (Bioastronomy). He is the President-elect of the new IAU Commission (F3) on Astrobiology.
Prof. Kwok is the author of several books, including the best-selling Cosmic Butterflies published by Cambridge University Press in 2001, and Physics and Chemistry of the Interstellar Medium, a standard textbook used in many leading universities in the world. His book Origin and Evolution of Planetary Nebulae (Cambridge, 2000) is regarded as the most authorative treatise of this subject. His book Organic Matter in the Universe published by Wiley in 2011 was the first book on this new frontier of astrochemistry. His most recent book, Stardust: the cosmic seeds of life, was published by Springer in 2013.
Department of Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Arts
Stephanie Lawson is Professor of Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University. She has previously held chairs in Politics and International Relations, and Asia-Pacific Studies, at the University of East Anglia, and the University of Birmingham respectively and has also taught and researched at the University of New England and the Australian National University. Her research interests span the fields of political theory, comparative politics and international relations while the main themes of her research focus on culture, ethnicity, nationalism, and democracy. She has particular expertise in the politics of Pacific Island states but has also written on Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.
Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University
Andrew is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University. He has previously worked at UNICEF Australia, the University of Otago, and Victoria University of Wellington. He is Editor-in-Chief of Asia Pacific Viewpoint and author of Southeast Asian Development (Routledge). Andrew's research focuses on environment and development issues in the Asia Pacific region. Current projects include a study of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation program in Indonesia and ethical approaches to livestock emissions in Australia. Andrew's work is oriented at developing ethical responses to global environmental concerns.
Director of the Global Institute for Sustainable Development
Ali Mostashari, Ph.D. is the Director of the Global Institute for Sustainable Development and a Member of the Faculty at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School in New York City. He concurrently leads a context-rich knowledge startup in New York City. From 2008-2014, Dr. Mostashari served as an Associate Professor and Program Director of Sociotechnological Systems at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey in the United States.From 2004-2008, Ali was a Senior Strategic Adviser to the Assistant Secretary General for Africa at the United Nations Development Programme. His forthcoming book Humanity's Arrow: Agency, Complexity and Entropy and the Dynamics of Human Civilization takes a complexity science perspective on the macro-dynamics of human social systems. Ali has authored and co-authored of more than 80 peer-reviewed academic papers and books focused on complex social and soiotechnological systems. He received his Ph.D. in Technology, Management and Policy from MIT, a Master of Science in Technology and Public Policy from MIT, a Master of Science in Transportation Systems from MIT, a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nebraska and a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology.
Director, MQ Research Centre in Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics
Quentin Parker obtained a BSc(Hons) in 1982 and a PhD (1986) from the University of St.Andrews in Scotland. He joined the faculty at Macquarie in April 2002 as the joint AAO/Macquarie lecturer in astronomy. Prior to that Quentin worked at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh (1986-1992), Anglo-Australian observatory (1992-1999) as an instrument scientist/astronomer and as a senior research fellow at the Institute for Astronomy (1999-2002). Quentin was responsible for helping to develop and manage the FLAIR-II fibre-spectroscopy system at the UKST and had also worked extensively with the new 6dF robotic fibre system that replaced FLAIR-II.
Quentin was also P.I. for the UKST H-alpha survey. Research activities are mainly but not exclusively associated with Wide Field Astronomy, including large-scale redshift surveys, low-surface brightness galaxies, supernova remnants and especially Planetary Nebulae. He has supervised and co-supervised a significant number of PhD, MSc and honours students to successful completion and is always keen to attract students. Quentin is currently Chair of the IAU working group on sky-surveys, head of the RAVE survey data management group and is director of the new MQ research centre in Astronomy, Astophysics & Astrophotonics. He also heads both the H-alpha international survey consortium and the associated Macquarie/AAO/Strasbourg H-alpha (MASH) Planetary nebulae team.
European Research Council Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Dr Ronika Power is an ERC Research Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge; a Research Associate of Darwin College, University of Cambridge; and an Honorary Research Fellow of the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University. She obtained a BA Ancient History (Hons.) from Macquarie University in 2005; an MSc Human Osteology and Palaeopathology from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, in 2007; and a PhD in Egyptology,Archaeology, Biological Anthropology and Philosophy from Macquarie University in 2012. She has been based at the McDonald Institute since 2012.
Dr Power's research platform aligns with biocultural archaeological approaches, whereby data derived from the analysis of the human body is viewed in context with all other forms of archaeological and historical evidence to provide meaningful insights into the demography, health, life-ways and world-views of individuals and groups from past populations. She also has a strong research interest in the analyses of mummified human remains from all geographical and temporal contexts, particularly those of ancient Egypt. Here, Power searches for insights into the suite of religious, cultural, technological, socioeconomic and environmental impetuses that gave rise to the many and varied expressions of mummification across cultures.
Faculty of Science
Esther Quaedackers is a lecturer in Big History. She obtained her MSc in Architecture with honours at the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2006. Since 2006, she has coordinated and taught Big History courses at the University of Amsterdam, Eindhoven University of Technology, Amsterdam University College, the Free University and Utrecht University.
Esther is currently working on a PhD thesis titled 'A Little Big history of Tiananmen'. In this thesis, she uses the Little Big History approach, an approach she developed for exploring small scale subjects as seen from the perspective of Big History, to analyse the Tiananmen, also known as the Gate of Heavenly Piece, in Beijing.
Esther is a board member of the International Big History Association.
Director of the Centre for Archaeological Science
Professor Richard 'Bert' Roberts is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Director of the Centre for Archaeological Science at the University of Wollongong. He was trained in the Earth sciences and is interested in past interactions between hunter-gatherers and their environments in Africa, Asia and Australia. Much of his career has been spent investigating turning points in human evolution and dispersal, publishing across the fields of geochronology, palaeoecology, archaeological science and human evolution. He leads a team dedicated to reconstructing the timing, causes and consequences of modern human migrations around the planet and our interactions with archaic humans and their ancient ecosystems.
Faculty of Education/Philosophy, Federal University of Bahia (Brazil) / University of Salamanca (Spain)
Javier Collado Ruano is Professor on Global Citizenship Education, Philosophy of Education, History, and International Relations. He is also PhD candidate in the Multi-disciplinary Program of Creation of Knowledge by the Federal University of Bahia (Brazil) and PhD Candidate in Philosophy by the University of Salamanca (Spain). Master Degree in Sociology of Education by the University of Seville (Spain) and Graduation in History by the University of Valencia (Spain) with specialization in International Relations and Archeology by the University of Palermo (Italy). He is founder and Director at Global Education Magazine (supported by UNESCO and UNHCR) and President at Education for Life NGO. He is also Academic Member at World Biomimetic Foundation (Spain), Member of the editorial board at the Journal of International Society of Philosophy and Cosmology (Ukraine), and Chief Advisor and Conferment of Fellowship Awards at PAN African Institute for Entrepreneurship and Community Development (Nigeria). His research interests are Transdisciplinary, Biomimicry, Sustainable Development, Global Citizenship, Culture of Peace, Democracy and Governability, Poverty Eradication, Human Rights, Philosophy, Epistemology, Arts, Co-evolution, Big History, Complexity, and Life.
Faculty of Science
Fred Spier is Senior Lecturer in Big History at the University of Amsterdam. He has organized and taught the annual 'Big History Course' at the University of Amsterdam since 1994; the annual 'Big History Lecture Series' at Eindhoven University of Technology since 2003; and the 'Big Questions in History Course' at Amsterdam University College since 2009.
Councillor for the Climate Council of Australia
Professor Will Steffen is a climate change expert and researcher at the Australian National University and a Councillor for the Climate Council of Australia. He was on the panel of experts supporting the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee, has served as the Science Adviser to the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, and was chair of the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee.
From 1998 to 2004, Professor Steffen served as Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, an international network of scientists studying global environmental change based in Stockholm, Sweden. His research interests span a broad range within the fields of climate change and Earth System science, with an emphasis on sustainability, climate change and the Earth System. He is the author of numerous publications on climate science
Program Director, Bachelor of Archaeology
Dr Yann Tristant is Lecturer in the Department of Ancient History and a member of the Ancient Cultures Research Centre. He studied Egyptology and Prehistory at the École du Louvre and the University of La Sorbonne in France. He received his PhD in 2006 on the basis of a dissertation on the Nile Delta during the Predynastic and Early Dynastic period. Dr Tristant was scientific fellow of the French Institute of Archaeology in Cairo (IFAO) from 2006 to 2010. His main fields of expertise are Egyptian archaeology and society as well as Pre-and Early Dynastic Egypt. Dr Yann Tristant is also editor of the international scientific journal Archéo-Nil.
Dr Tristant's research interest lies in the Predynastic and Early Dynastic period with special emphasis on settlement excavation and geoarchaeology. He has worked on a number of sites in various parts of Upper and Lower Egypt as well as at oases. Currently he is in charge of excavations in Egypt at Abu Rawash (Memphite area) and Wadi Araba (Eastern Desert), where he is undertaking an archaeological survey.
School of Humanities, University of Tasmania
Before joining the University of Tasmania, Paul was Professor of e-History at the University of Queensland, after having been head of the School of Arts, Media and Culture at Griffith University from 2004-7. He introduced the teaching of Big History at the University of Queensland and Griffith University, and now the University of Tasmania
Paul is known internationally for his expertise in the use of computation and information technologies in historical research and online publication of its outcomes. He is especially interested in developing techniques for the visual analysis of complex historical sources. Paul is also widely known for his research on the collecting and scientific uses of the bodily remains of Australian and other Indigenous peoples in the late eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since the early 1990s, Paul has held numerous fellowships and visiting professorships in North American and European universities. He is a past Fulbright Senior Scholar and was recently a fellow of the Morphomata Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Cologne.
Co-founder of the Evo Devo Universe community
Co-founder of the Evo Devo Universe community and founder of the High Energy Astrobiology prize, Dr. Clément Vidal is a philosopher with a background in logic and cognitive sciences. In 2014, he authored The Beginning and the End: The Meaning of Life in a Cosmological Perspective. He is eager to tackle big questions, bringing together areas of knowledge such as cosmology, physics, astrobiology, complexity science or evolutionary theory.
Faculty of Business and Enterprise
Joseph Voros started out doing a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, during which time he worked on mathematical extensions to the General Theory of Relativity. After several years with internet-related companies, including the legendary Netscape Communications Corporation in Silicon Valley (California), he became a professional futurist. For over a decade he has taught courses on thinking seriously about the future, in which he also emphasizes an expanded perspective on our place in the universe. His interests are broadly multidisciplinary and include theories and models of social change, the long-term future of humankind, Big History, astrobiology/SETI, and Cosmic Evolution. He is a founding member and current board member of the International Big History Association.
PhD Student, University of Vermont
Michael Wironen is a PhD Student at the University of Vermont, a Graduate Fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, and a member of Economics for the Anthropocene, a multinational research collaborative. Michael's research explores how ecological economics can inform sound decision-making in the management of water resources, food systems, and land use. Previously, Michael worked as a senior consultant at an international environmental consulting firm. He helped private and public sector clients integrate sustainability best practices into large-scale planning initiatives in the United States and abroad. He holds a Masters in Sustainability Science from Lunds Universitet and a Bachelor's in Physical Geography from McGill University.
Professor of Palaeobiology, University of Leicester, UK
Jan Zalasiewicz is Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester, UK, and also Chair of the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. In early career he was a field geologist and biostratigrapher at the British Geological Survey. Now, he teaches geology and Earth history to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and researches fossil ecosystems and environments across over half a billion years of geological time. He has written many scientific papers and popular science works, including the books The Earth After Us (2008), The Planet in a Pebble (2010) The Goldilocks Planet (2012) and Ocean Worlds (2014).