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Associate Academics

Emeritus Professor Marc Bekoff

International Patron of the Centre Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Portrait of Marc BekoffMarc is a former Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado. He has published more than 1000 essays (popular, scientific, and book chapters), 30 books including Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation, and has edited three encyclopedias. Marc's main areas of research include animal behavior, cognitive ethology (the study of animal minds), behavioral ecology, and compassionate conservation and he has also published extensively on human-animal interactions and animal protection.

Marc is the co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and ambassador of Jane Goodall’s roots and shoots program. He has won many awards for his scientific research including the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Chris Draper

International expert in the welfare of captive animals
Senior Scientific Researcher, Born Free Foundation, UK

Portrait of Chris DraperChris is a zoologist and chartered biologist who works for the Born Free Foundation in the UK. Chris manages the Zoo Check programme that investigates the welfare of wild animals in captivity, and leads the Born Free’s Compassionate Conservation initiative. He has worked for several animal welfare organisations on issues involving laboratory animals, farmed animals and wildlife. He previously worked as an animal keeper in a sanctuary in the USA with a range of wild animals, and primarily with 50 retired laboratory chimpanzees. Chris is also the European Coordinator for the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). He is undertaking a PhD at the University of Bristol on the implementation of legislation and assessment of animal welfare in zoos.

Dr Kate Littin

Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand

Portrait of Kate LittinKate is a Senior Adviser Animal Welfare at New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries. Her main interest is in animal welfare assessment and its application to policy, legislation and trade, particularly in regard to ‘pest’ management and interventions with wildlife. Kate has published on incorporating concern for animal welfare into wildlife (‘pest’) management programs and other activities that affect wild animals, encouraging better animal welfare in rodent control, the animal welfare impacts of various control methods and humane endpoints in research. She was part of a panel developing a framework for assessing the relative animal welfare impacts of pest management techniques, and a panel conducting this assessment for control methods used in New Zealand. She was a member of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) workshop on rodent control and is the section editor for wild animals, for the UFAW journal Animal Welfare.

Dr David Croft

University of New South Wales, NSW

Portrait of David CroftDavid is an expert in the behavioural ecology of kangaroos, human and wildlife interactions in nature-based tourism and wildlife roadkill. David has taught popular courses in Animal behavior and Life in Arid regionals of Australia at UNSW. Since 1976 he has extensively researched various species of macropods in temperate, arid and tropical regions at the University of NSW Fowlers Gap arid zone. This research included the studies of a large number of Honours and PhD students under David’s supervision and has produced many research papers and several edited books. David finished his career with UNSW as Director of the Fowlers Gap Research Station while maintaining a teaching/research position in the School of Biological Earth & Environmental Sciences. David now lives on a tropical savanna block in the Top End and continues research and consultation on wildlife issues, and interests in the promotion of wildlife tourism with Australia’s diverse kangaroo fauna. David holds a BSc. Honours degree and University medal from the Flinders University in South Australia, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge in England.

Professor Clive Phillips

University of Queensland, QLD

Portrait of Clive PhillipsClive studied agriculture at Reading University and obtained a PhD in dairy cow nutrition and behaviour from the University of Glasgow. He lectured in farm animal production and medicine at the Universities of Cambridge and Wales, and conducted research into cattle and sheep welfare. As the inaugural holder of the University of Queensland Chair in Animal Welfare he is now involved in research in animal welfare and ethics and the development and implementation of State and Federal government animal welfare policies. He has written widely on animal welfare and management in scientific journals, blogs and books, and he edits a new journal in the field, Animals, and a series of books on animal welfare for Springer.

Associate Professor David Brooks

University of Sydney, NSW

Portrait of David BrooksDavid is an Honorary Associate Professor of Australian Literature at the University of Sydney, where until recently he was also Director of the graduate program in Creative Writing. He has taught at various Australian universities and edited and/or been on the editorial board of several Australian literary journals (Helix, The Phoenix Review, Westerly and Southerly), and been a regular guest of numerous literary festivals. He has lectured on Australian literature and/or read his poetry and prose at literary events in the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, China, Serbia and Slovenia.

His poetry and short fiction have won critical acclaim and have been translated into various languages. His current projects include an anthology of Kangaroo poems (edited with Christine Townend), a collection of essays on Writing the Animal, and the Animal in Australian Writing (co-authored with John Kinsella), a collection of essays on Re-Reading Australian Poetry, and various works of fiction and poetry, most of them in some manner reflecting his advocacy of animal rights.

Professor Freya Mathews

Latrobe University, VIC

Portrait of Freya MathewsFreya Mathews is Adjunct Professor of Environmental Philosophy at Latrobe University, where she co-coordinates the Environmental Culture Research Cluster. Her books include The Ecological Self (1991), Ecology and Democracy (editor) (1996), For Love of Matter: a Contemporary Panpsychism (2003), Journey to the Source of the Merri (2003), Reinhabiting Reality: towards a Recovery of Culture (2005). She is the author of over sixty articles in the area of ecological philosophy and co-edits the journal, Philosophy Activism Nature. In addition to her research activities Freya manages a private biodiversity reserve in Central Victoria.

Professor Deborah Cao

Griffith University, QLD

Portrait of Deborah CaoDr Deborah Cao is a professor affiliated with the Law School Socio-legal Research Centre, Griffith University, Australia. She is a linguist, legal scholar and animal advocate. She writes about animal law, legal theory, legal language and Chinese law. She is Editor of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law and a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics (UK). She also contributed to the drafting of a proposed Law for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of China. Her major books include Chinese Law (2004), Translating Law (2007), and Animals are not Things: Animal Law in the West (2007) and Animal Law in Australia and New Zealand (2010).


Dr Neil Perry

University of Western Sydney

Dr Neil PerryNeil is a research lecturer in corporate social responsibility and sustainability at the University of Western Sydney. He specialises in progressive economic approaches to environmental economics and ecological economics. His research on the economics of biodiversity conservation, environmental taxation and environmental policy has been published in Ecological Economics, the Journal of Economic PerspectivesWildlife Research, Economic and Labour Relations Review and edited book volumes. Neil has advocated for, and contributed to, progressive environmental policies and environmentally sustainable activities in Australia and the United States. He is a member of the executive committee of the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium and has provided expertise in carbon management and policy to U.S. Colleges; local municipalities and the Pennsylvania Tri-County Planning commission. Neil is a regular contributor to The Conservation on environmental policy and maintain and protecting the commons.

Dr Sara Dubois

Chief Scientific Officer, British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Canada
Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada

Portrait of Sara DuboisSara is a registered professional biologist that has worked for the humane movement since 2001. Her graduate training in animal welfare at the University of BC Animal Welfare Program led to the first comprehensive study of wildlife rehabilitation practices in Canada for her Masters degree. Following this, she managed BC's second largest wildlife hospital - BC SPCA Wild ARC (opens an external site) - for five years, before stepping into a provincial role overseeing all wildlife operations, advocacy, and education programs, including spearheading exotic animal legislation and regulation reform. Her current projects at the BC SPCA include developing humane pest control standards, oil spill response preparedness, exotic animal regulations, human-wildlife conflict issues, academic partnerships and animals in science advocacy. Sara has a PhD from the University of British Columbia.  Her doctoral research explored wildlife welfare and human dimensions with the intention of developing humane wildlife policies that align with societal values.

Dominique Thiriet

James Cook University, QLD

Portrait of Dominique ThirietDominique teaches environmental law at James Cook University, Townsville, and has researched and published in the field of wildlife protection law.  She has had a long history of involvement in animal rights, wildlife care and environmental protection community organisations. She has served on government animal welfare advisory bodies and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Australian Animal Protection Law Journal. Dominique is a flying fox rescuer and spends her spare time revegetating and rehabilitating degraded wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchment area.

Steven White

Griffith University, QLD

Portrait of Steven WhiteSteven’s key research areas have been in animal welfare law, animal welfare policy and animal ethics. He is currently completing a PhD and is currently developing a new elective course that brings together animal welfare, wild animals and the environment.





Ruth Hatten

Queensland Coordinator for the Barristers Animal Welfare Panel

Portrait of Ruth HattenRuth Hatten graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 2001 with a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree and was admitted to practice as a lawyer in 2003. Between 2010 and 2013, Ruth was legal counsel for Voiceless, the animal protection institute. She is currently working as a solicitor in Brisbane, is a board member of Minding Animals International and is the Queensland Coordinator for the Barristers Animal Welfare Panel.

Ruth has been an animal advocate since she was 11. She has been involved in the animal law movement since 2007. In addition to contributing a chapter to the 3rd edition of Animal Law in Australasia, Sshe has published articles and papers and has presented at law firms, universities and conferences in Australia and New Zealand on a range of animal law topics including live exports, whaling, factory farming, the kangaroo industry and pig-dogging.

Ruth Billany

Charles Darwin University, NT

Portrait of Ruth BillanyRuth is a Chartered Psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a member of their Division for Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology. She is an award winning and nationally recognised psychology lecturer. Her interests include: health and positive psychology, particularly with relation to human animal and non-human animal relationships; the ethics of the continued use of animals in psychological research; ecopsychology; and, Indigenous epistemologies. Initially trained as an objective, positive scientist she now privileges a relativist ontology employing interpretative qualitative research to examine relational health within a strength based paradigm. She developed the innovative methodology ‘chiasmatic interpretative communities’.

Dr Rodney Bennison

Chair of Minding Animals Inc.

Portrait of Rodney BennisonRod has been involved in animal protection issues since the late 1970s and has extensive, established networks in the field of Animal Studies, and animal and environmental activism. He was a sessional academic for 13 years and now manages a team of environmental scientists in an engineering and environmental consulting firm based in NSW. His doctoral thesis was entitled Ecological Inclusion and examined the interrelationships that exist between human and nonhuman animals, with particular attention drawn to the historical nature of those interrelationships. He has a strong interest in the intersection of animal and environmental protection, particularly the rationale of why some human animals view some nonhuman animals and plants as pests, feral, weeds or invasive, as being somehow ‘out of place’.

Dr Keely Boom

Research Associate of ISF

Portrait of Keely BoomKeely is an environmental and animal law expert whose research focus is critically assessing the law and policy that governs wildlife management. Her research findings have sparked academic and public discourse about the management of kangaroos, particularly on the need for compassionate conservation through the integration of environmental and animal protection. Keely also brings indigenous perspectives to the research on Compassionate Conservation.



Dr Rosalie Chapple

University of New South Wales

Portrait of Dr Rosalie ChappleRosalie teaches part-time in environmental studies at the University of New South Wales, and is a co-founder and Executive Director of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, a small non-government organisation. Her core passion has always been wildlife, with a concern for their humane treatment, and has researched the behavioural and physiological responses of wildlife to captivity.

A key interest of Rosalie is the integration of science and other forms of knowing into decision-making for environmental policy and practice, including inspiring behavioural change toward sustainability based on understanding our internal worlds such as our values and beliefs as well as our external world based on intellectual and scientific understanding. Her research interests include human-wildlife conflict, especially involving dingoes and introduced fauna.

Dr Christine Townend

Founding Trustee, Kalimpong and Darjeeling Animal Shelters, India

Portrait of Christine TownendChristine Townend holds a Doctor of Arts from the University of Sydney. She founded Animal Liberation in Australia in 1976, and together with Peter Singer founded Animals Australia in 1980 (formerly called ANZFAS). She was the managing trustee of an animal shelter in Jaipur, India for 17 years and during this time also founded two animal shelters in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Using catch, neuter, vaccinate, return methods for the street dogs, Jaipur became the first city in India to be rid of human rabies. Christine is the Australian representative for the Indian Federation of Animal Protection Organisations for Indian elephants. She founded Working for Animals Inc. (opens an external site) which raises funds for animal protection in India. Christine is a Committee Member for the Australasian Animal Studies Association, and an Assistant Editor for the Australian Animal Protection Law Journal. Her biography, Christine’s Ark, was written by journalist John Little and Christine is the author of seven books. She is an artist, and has held five solo art exhibitions.

Thom van Dooren

University of New South Wales

Portrait of Thom van DoorenThom is an environmental philosopher and anthropologist in the Environmental Humanities program at the University of New South Wales. His current work focuses primarily on the philosophical, ethical, cultural and political dimensions of conservation and species extinctions, and is rooted in an approach that draws the humanities into conversation with ecology, biology, ethology and ethnographic work with communities whose lives are entangled with (often disappearing) species in a range of different ways. Thom has authored a number of books including Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction, Vulture and articles in a range of academic journals. He is also co-editor of the journal Environmental Humanities.

Prof Deborah Bird Rose

University of New South Wales
Deborah Bird RoseDeborah is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, and a founding co-editor of Environmental Humanities. She has worked with Aboriginal people in their claims to land and other decolonising contexts, and in both scholarly and practical arenas her work is focused on the convergence of social and ecological justice. Her current research interests focus on human-animal relationships in this time of extinctions, and she writes widely in both academic and literary genres. Her recent book, Wild Dog Dreaming: Love and Extinction (2011, University of Virginia Press), asks what constitutes ethical relationships in this era of loss, and is described by Donna Haraway as a ‘wise and generative book’. 

Dr Zoe Jewell


Portrait of Dr Zoe JewellZoe is the President and co-founder of WildTrack, a non-profit organisation focusing on the development and implementation of non-invasive, cost-effective and community-friendly approaches to monitoring endangered species.

With a background in veterinary medicine and tropical medical parasitology, Zoe’s interest in conservation biology began with a 10 year research project monitoring black rhino in Zimbabwe. Finding, for the first time, that invasive techniques were negatively impacting on female rhino fertility, she began working with indigenous trackers to look at alternatives. With Sky Alibhai she co-developed an award-winning footprint identification technique (FIT), to classify by species, individual, sex and age-class.  

As a principal research associate at the SAS Institute and adjunct faculty at Duke University, Zoe has published widely and worked to communicate the merits of more ethical ‘hands-off’ approaches to wildlife monitoring.

Dr Sky Alibhai


Portrait of Dr Sky AlibhaiSky is a Director and co-founder of WildTrack, a non-profit focusing on the development and implementation of non-invasive, cost-effective and community-friendly approaches to monitoring endangered species.

With a D.Phil in Zoology Sky’s interest in wildlife monitoring was sparked by a 10 year research project monitoring black rhino in Zimbabwe, during which time he published papers showing that intensive invasive management was negatively impacting female rhino fertility.  With Zoe Jewell he developed the footprint identification technique (FIT) to classify at the species, individual, sex and age class levels from digital images of footprints.

As a principal research associate at the SAS Institute, and adjunct faculty at Duke University, Sky has published widely and worked to communicate the merits of remote and non-invasive approaches to wildlife monitoring.